Old Bass Bugs by Kirk Dietrich

Kirk shows us some cool bass bug history in this post. Check it out!

Some of these bugs are 60 years old.

Enjoy ye ole bug makers…

This is an overview picture of the bugs my friend Ted Cabali lent me from his collection to photograph.

Ted Old Flies-2-2

Bill Gallasch’s Skipping Bug tied by Bill, named by Joe Brooks. Bill was Joe Brooks personal tier. According to Lefty Kreh, Joe didn’t do much fly tying. Bill originally made these from Cedar but then began making them from balsa; he drilled a hole near the bottom and inserted/glued the hook with bucktail and chenille into the hole. When Orvis was selling them, Bill was tying them for Orvis, so, if you bought any of these from Orvis way back, you have a Skipping Bug tied by the originator.

Ted Old Flies-1-1

The Pac Man bug tied by local New Orleanean Ronnie Leonard, who is now deceased.

Ted Old Flies-3-3

Fayard Crippled Minnow.

Ted Old Flies-6-6

Christy bug tied and sold by and in New Orleans.

Ted Old Flies-11-11

Pecks poppers, the large one was tied by Accardo’s company after he bought out Pecks. The smaller one was by Pecks.

Ted Old Flies-5-5

The label says it.

Ted Old Flies-9-9

More Pecks poppers tied by Pecks. Bottom – Dragon Fly, Center- Cricket, Top – Grasshopper.

Ted Old Flies-14-14

Peck’s Parker Feather Minnow tied by Pecks. This pattern was given to Peckinpaugh by a cotton broker in New Orleans named Parker.

Ted Old Flies-10-10



Filed under Largemouth, Smallmouth

10 Responses to Old Bass Bugs by Kirk Dietrich

  1. I have a customer interested in trying to tie the old Fayard’s Cripple Minnow. Do you have a picture of it that you could send me?
    Don Davis

  2. Ben Cook

    I grew up using Pecks and have had my tackle “borrowed” out of my garage during a recent open house. Do you have the measurements of the Peck Popping minnow 1/0 size. I have been able to get an old catalog/sales sheet with patterns. I am not satisfied with the Pultz imitations, lack the action. If you could put in a post the specs, I am buying aged balsa now, Mustad bobber hooks, and every partial nail polish bottle of yellows, reds, and whites. I have the hackle just waiting to make my replica Pecks

    • Kirk

      Hi Ben, I’ll have to check to see if I have one. If not, I’ll ask my friend that lent me these to photograph. One of the main things to notice that is usually overlooked is that while the Peck’s head is round, the bottom is not tapered. Most folks today that make popper heads will put a dowel on a mandrel and taper one end like a bullet, which when glued to the hook, the bottom will rise to the rear with the same taper as the top drops to the rear. To achieve the Peck’s shape, I slant and cup the face of a cylindrical shaped appropriate length head and glue to the hook. After dry, carve down the top and sides with a knife creating a “rought” taper and then just smooth out the carved taper with sand paper – the large fingernail sandpaper files work great for this. Hope that helps until I get some measurements. A general rule though would be to have the head diameter not exceed the hook gap by much.

      • Ben Cook

        The unique shape is what lets the bug move so high in the water. My dad and I used to throw the bugs onto the tall grass on banks. We would then shake them loose and let the ripples die down. Then we would make two little popping motions. Usually the second pop brought the strike. On one nice steep bank on the Guadalupe, you could catch a smallmouth then a largemouth just a yard or two further down the bank. Always fished with sun in our face and just changed sides of the river.

        • Kirk

          Ben, my friend, Ted Cabali, just wrote me back with the diameter.
          He wrote: “7/16″ for the 1/0 hook.”

  3. Ben Cook


    By your help and others at Louisiana flyforum, I got put in touch with Favaro’s Tackle in Baton Rouge. By some change in my luck, the shop had some Peck’s in the CBC configuration in size 2. I got 30 and have enough to last a year or so.

  4. Kirk Dietrich

    Cool! I never have that kind of luck.

  5. Ben Cook

    Now that I have one pattern covered, do you or anybody else make up cork or balsa body kits in 1/0, 2, 4 and long shank wide gap popper hooks.

    Hard foam cupped face kits are okay but the action is just not up to the balance and “floating higher profile” of say a Peck’s or an old Dixie/Marathon popper.

    Thanks again for the help, might have to learn to work with balsa.

  6. Kirk Dietrich

    Ben, I don’t make blanks to sell and not sure what hook you’re talking about. The Mustad 33903 is a nice long shank hook but I wouldn’t consider it to be a wide gap one. Catches fish though.
    They’re pretty easy to make yourself. Bunches of videos on-line.
    Not sure what an old Dixie/Marathon popper looks like. Have to email me a picture if you have one. kirkdiet@yahoo.com