by Caleb Lockyer
Guide at Alaska Rainbow Lodge

Guide Confessions: Earplug Poppers Make Huge Splash

I love this story even though it forces me to admit to a huge mistake.

The lower Alagnak is one of those places we seek out at times to catch lots and lots of fish; specifically Chum salmon. On this particular day, I accompanied Mike Munoz and his father to the lowest part of the river I had fished all season. The tide was low and we were spotting huge pods of fresh, chrome Chummers. Conditions seemed perfect for an endless day reeling in dozens of huge, beautiful Salmon.

Except for one very important detail.

I forgot the popper box.

Mike and I brainstormed for a few minutes, hoping to save ourselves the time and trouble of flying back. We finally ended up taking an earplug from the plane and pairing it with a fuchsia leech – it seemed as plausible as anything. We’d either turn out to be geniuses or idiots.

Within a few casts, we decided we were geniuses. Either that, or these Chums were real team players. One after another found the earplug enticing enough to hit. With a little ingenuity and thought, Mike and I had devised a way to get these fish sucking in top water bait.

And on this day the earplug popper was born.

…Or we were just the first to write about it.