In my last RipRap article I mentioned taking some fly tying classes at the old Bentley’s Fly Shop. In addition to the Uncased Kinni Caddis, one other fly pattern that was introduced to me was a scud. As my fly tying journey was getting underway, my trout fishing journey was just beginning. In fact, the first trout I ever caught was on an Orange Scud that I tied.

Jumping ahead a couple years, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Laughing Trout Fly Tying Club. As I settled into a routine of tying with the group on Wednesday evenings, I would hear them mention a fly they called a PPP or sometimes a Potter’s. They would mention the fly, but would never share any details about it. It took a few weeks before any of the members would give me any kind of clue about what this “secret” fly was.

In time, I guess I earned their trust enough to learn that the fly was Potter’s Perfect Pupa. The fly was created by an early member of the group, Dennis Potter. Dennis took a scud-style hook, added a tungsten bead, a length of red wire and black rabbit fur that he tied in with a dubbing loop, and voilà, the Potter’s or PPP was created.  The fly took on legendary status on a trip to the Whitewater River by Dennis, Rich Frick and Jim Thomson when it was the only fly that caught fish and that was a group of fishermen that rarely had trouble putting fish in the net.

Some fly-tyers just can’t leave well enough alone (present company included). By the time I joined Laughing Trout, members of the group had put their own spin on the original pattern by changing sizes and dubbing color. One of those variations was a tan Potter’s that was tied with UV Ice Dubbing. I tried tying the fly that way and started catching fish on a regular basis.

When I started to donate fly boxes to Trout Unlimited and other groups, I felt like the fly needed just a little more refinement to look good in a box, so I added a Latex Scud Back. For dubbing I like to mix about half and half tan UV Ice Dubbing and natural rabbit dubbing together in a

coffee grinder (preferably in an appliance dedicated to mixing dubbing so the rabbit fur doesn’t end up in your morning brew).

Hook:           Size 12 – 16 Scud Hook

Bead:           Gold Tungsten to match hook

Shell:           Latex Scud Back

Rib:              Red wire, size Brassie

Abdomen:    UV Ice Dubbing and Natural Rabbit Fur Dubbing

There are a lot of days on the stream that it seems if you cannot catch a fish on a Potter’s, you might just as well call it a day and go home.

Paul Johnson

Waconia, Minnesota

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