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Bruce Chard’s Pollywog Rig for Silvers

Posted on February 28 2012

Bruce Chard's Popper Rig
Bruce rails in Alaska. Photo: Cameron Miller

Bruce Chard is best known as one of the elite guides in the Florida Keys, and as a fly fishing instructor.  He’s actually a really well-rounded angler who fishes all over the world.

Bruce loves fishing for silver salmon at Alaska West.  In fact, he’s hosting a group this summer and you can drop us a line if you’d like to join him.

Like a lot of anglers, Bruce likes catching silvers on topwater flies.  Here’s how he rigs himself up to chase silvers on top, and why.  Spoiler: this is not your typical silver salmon rig.  Make sure you read the commentary.

The Summary

  • Ross F1 #4 reel
  • Ross Rx 9′ 8 weight rod
  • Teeny Bruce Chard 8 weight Bonefish line [Huh? In Alaska? Yep…read on!]

The Detail

  • 20 pound dacron backing tied to the spool with a Uni Knot.
  • Bimini twist in the front end of the backing.
  • Fly line attached to the backing with a whipped loop in the back end of the fly line and a loop to loop connection.
  • Hand tied bonefish leader attached to the front end of the fly line with a whipped loop in the front of the fly line and a loop to loop connection.
  • Pink pollywog attached to the leader with a non-slip mono loop.

The Commentary

“I use my saltwater rig for popper fishing for silvers. Seriously, other than the fly, this is exactly what I fish for bonefish.”

“My line is designed to cast big, bulky, wind-resistant flies and pollywogs definitely qualify.  The line allows me to load the rod quicker, without carrying as much line in the air.  The saltwater core makes it stiffer in the cold water. That actually helps me to throw tighter loops and hold more energy in the system to carry the fly where it needs to go.”

“Everybody thinks saltwater lines in cold water are coily, but if you stretch the line out, tangling is really not a problem. It doesn’t tangle any more than in saltwater conditions – I just give it a stretch when it needs it.”

“I like the non-slip mono loop to the fly – I just think it gives the fly a little more action.”

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