So, I finally got my butt out of bed to catch an early morning tide change this morning. The tide was about 5 AM. I hit the beach at 5:30. Pretty tough for this old man nowadays. Last night I decided I would tie up a couple of Leland's Poppers. I have hardly fished with them for coho, so I figured it was about time! I had some nice success with them sea run cutthroat fishing this year when I USED them! Last year I used a dry line while salmon fishing and my flies. Many times I could see the bulge behind the fly before the fish took, but not always. Well, that changed this morning with Leland's Popper. There were only a few fish that showed on the surface this morning, so I wasn't too enthused when I hit the beach, but somewhat optimistic. That's the way you have to be! And also, if you leave your cooler at home, you will catch fish!! So, I put on a pink and polar bear popper with a couple strips of peacock and a small amount of flash. I decided to use a #2 hook instead of a #4. (I decided on the #2 based on a couple of posts on here that "Stonefish" (Brian) has made on here in past posts, so I thought I would take his advice, as, he claimed to have better hookups). I was working the water and had made a good number of casts before finally enticing a follow. The bulge behind those poppers will drive you crazy if you haven't tried it. First fish nipped and I pulled it away. Fool... I'm not sure how many fish I had follow before the next take. Slam! I raised my rod to set, and oops, unbuttoned another. I did this at least one more time, then I remembered you are supposed to do a "strip-set" of some kind. I'm not very well versed in this, but I think I understand the concept. I can't exactly tell you why it works, other than you can feel the fish take the fly better before applying pressure with a final set. I may need some lessons more precise from Leland on exactly how it works, but, after two other fish came unbuttoned, I think I might have it figured. So, I hooked up on probably 3 fish, and the last one lost seemed pretty good sized as it thrashed free after 10 seconds. Damn! I must say tho, it is a really good rush to have a coho bulge behind your fly and follow for maybe 15 feet before taking. Wholly crap, I love that!! Drives you crazy!!! It CAN be better than sex! I finally nailed a fish. She ran so very well. I started to think it was bigger than I intially thought. It ripped line and took about 4 good runs and plenty of line, although I usually have my drag set fairly lightly. Beached it and got back out on the water. Again, I had some follows several times, and frankly can't remember if I poked them or not. Finally hooked up again with a fish similar in size, but not quite as fiesty. This all happened between 5:40 and 6:30 AM. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Steve Knapp here on WFF also before leaving, and his friend, Fritz if I remember the name right. Steve and I have been meaning to fish together and it just hasn't happened yet officially, so it was fun to run into him. Steve hooked up and landed a fish before I left. Anyway, I am glad to put some confidence into Leland's Popper. What a rush....! Yeah Baby! I hope I brightened your day for those of you that are not retired yet. Get out there when you can! These were my first Coho's for the season. Time to fire up the smoker.