SUMMER is here and the thoughts of fly fishers turn to brown trout eating terrestrials off the surface.
It’s hard to know what is better, the toilet bowl flush as your fly is sucked under, the sight of a dorsal fin rolling over your fly or the classic white open mouth swalling your bug. Any of them are among the finest sights in fly fishing.
Hopper fishing is visual, visceral and a test of mental strength, especially in high flows which narrows the gap between overhanging trees and the surface of the river, when being tight to the bank is critical.
The banks of our tailwaters aren’t classic pastures which fuel traditional grasshopper fishing. Instead the banks are a mix of tall trees, river cane, grasses, bushes, even lawn. In such a mixed environment expect a myriad of bugs, including grasshoppers, crickets, leaf hoppers, beetles and ants.
Hopper fly boxes follow the natural smorgasbord: chunky cicada bodies like Fat Alberts, or perhaps more “hopperish” patterns like Morrish Hoppers or Western Ladies. Chubby Chernobyls or the Psycho Ant just resemble food.
Heavier tippet, either 3x or 2x stops these bigger flies from spinning up leaders, and to handle big brown trout in cover.
Some afficianados prefer a slower paced rod, others quick modern sticks but most will pull our a 6wt for easier work particularly in the wind.