Yes, it’s that time of year. It’s time to pull out your hopper fly patterns and start fishing them.
What are your favorite patterns?
My favorite hopper fly patterns have changed over the years as creative fly designers started using foam in their creations. I used to fish hoppers tied with deer hair and heavily dubbed bodies. For some reason, I had an aversion to using foam. Guess it was because it didn’t seem like a natural material. Well, if I look at my fly tying bench, I’ll find other non-natural materials as well. Like rubber legs, tinsels, flash-back. You get the idea.
Here are the older flies I used to fish:
They look fishy, right? Well, they caught fish. They were heavy and would land on the water with a heavy “splat”. That action attracts the fish.
More recently, I’ve gone to foam hopper fly patterns.
The Improved Chaos Hopper fly is a fish-catching machine! I found it at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Mt. The original Chaos Hopper had some hackle to help float it and the foam wasn’t folded back.
Any fly Ken Morrish creates is a great fly! Have you fished any of his flies? He has a great salmonfly imitation.
This is an effective hopper pattern as well.
Maybe it’s the profile that allows these foam flies to work so well. You know, low in the water and wide body.
Foam is incorporated in other effective flies I’ve talked about:
- Chubby Chernobyl – or click on my blog post Chubby Chernobyl Fly Patterns
- Beetle Bailey – this fly uses foam and has been very effective. I talk more about it in Fly Fishing with Beetles.
- Damsel flies – check out the use of foam in my version of the Braided Butt Damsel Fly or read a recent blog post Damsel Flies.
So try one of these soon on a river near you. Just watch for the hoppers!
What hopper patterns do you use?