This weekend I tried out some new bass and panfish bugs from www.booglebug.com. I had spoken with the owner, Pierce Yates last year and he agreed to send some bugs to try out. Unfortunately this winter was a long one, so I’m just now getting out.
BoogleBugs has a pretty interesting story, both in how Pierce got it started and how they are made. According to Pierce:
“I learned how to make good quality popping bugs way back in the late 70’s from Bob Guess who had business near Chattanooga, TN producing high quality poppers that were sold primarily in the Southeastern US. His business was called “Mr. Bob’s Lucky Day Lures.” He sold his outfit to another guy who sold bugs under the name “Ultimate Poppers”, a company which made an excellent product, but eventually went out of business sometime around the turn of the century.
As you may be aware, flies are fairly easy to produce quickly, but painted head popping bugs are not. There are many time consuming steps involved in putting one together. I could find time to tie flies, but making bugs was another matter entirely. Thus in 2005, I was looking for some high quality bugs to purchase like the ones Mr. Bob and Ultimate Poppers used to make but I couldn’t find anything even close. At the same time, I was looking for a good business opportunity as well. Finding neither, I seemed that the answer to both of my quests lay in combining the two into one, and thus our company was born. The name Booglebug® was the brainchild of my teenage son.
After lot of prototyping and testing, I determined that a properly painted cork body was far superior to any other alternative material for making bugs. I also developed a production process that was suitable for either large or small scale production just about anywhere in the world. What I did not have was the people necessary to actually produce them (other than me). Discussions with existing fly companies had been largely fruitless and frustrating. Unable to come up with a solution to this problem one sleepless night, I finally just gave up on it and told God that He needed figure it out.
The next morning I got an email from a friend of mine who had recently returned from a trip to S. Korea. While there he met a American man who told him that his son was living in China and seeking to set up a fly tying business as a rural development project in some underprivileged minority villages nearby the city in which he lived. His search for some US partners to help them get started was about as fruitless as my discussions with the existing fly companies. After a few email exchanges and Skype conversations we decided that I would come to China in January of 2006 to train the villagers to make BoogleBugs®.
They were highly skilled with their hands and very quick learners despite having never even heard of fly fishing before. Production began after a second training visit in February and thanks to the Lord’s initial and ongoing providence we have been producing and selling BoogleBugs® ever since. We began with a just few colors of Size #6 poppers and now have three styles (BooglePoppers™, BoogleBullets™, and Amnesia Bugs™) in four sizes and seven colors.”
This afternoon I took the opportunity to visit the local pond and see how effective BoogleBugs could be. I’m happy to say that a few casts with an orange Power Pumpkin BooglePopper, allowed me to land the two bream below.
I’ll go back when I have more time and give the other colors and styles a try. Enjoy!