A couple days of rain and cooler temperatures may have slowed the hopper bite temporarily, but the precipitation is needed. Overall the fish continue to rise to the foam bugs, and brown trout pictures are rolling in from friends and customers – keep it up y’all! Our good friend and guide Brock Dickson was kind enough to share some of his client’s fish with us. Working in and around the fly shop, it’s easy to become desensitized to pictures of big browns, but the quality of brown trout that can be caught on dry flies from the White River is nothing short of amazing. It surely rivals any Rocky Mountain drainages for consistently producing big browns on terrestrials.
One nice thing about our hopper season is that it lasts so long – we’ve had decent action for over a month now and the best is yet to come! August is prime time, September can be lights out as well, and in warm years action continues into October. Come see us at the shop for advice on hopper patterns and how to fish them. We’ve got plenty of foam and rubber legs too if you’re the type to create your own.
Match your hoppers to the water flows you are fishing. In minimum flow up to about 3,000 cfs stick with #12 and #10. In higher water go with #8 and #6. Pink or black bellied hoppers like Gould’s Western Lady and Chernobyl Juicy Bugs are favorites, but tan and peach varieties will pull big fish as well. Hoppers may be the glamour fly of the season, but running Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, and Copper Johns as droppers under your dry fly will save your day when the hoppers aren’t working. Don’t forget your fly floatant to keep your bugs floating high and dry – we have several varieties to choose from.
Low flows in the morning hours are fishing exceptionally well with Hunchback Scuds, Wotton Sowbugs, Ruby and Rootbeer midges. Hopper-dropper setups can work really well on the ‘fork as well, but try smaller terrestrials like foam ants and beetles, with small midges for droppers. When high water hits in the afternoon, try a Sunday Special or other heavy, large profile nymphs, with midges or smaller nymphs trailing as a second fly. A brightly colored San Juan worm with a scud trailer is deadly too around the edges of deep pools.