It’s August and the middle of hopper season and I thought I’d share my terrestrial fly box. While walking to the van today to get some flies, I saw this hopper on the driveway. I think it was a sign from the fish gods!
For me, August is a month where I experience a lull in insect hatches. Sure, you might find Caddis hatching in the evening, but many of the Mayflies take a break. It might have something to do with the hot days, but I’m not a scientist. You might need to adjust your fishing time for earlier or later in the day. If you arrive at the river mid-day, you’ll swear there are no fish in the river! Have you ever heard the term “dog days of summer”?
I’m not suggesting you won’t catch fish, it’s just more difficult. At least that’s my experience.
Just to reinforce the point, have you stopped at a fly shop while fishing new water to find out the latest report and hear ”you’re between hatches”?
Regardless, I have found terrestrials work well for me in August. It isn’t a hatch, but the fish seem to rise periodically and take advantage of easy prey floating down the river into their feeding lane.
We used to fish the Madison River in August and found great success with ant fly patterns. Now we arrive in early July to fish the Caddis hatch. Towards the end of our time on the river when fewer Caddis were visible, I started using an ant and the fish ate it.
Here is a terrestrial fly box with several flies I’ve had success with.
I’ll begin with a couple old school grasshopper fly patterns I carry.
And some favorite foam hopper fly patterns.
When hoppers aren’t around or don’t seem to work, an ant fly pattern is an excellent option, especially when blind-casting on your favorite river.
I’ve been using Arrick’s Parachute Ant with great success, but the other two fly patterns work as well.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t include these…
If you tie flies, here are a couple links to my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel:
- Beetle Bailey – https://youtu.be/Kjtbituqw3U
- Schroeder’s Parachute Hopper – https://youtu.be/Syu-tev2HVg
What’s your favorite terrestrial fly patterns?