Flies, Videos, Fish Stories

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Foam Hopper


I have tried lots of hopper patterns, and didn’t enjoy tying any of them. I ended up for a long time using bullet head deer hair versions, and almost quit using hopper patterns altogether, using large Stimulators instead.

Recently, Mikey Wier was presenting the program for Southern Oregon Fly Fishers, and selling a hopper that is all foam and solid rubber, and quite simple. So I bought one and copied it. I don’t know if he designed it or if he copied it from someone else. I find this fly straight-forward and fun to tie, and think you will enjoy it too - more importantly, find it effective.

Hook                           #8, 3XL (dimensions given here are for this hook, other sizes are possible, of course)
Thread                        Heavy, 210/3-0, so it does not cut foam. Keep thread untwisted to avoid cutting foam
Body                            Tan 2 mm foam, 8 mm wide and 3” long
Wing                           Brown 2 mm foam, 8 mm wide and 1” long
Legs                            2-1/2” Rubber leg material, preferred color, trimmed later
Visual                          Orange foam, small strip for top, if desired, or yarn

  1. Put hook through body strip somewhat off center (leave long enough on bottom to pull tight for trimming), and leave on bend, then place in vise.
  2. Lay base of thread along shank back to bend and form small ball to hold strip back. Make two or three wraps forward, and folding foam top and bottom, form the last section of tail.
  3. Hold back strip (top and bottom), wind thread two to three more wraps around shank and tie another section. Repeat this step twice more, to form four sections of abdomen/tail.
  4. Holding strips back, wind three wraps of thread around shank, and tie in 2 leg sections in middle, to form legs.
  5. Wrap thread forward over leg material about 3/16” under thorax.
  6. Tie down bottom section of foam behind eye, ahead of front legs, and trim close. Pull top section forward, making two or three wraps in same place.
  7. Split wing section to 3/16” of end, place uncut end about 1/8” beyond the eye of hook and fold back the tan foam over the wing, without allowing the foam to move. Holding the foam firmly in this position, make several wraps over the same spot, squeezing down the foam firmly w/o cutting into it.
  8. Whip finish a couple of times in the same spot, including the orange strip. Trim thread and then the strip (about 3/16” high).
  9. Trim and adjust legs as desired and glue whip finished thread to secure.

Tight threads!  Ed Morphis

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December SOFT Meeting

Southern Oregon Fly Tyers
Meeting on Tuesday, December 12, 2017
6:00 PM

8401 Old Stage Road, Gold Hill

The December SOFT meeting will feature a demo by Ed Morphis on Mikey Weir’s foam grasshopper. This is a great terrestrial pattern and Ed is a superb instructor. He w.ill have pattern handouts for you to follow.
Dan Kellogg will be at the tech table after the tying demo. This month will be all about wing cases.

Don’t miss this one, it promises to be a fun and informative evening  with your fly tying friends.
Bring some holiday treats and raffle prizes to share.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November Meeting

Southern Oregon Fly Tyers
Meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
6:00 PM
8401 Old Stage Road, Gold Hill

This months demo tier will be Dan Kellogg

The Orange Partridge (from T.E. Pritt, 1886)
Wings: Hackled with a well-dappled feather from a Partridge's back.
Body: Orange silk (This refers to orange tying silk, rather than silk floss. Silk floss has more sheen, and tying silk is stronger).
Partridge and Orange (American)
Hooks: MUSR70, TMC3769, or DIA1550, sizes 10-14.
Thread: Orange (note: Very often tied with black thread, Orvis makes them that way) E.A.
Abdomen: Orange floss.
Thorax: Dubbed with hare's mask fur.
Hackle: Mottled gray Hungarian partridge tied on as a collar.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October Meeting

Southern Oregon Fly Tyers
Meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017
6:00 PM
8401 Old Stage Road, Gold Hill

     I hope that everyone has had a great summer, a little hot for me but nonetheless some good fishing was had on our local streams and lakes.  Especially true for me on the upper Rogue river, the holy water, and Medco Pond.

    We will miss Dave Hamilton, but part of his legacy is the tying sessions and the fly’s he shared with all the members of SOFT.  It would be nice to set up a group tying session and horror him by tying 2-3 of his favorite fly’s which I will speak with Cathy Hamilton about.

     This session I will lead and tie a new pattern modeled after Mr. Paul Wolflick’s black Carey Special he uses on lakes very successfully.  We will also do a second variation of this fly which attempts to solve the “short strike” issue I found recently on the holy water of the Rogue River.  On 3 successive trips I have swung this fly successfully (17 for 25 with 14-22 inch fish, 8 for 13 with 10-18 inch fish and, 7 for 12 with 11-18 inch fish).  I broke many fish off on 3x tippet and finally went to 2x and the fish didn’t seem to mind.  A friend also nymphed with this fly for an 18 inch fish, also on the holy water.

     Let us not forget to bring flies for the raffle, and any items you may wish to donate for our raffle.  We also will have a table up for any items you may want to give to others (the “I have too much stuff” let’s give some to somebody else who can use it}.

    Also this summer the club donated 6 boxes of flies to Water Watch for their fundraising activities.

    I look forward to seeing everyone and the meeting and please bring friends or anyone who would like to participate with our group.

Pattern:          McBear’s UV Black Syn Carey (lakes) and Micro Intruder (rivers)

Lake version –

Hook – TMC 3761 size 8
Thread – Black Uni size 8/0 or 6/0
Body – Marc Pettijean Ice Dub #7, or Black UV Ice Dub from Hareline
Four Strands of Midge Flash Peacock (2 times body length
Hackle – Purple Pheasant Rump with one side stripped (2 – 3) turn
Black head with head cement

River Version – 

Senyo’s Micro Shank 23 mm (Fish Skull)
Hook- Owner Black Chrome Mosquito Hook size 8
Connector – White Spyder Line 20 lb
Thread – as above
Body – as above
Midge Flash – as above
Hackle – as above
Head – as above

Monday, September 11, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017


Coming up in just a months time, the next opportunity to help a veteran.  This program can make a huge difference in someones life.  It really came clear to me when I heard one of the veterans explain how it worked for him.  "When I am casting I don't have time to think about all the s*** that has my life all messed up.  I have to concentrate on my hands, arms, the rod and line.  It just keeps your mind busy".

You don't have to be the best caster or fisherman to make a difference.  Just being there tells the veterans that you care.  Click on the Project Healing Waters tab at the top.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dave Hamilton Remembered

There will be a "Celebration of Life" for Dave Hamilton on Sunday, August 20, from 1 - 4.  It will take place in the Evergreen Room, the community room overlooking the Rogue River, right next to the Taprock restaurant in Grants Pass.  There will NOT be a formal program -- it will be very casual ... just "open house"-style, so people can stop in any time to enjoy some light refreshments, look at pictures, and remember a wonderful man.  We hope that many of Dave's fly tying and fly fishing friends will be able to make it.

If  you want to send a card, it can be addressed to, Cathy Hamilton, 1143 Sleepy Hollow Loop, Grants Pass, OR, 97527.  Also per Cathy's request:  "In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society."