What's the Story? I first tied the precursor to the Sprog in the mid 90's as a much larger frog pattern for largemouth bass. It quickly shrank in size to a fly suited for both bass and panfish.
What's it Good For? The Sprog catches panfish and small bass wherever they live. It has also caught its share of larger bass. A #6 Sprog is small enough to fit in the mouths of medium sized panfish and large enough to tempt healthy bass and is very effective for both.
How to Fish It: This fly tends to work best fished slowly and deliberately. I like to cast with some extra force, so the fly splats down on the water, usually near structure. Let it sit for a few seconds, then give it a twitch. Wait a few seconds then, if nothing eats, swim it forward 3 or 4 strips then pause again. At this point, either re-cast or swim it rapidly back towards you.
If you're covering lots of water or chasing aggressive fish, try fishing it with a series of long, steady strips. If the fly is tied with mono eyes, or has already caught a few fish, a steady strip will cause it to dive below the surface. When you pause, it will rise to the surface and sit low in the water. This is often when strikes occur.
When fishing moving water, I cast it near structure then let it dead drift downstream for a few seconds. Then I’ll give it a twitch, let it drift for a couple more seconds then swim it forward a couple feet. I’ll repeat the pattern until the fly is away from structure then pick it up and cast again.
Tying Options The Sprog can be tied with foam eyes or mono eyes. The foam eyes will help it to float better while the mono eyes will cause it to sit low in the water and dive just below the surface when stripped. A beat-up Sprog with mono eyes may even sink slightly. It’s easier to see on top but may get more bites when just below the surface
Color options are limited only by available foam colors. Marabou works great for the tail but lots of other tail options would be equally effective. Try different eyes to influence how the fly floats. Foam cylinder eyes will keep it floating high. Mono eyes will allow the fly to sit lower in the water and more readily dive when stripped. The width of the foam body also affects how it floats.
Available on our Website: The materials needed to tie this fly are all available on our website. Click the links in the materials list below to purchase materials.
While most flies are tied back to front, this one is tied front to back.
Put the hook in your vise and start the thread just behind the hook eye. Lay down a thread base for the eyes and tie them in about 1/3 of the hook shank length behind the hook eye.
Wrap the thread back to the bend of the hook or a little beyond. Tie in a grizzly marabou feather for the tail directly on top of the hook shank. It should extend about 1 ¼ times the length of the hook beyond the tie-in point.
Wrap the thread forward to just behind the eyes. The space between the thread and the eyes should be about the same as the space from the eyes to the eye of the hook.
Cut a strip of 1/8” or 3 mm sheet foam a little over a quarter inch wide. Trim one end to a point.
Turn the fly upside down, with the hook point up. Tie the foam strip in on the point side of the hook, which will now be on top since the fly is upside down. The long end of the foam strip should extend past the hook eye. The initial thread wraps around the foam strip should be placed just in front of the point you cut with additional wraps binding the tapered end down to the hook shank.
Turn the fly back over and pull the foam strip to the front under the eye of the hook. Poke a hole in the center of the foam strip that will line up with the hook eye when the foam is folded back around the head. If your bodkin is small enough just put it through the eye of the hook and poke a hole through the center of the foam.
Stretch the foam up over the eye and push the eye through the hole you just created. Pull the foam back towards the bend creating a round head. Lock the foam in place with a few thread wraps.
Fold a full length Sili-Leg in half, forming a loop on one end. Fold the doubled leg around your thread, to form 4 legs, and slide it into place on the close side of the fly. Orienting the doubled over portion to the back will make the legs easier to control for the next steps.
Do the same thing on the far side. Then carefully wrap through the legs several times to lock them in place. Hold the looped legs to the back and keep the loose ones in front to make sure you are wrapping over the center of the legs.
Pull all the legs forward together and use a strip of double-sided Velcro, a twist tie or a piece of aluminum foil to bind them together and out of the way.
Pull the foam strip forward and wind your thread to the back of the hook, working around the legs and foam strip. Stop just in front of the marabou.
Lay the foam strip back down on the hook shank and bind it down.
Tie a whip finish, either with your hands or with an extended whip finish tool.
Trim the thread then cut the Sili-Leg loops to make 4 distinct legs on each side. You can leave the legs full length or trim them shorter. If you used foam cylinders for eyes trim them off even with the outside of the sheet foam head. Then cut the back of the foam strip to leave a piece about as long as the head extending out over the bend.
Apply head cement to the bare thread along the entire underside of the fly. Use your bodkin to put a drop on top of the fly in both of the foam folds as well.