Skopper Recipe - Spey Pages
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
slipped away to grey...
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saint Joseph River
Posts: 740
Skopper Recipe

I have been trying to find the recipe for a fly designed by guide Scott Howell called the "Skopper". I cannot find it anywhere, anyone know it? Would really appreciate it.

Would just buy some to use, but they are not sold in the color I want them in...


Last edited by TheSwingingFly; 05-19-2010 at 03:02 PM.
TheSwingingFly is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 03:39 PM
Registered User
Riverborn75's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Columbia Basin, Oregon
Posts: 751
I don't know the exact recipe but it's basically:

usually tied on a bronze hook
tail of what looks like 4-6 strands of crystal flash
the tail is tied in front of the tag (usually flat tinsel or spun crystal flash)
a small butt of wool type yarn
then you tie in the triangular shape piece of foam(it needs to be long enough to cover the body and stick out past the eye)
spin the body of deer hair
the ones I've seen are trimmed cigar shape with a fairly flat bottom
when you 1/2 to 2/3 up the hook tie in a couple rubber legs per side
when you trim the hair leave backswept wings just above the rubber legs
pull the foam over the body and tie down.
leave enough foam past the eye to act similar to the wings on a waller waker.

flyfishusa (Bachman's shop) has pictures of Howell's Ska-opper.

Hope that helps a little -Ben
Riverborn75 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
slipped away to grey...
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saint Joseph River
Posts: 740
Definitely helps man, basically just couldn't tell what was used under the foam from the photos I had seen. I had not looked at Fly Fish USA's site, now that you mention it they have MUCH better photos of the fly than I was seeing. Was also great to read the story on how various influences were responsible for him designing the fly.

I will also order a couple to use as references, just wanted to make sure I had all the materials used in it, if not was going to order them when I ordered the flies.

Have a good Summer,

TheSwingingFly is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 11:00 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Umpqua Rogue
Posts: 35
Ska-opper recipe

I have included the recipe I sent to Solitude when they started commercially tying my Ska-opper. A couple points of interest:

Run with the pattern - I do. As with most patterns, don't let the specifics box you in. The natural does end up being my "go to" under most circumstances but I play with all different colors patterns. I fish a black one a lot and even have one with an orange body and white legs that I like. I have friends that all have their own take on the pattern and they seem to have at least as much success as I do.

It is the mechanics behind its design that is important. Many people outside of Southern Oregon don't realize this fly was originally designed to be popped/twitched as it is skated. Check out the vid on the home page of my web site to see it in action Over time, the fly has gained popularity as a simple skater. The deer hair/foam body are nearly impossible to sink. The bill also pulls the fly to the surface as tension comes on the bug. Skates like a dream - no hitch needed. A matter of fact, I fish the fly with a loop knot. The "truer" the fly rides the better it fishes. It is the design of the fly that makes it skate and pop. Thus, the Ska-opper name.

One other thing - over the years, I have just started substituting a yarn (burnt orange) for the spun deer hair body. When guiding everyday, managing your time is a necessity. This substitution can save me 5-10 minutes a fly. Spinning the body and trimming around the legs is the most time consuming part of the fly. Just the foam back alone seems to float the fly in most cases and since I fish the fly under tension it still skates perfectly.

Last thing - the Ska-oppers I fish tend to be little smaller silhouette than the commercially tied ones. My bodies are trimmed down a bit more. The fly ends up having a thinner silhouette than the potato shaped bugs that can come out of the box. I know a lot of people that customize the ones they buy in the shop by trimming down the body and bill some. If the bill is too long it puts the fly out of balance and can end up acting more like a "diving" bill. In defense of Solitude, they have seemed to catch on to this and the commercially tied ones look better and better all the time.

Have fun!


Material list:
Size 2 & 4 Tiemco 7999
Gold mylar tinsel
Orange yarn
Lime crystal mirror flash
Brown foam
Natural deer body hair
Orange rubber legs
Orange guinea
White deer body hair

1. Start by wrapping a gold mylar tinsel tag.

2. Tie in a small clump of lime crystal mirror flash for a tail. I like a fairly long tail about a 1/ 2 long. I also add a very small clump (20 guard hairs or so) of orange polar bear that is nearly the length of the flash.

3. Then wrap a short length of orange yarn for a butt.

4. At this point I tie in a long triangular shaped piece of brown foam. Tie it in backwards so that when you fold it forward towards the hooks eye it is long to still leave a popper lip. Too long is OK. You can always cut it to the right length once the fly is finished.

5. Directly in front of the foam spin two clumps of deer body hair. Push the spun clumps clumps together to ensure a tight deer hair body.

6. Then tie in the first set of orange rubber legs.

7. Then spin in another 4 clumps of of deer hair, being sure to push them back tight against each other ( number of clumps may vary with tier and size of clumps).

8. In front of this spun deer hair, tie in the second set of orange rubber legs.

9. I spin in one more clump of deer hair before removing the hook from the vice and shaping the body. I trim the back of the body flat so that the foam will lay over it nice.

10. After shaping the body, I wrap a guinea hackle in front of it. I shape the body first because it is easier to cut the deer hair without these hackles in the way.

11. Once the guinea is tied in, I spin in a couple more clumps of deer hair to complete the body.

12. I do stack in an optional clump of white deer hair on the bottom of the fly right near the eye of the hook. This makes a white spot underneath the head of the fly.

13. The final step is to pull the foam over the back of the hook and tie it down near the eye of the hook to make the popping lip. It can help to pull the bill back and build up some thread ahead of the eye. This can help prop the bill up a bit.

14. I then clean the fly up by cutting the tail, legs, and lip to the proper length.
SMH is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
slipped away to grey...
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saint Joseph River
Posts: 740
Hey very cool man! Thank you very much for all the information. I will definitely let you know how it works out, I think your pattern has a lot of potential for the Summer steelhead fishery here in Western Michigan. Looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.

Last edited by TheSwingingFly; 05-22-2010 at 02:02 PM.
TheSwingingFly is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 03:20 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Great Lakes Tribs
Posts: 123
This looks very similar to the late Jack Gartside's fly called The Gartside Gurgler, it just needs a haircut, They also work very well on Smallmouth Bass and if tied in smaller size's even Bluegill and Crappie. If you Google Gartside Gurgler ( try saying that quickly ) there are some good step by step video's.

Last edited by Woodlander; 05-22-2010 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Didnt want to sound pissy.
Woodlander is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 03:43 PM
Registered User
BigDaddyK's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 319
Send a message via AIM to BigDaddyK
I've been using a similar pattern in WV for smallmouth, and it's a blast. Sort of a combination of the Lambroughton Steelhead Skater and Marty's foam bomber from his and Dec's dvd. Floats like a cork, and when tied in black and chartreuse, irresistible to our local smallies. Haven't tried adding Scott's krystal flash tail and rubber legs, though. Can't imagine what those twitching little legs will add. Have to tie some up and see.

BigDaddyK is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 07:30 PM
Registered User
Riverborn75's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Columbia Basin, Oregon
Posts: 751
Thumbs up

Hey TSF, you got the pattern and tips from the man himself. Too cool, and thanks SMH. I plan to use a variation on the "D" this season as my starting fly.
Riverborn75 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recipe vs.Picture Jamey McLeod Hooks, Feathers and Floss 43 09-17-2011 05:37 PM
Akroyd recipe please robmdq Hooks, Feathers and Floss 36 12-22-2009 02:07 PM
Recipe for a kill robmdq Hooks, Feathers and Floss 12 12-10-2009 11:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome