Thursday, December 14, 2017

Foam Hopper


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.

RECIPE:
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

PROCESS:
  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




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