March 2009--A

Redas Hopper

Jeffery Skeate

Redas Hopper

Hook: #10 or #12 fine-wire dry fly hook, standard length--the photo is a #12
Thread:8/0 Pre-waxed black
Tail:Red yarn tag and looped yellow dubbing material (or an Antron loop) to form a “butt”
Legs: Knotted turkey tail quill segments
Wing:White kip (calf) tail
Head: Mixed brown and grizzly hackle
Hackle: Brown and Grizzly mixed
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
Tying Instructions:
  1. Attach thread to hook.
  2. Tie on short red yarn “tag”.
  3. Tie yellow dubbing (or Antron) loop over yarn tag to form “butt”.
  4. Tie on rough brown dubbing hackle feather.
  5. Dub yellow body towards eyelet and a little more than half-way to it.
  6. Wrap brown palmering feather over yellow dubbing and trim, leaving a “beard” to cover the hook point.
  7. Attach two pre-knotted turkey tail quill segments just above the dubbing to form hopper legs. Trim to appropriate length.
  8. Attach white kip tail wing. Use Just The Right Amount!
  9. Attach both brown and grizzly hackle feathers at base of kip tail and wrap both to eyelet to form “head”.
  10. Finish tying off fly in the method you prefer.

There are probably as many Grasshopper patterns in existence as there are grasshoppers! This is a pattern I have developed over a number of years of hopper fishing, and it contains ideas I’ve liked and built into the fly (from many other well-established patterns) to suit my own fishing preferences. The main reasons I like the pattern are its high visibility, its very high flotation capabilities and its attractiveness to trout. The legs are of extreme importance. They add an incredible attracting quality to the pattern. I use the Rainy’s EZ Leg Tool to pre-tie hopper legs, but knotted hopper legs can also be tied by hand - it just takes a bit longer. The white kip tail is without a doubt my favorite wing material for this particular pattern, although some tyers use moose main, rabbit’s foot fur or other materials equally effectively. I like kip tail because it floats well, is highly visible, is very easy to work with and does not trap water. The fly should be fished on 4X tippet. Trout are not distracted by 4X tippet for large dry flies even in extremely low and clear water, assuming the fishermen has good approach and presentation techniques. Also, 4X tippet give the fisherman an advantage with larger trout. In northeast Iowa, start fishing hoppers around the Fourth Of July! You’ll see some excellent fireworks!

Photograph ©2009 by Marv Slind