I know that I am jumping the gun by about 6-7 months but this last summer I finally discovered a grasshopper pattern that was exceptionally productive for Idaho Fly Fishing. Like many of you I have tried numerous different grasshopper patterns with varied success.
The Joe’s Hopper has been all but worthless, including all the subtle variations.
The parahopper (grey and tan bodies) has been a good fly and has caught a lot of fish. It’s always good to have some of these in sizes 8-14. One big problem with the parahopper: floatation! Once this fly is taken a few times you can’t keep it on the surface. Add a dropper? It will sink the fly every time, which is frustrating at best!
I tried various foam hoppers with varying success.
Finally this year, thanks to Portneuf River Outfitters in Pocatello, I discovered a foam hopper pattern that the fish consumed with eagerness. One day on the Blackfoot, I caught around 50 fish (mostly 6-10 inchers) on this pattern. They were attacking it with abandon. I even hooked and landed 3 20+ inchers in this fly while losing 5-6 more.
So what is the pattern? Alas, I don’t have a picture at the moment but I will post a picture with the additional info on my next post. Stay tuned!
Plastic Waterproof Fly Box – White
Terrestrial Trout Fly Fishing Flies Collection
Handbook Of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Foods Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them
Okuma S-903-5 Cascade Fly Combo (5wt, 9-Feet)
Hook:# 8-18 heavy nymph
Bead: 1/8-5/64th gold bead depending on hook size
Thread: Red 6/0 uni thread
Tail: Guard hairs from Hares mask or ear
Rib: Small gold Ultra wire
Abdomen: Hares ear plus dubbing (natural Hares –ear)
Wing case: Turkey tail feather
Thorax: Hares ear plus dubbing (natural Hares-ear)
A bead head hare’s ear is a must have for any Idaho fly box. It imitates most nymph patterns and works as a prime dropper pattern off a hopper, terrestrials, wooly worms, etc. Fish will often pass the top fly only to hit the dropper hare’s ear as it passes. I recommend keeping at least 8 of these in your box with sizes between 12-18 (mostly in the 14-16 range).
Good luck with your fishing!
Hook: Size #10-#20 (or any standard dry fly hook)
Thread: Grey or black 8/0
Wing: Grizzly hackle tips (hen)
Tail: Hackle fibers~grizzly/brown/grizzly
Abdomen: Muskrat underfur
Hackle: Grizzly and Brown (rooster/neck)
The Adams is great overall mayfly imitation that works just about any time of the year when there is a mayfly hatch. All trout varieties in Idaho will take the Adams. Sizes 16 and 18 seem to the most common sizes for most Idaho streams.
Hook: Size 2-10
Bead: Brass bead head sized to fit (can be tied without a bead but the weight is nice)
Weight: 6-10 wraps of lead wire
Thread: Tan 8/0
Tail: Mottled turkey wing
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Under wing: Grey squirrel tail hair, orange Marabou, pearl Krystal Flash (in order)
Wing: Mottled turkey wing, paired
Head/Collar: Spun deer hair (natural color), trimmed cone head style)
The Muddler Minnow is a great all around streamer for most Idaho streams and rivers. The Muddler is especially effective in the Salmon River Drainage when fishing for trout (i.e. 24+ inch Bull Trout). I have also caught fish in the Snake River Drainage on Muddler Minnows.
This is the pattern that was killer on the Blackfoot River earlier this year. All the 14″+ fish were taking this fly like crazy. They were hitting the fly at the end of the run when the fly hit the end of the fly line and there was tension on the line – essentially when the fly was floating in the whole for a few seconds. Here’s the detailed info:
HOOK: 5262 or 3761, sizes 8-18 (Size 14-16 was tops on the Blackfoot)
THREAD: Brown or black
TAIL: Hares mask guard hairs or fibers clipped from a squirrel or rabbit Zonker Strip
RIB: Gold mylar tinsel or copper wire
ABDOMEN: Blended hares ear; keep it thin
WINGCASE: Turkey tail coated with Flexament
THORAX: Same as abdomen. After tying, pick out a few hairs so they look like legs
The Hares Ear can be tied weighted or unweighted. Dark brown is the most productive body color; dark olive and tan can also work well, but be sure to compare the color of wet dubbing to the natural (and wet) insect.