In the late summer time when everyone is ready to throw big, nasty hoppers, I like to take it down a notch and throw some small hoppers. Why? Why not? Around my neck of the woods, especially on the South Platte River, the fish have seen a billion imitations of cranefly larva to BWOs by the 4th of July. On certain sections, Hoppers really don't get the love. There just isn't many of them out there and the fish don't necessarily need to eat them. They will if it is an opportunity to them and they are looking for anything to eat, but I have seen them completely ignore a big meaty hopper when they are eating Tricos and PMDs. On other stretches of rivers, I just like to offer them a smaller bite, something that they are willing to eat. More than once I have seen them half-heartidly attempt to eat a size 8 hopper, but when offered a size 12 or 14 hopper, there is no hesitation.
The pattern below is a smaller version of my Hopper Juan. I tie it on a short shanked size 10 hook. It's an easy modification of the original and quite easy to tie. I like the short shanked hook because the hook gap is large while keeping the body short and small. I'd say it's more like a size 14 2X hook, but with a gap to hook fish.
It's not too late for hoppers right now. I am still offering them to fish and they are still eating them. Tie some up and go have some fun!
Hook: Size 10 Short Shank Hook
Thread: 6/0 MFC Sand
Body: Med. size cut 2mm foam
Under Wing: Pearl Krystal Flash
Wing: MFC Widow's Web, Tan
Indicator: MFC Gator Hair, Hot Pink
Legs: MFC, Small Barred Tan Sexi-Legs
|Pierce foam onto hook shank and make a layer of thread
|Secure with 3 thread wraps
|Add super glue to secure the foam to the thread
|Add 2nd piece of foam and secure with 3 wraps
|Add more glue and repeat
|Once you get 3 segments, tie off bottom foam with several wraps and cut close
|Use micro tip scissors here
|You will have little "nubs" from the cut
|Secure with several wraps of thread
|Add more glue and secure top piece of foam
|Take thread back to middle segmented add some flash
|Add your overawing of Widow's Web.
|Add legs to each side
|Secure wing and foam with more glue
|Fold back the top section of foam and secure with 2 wraps
|Add in the indicator material
|Whip finish and cut material to length