Upper left: select dubbing to match eventual body color and apply to thread. Start dubbing the tied down body section to cover thread. Hold legs to rear and dub in front of them to hold in the insects natural position. Continue dubbing forward towards eye. Use one piece of the excess silicon on each side to create the smaller legs. Tie down tightly and each leg should splay out to create the two small legs you see in photo. Continue dubbing forward to cover all the thread wraps. Color the hopper body using permanent markers now.
Upper Right: wing and back of hopper are a single feather. I like speckled hen back for this but any soft hackle feather of length sufficient to cover the foam can be used. Coat the feather with Gorilla glue and straighten the fibers between them and forefinger as shown in photo. Check the last photo (lower right) for position. Tie down the feather over the back of the body at the end of the dubbing towards the eye. Bring the remaining feather over the head of the hopper and tie it off, clip excess stem.
Lower Left: thread a stiff hair through a fine sewing needle as shown. You can use whatever you like. I prefer peccary but deer body, bucktail, even bristles from a paint brush all work. Sew the hair at a 45 degree angle through the head from hook eye towards the dubbing. Pull hair to appropriate length and clip off excess. Repeat on other side to create antennae.
Lower Right: add glue on eyes if desired as shown. You might like to add a tiny bit of Gorilla glue to the back of the fly towards the hook bend and press the feather down to keep it flat. Not really necessary but neatens thing up a bit IMHO. Hoppers done, looks hard but isn’t and you’re friends will think you are a master of realism.
Success of hopper is due to both its silhouette/profile and the movement of those legs as you twitch it on retrieve. Looking to see your efforts Abe.
@Abe C. Sorry Abe, let me suggest you don’t give up on this one if you want to tie a hopper pattern. I know that having the right materials makes this pattern easier.
Another easy hopper pattern is a good old-fashioned “Joe’s Hopper”. You can find videos for tying this one on the net. It’s got a great hopper silhouette but lacks the “wiggling” legs that drives the fish crazy.
I hope you will seek out the correct materials for my post but there are lots of other hopper-like patterns that you can try after viewing videos on the net. Wishing you the best of luck on this.
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