How-To: Pop N’ Fly for Finicky Albies

False albacore are notorious for being picky eaters at times. This is when an angler has to get creative with their presentation in order to entice a finicky albie. One of Capt. Mikes “secret” techniques for this scenario is a take on the casting egg and fly presentation. Instead of a casting egg, Capt. Mike prefers a clear Hogy Charter Grade Popper. And for his fly, the new Hogy Protail fly. The Pop N’ Fly is a deadly technique for when these fish seem like they just wont eat!

The Protail Flys are designed to imitate micro-forage with an ultra-life-like swimming action and profile. Several years in the making, the Hogy Protail Fly has deep roots from Capt. Mike’s time as an Orvis-endorsed fly fishing guide on Cape Cod. These heavy-duty softbait flys are made with the same durable soft plastic as our popular pre-rigged Protail Series.


Rod: 7′ St. Croix Legend Tournament

Reel: Shimano Saragosa 5000

Line: 20lb Braid

Leader: 15lb Fluoro 

Lure: Hogy Lures Clear 5.5″ Charter Grade Popper (Hookless) & Hogy Lures Protail Fly


1. Once the surface activity has been located, slowly motor to the outside edge of the feeding area, making sure to quietly approach the school.

2. Make a long cast towards the outside edge of the surface activity.

3. Use a slow, sharp twitching motion for surface popping action. Utilize occasional 5-10 second pauses for finicky fish.


1. When albies are spread out and holding deep working poppers on the surface can bring them up from the depths.

2. Use a variety of retrieves from a slow pop and stop, to a fast “scoot” and walk the dog style retrieve.

3. Protail Flies are perfect for traditional fly fishing presentations!

Related Posts