Monday, July 20, 2009
With the dog days of Summer settling in, one of my favorite games in fly fishing is here - Presenting grass hopper patterns to big bank feeders. Fishing hoppers is much more than just casting to a bank and giving the fly a splat. I got my masters degree in fishing hoppers on the banks of the Madison river in Montana. It took me years to come up with a pattern that floated all day, kept a low profile, and made refusals a thing of the past. Typical hopper patterns were of no interest to these brutes, in fact after getting no looks from my fly, I would send a natural down the current lane and sure enough the fish gulped it down. I then tried a club sandwich hopper tied with foam and rubber legs. It did the job quite well but I wanted more. I took that fly and simplified it, no bells or whistles. The results were awesome, and one fine day I C&R 17 fish all over 20"! Presentation is key when going after big bank feeders. I like to present the hopper "fly first", feeding out line much like a Fall River drift. Walking softly, and keeping a low profile is a must - I'm talking hands and knees here. Ideal bank habitat for large trout include undercuts, depth, high grass, and willows. These elements give them security, and you the angler a greater chance of hooking up. Yep, now is the time for a hoppertunity, and a oh what a game!