Hopper Time: 6 Favorite Patterns

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Louis Cahill

What time is it boys and girls? Time to fish hoppers!

I don’t know if there is any kind of trout fishing more rewarding than fishing hoppers. Big bugs and big splashy takes under sunny summer skies. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m headed west in a few days and it has me looking over my terrestrial box for the usual suspects. With that in mind, I thought I’d share what I’m thinking.

Here are my current 6 favorite grasshopper patterns

Dave’s Hopper


I’m going old school for my first choice. I’ve been fishing this fly for as long as I can remember and it works as well today as it ever did. No space-age polymers in this baby but it sure gets eaten.

Reeces Beefcake Hopper


Where’s the beef? Right here. This spindly bug rides low in the water like the real thing and is tough as nails. It needs to be, ‘cause it gets chewed on.

Parachute Hopper


Another classic, but I have caught so many fish on this fly I can’t see taking it out of the rotation. It’s an easy pattern to tie as well.

Hog Caller Hopper


If this doesn’t get their attention, nothing will. A bright foam pattern that makes a big splat when it hits the water. Perfect for hopper-dropper rigs. I like this fly in fast or broken water where fish have to make a fast call.

Rainy’s Hopper


This is my go-to pattern when the fish are feeling a little shy. I fish them small and they work when nothing else does. They’re a little hard to see on the water but the fish find them just fine.

Takahashi’s Drowned Hopper


This little fly is dead sexy. I like it as a dropper behind a floating hopper pattern. It lowers the level of commitment for those big educated fish.

Stock up on these deadly hopper patterns and let us know how you do! You can always post photos of your fish on the G&G Facebook page or tag us on Instagraham. Now get hopping!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Hopper Time: 6 Favorite Patterns

  1. Great article as usual. Had to comment on the Dave’s Hopper. That little guy has provided countless hours of fun. Funny that the biggest smallmouth bass I ever caught was on a Dave’s.

    Fishing for bass here in PA I tend to start out with a popper but once the sun hits the water that’s pretty much done. I’ll tie on a Dave’s and start picking up pan fish and more often than not some nice bass.

    Really enjoy your work.


  2. I am definitely old school when it comes to hoppers and one of my more unusual patterns is really just a variation of a Joes Hopper with a lead wire under body and seriously mashed wings the more frazzled the better. This fly tumbled along the bottom and back under under cut banks is lethal but be ready to lose them with pretty high frenquency. That is why I tie these in the simpleist of patterns. I do put hopper legs on this pattern, made of knotted pheasant tail fibers, though not on the original

  3. My favorite Hopper fly is Vince Mariano (SP?) fly. Some might say it’s a lure but it does it’s job on real quiet water. Floats like a boat, splashes hard and well catches fish,
    You say,’How is it made’? Find it in his book. Fly you need to make in the winter. Many steps to the finish.
    Enjoy all the ideas Vince has on fishing in quite water, Latort river.

  4. Hopper fishing is definitely Dave Whitlock”s favorite form of fly fishing as he refers to it as “hoppertunities”. Daves hopper box is something else as he had more color variations of his classic hopper patterns than I have ever seen anywhere.

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