Hopper season is coming!
While not exactly a big fan of some of the other bugs that tend to drive a brother nuts...I am a fan of the grasshopper.
Certainly not because he was lazy and didn't prepare for the winter...but because he is apparently the trout equivalent of Little Debbie Snacks in my own life: irresistible.
So I have been toying (unsuccessfully) with hopper patterns for the last couple years. I have only one that is effective, proven, easy to tie, and frankly...visually un-appealing to me. It is the Happy Hopper.
I can't really put my finger on what bugs me about the Happy Hopper, other than to say that it just doesn't scream grasshopper to me. Perhaps I should just accept that it doesn't quite look like a real grasshopper and quit getting so hung up on details.
So it is has been back to the drawing board for me. Time at the vise has been hard to come by lately, but I have taken the last couple of nights to slink on down to the lab for a foam hatch that's been brewin' for a while.
It has not been without it's ups and downs. After yesterday's effort, I was ready to just give up and accept the Happy Hopper for what it was...my best effort. And I was ready to give up foam entirely. My best efforts were...how should we say? ......Unfortunate.
Then, in a late night fit of Google searches on grasshopper patterns...I remembered this little blog I have in my favorites list that I hadn't scoured for a while: The Hopper Juan.
Thankfully, there is a great video on tying the original "Hopper Juan".
I can't take credit for creating this one...but I can take credit for following an excellent video tutorial and bringing my own version of the Hopper Juan to life. And...I am satisfied both with my efforts on a foam fly, as well as one that actually looks like a grasshopper.
The final chapter in this will be a picture of a nice trout with one of these bad boys hanging off the corner of his mouth.
Now...if only the rain will stop....