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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Hopper / Hopper - Tandem Secrets


Even YellowStoneFly editor from the Idaho Fly Fishers blog learns new things every time he goes fly fishing. On a recent trip to the Big Horn River in south central Montana, only a stone's throw from Wyoming, I learned that in the dog days of summer trout are not leader shy even in extremely low and clear water. In late afternoon here, and in many western waters, hoppers fly off the banks in droves particularly when winds pick up. Fly fishing Idaho and Montana river banks can produce some explosive strikes and very large fish. Fish your hopper right on the bank, but I must say I have even caught some lunkers in the middle of large waters this time of year.

Permanent colored marking pens.
Do not forget, hoppers come in all sizes and colors, so really LOOK at what's on the water. Unlike the proverbial midge, they are easy to see. Many will fall right onto your vest, pants or hat. Do take a minute to check them out up close and personal. It is well worth the few seconds to do so. I will frequently take one of my YSF Stinger Foam Terrestrials in tan or white and color (with a permanent marker) the fly's underside with the prevailing color of the day. That's right, they may be green one day, yellow the next and orange the next. Sometimes they even have a pink hue. So be sure to check them out closely every day when they begin to hit the water. Be aware though, even though the prevailing color may be yellow, occasionally you will catch more fish by contrasting a pink or orange.

Color the underside - YSF Stinger
Now the biggie! As I stated  above, when there are large volumes of hoppers on the water, the trout are definitely not leader shy. If you have fished a tandem rig in the past, one of the problems you have is the hoppers run together. Try using a 1-0, 10-13 pound piece of monofilament tippet when tying them in tandem. A simple clinch knot will secure them. This prevents the flies from floating together and makes them easier to cast and prevents tangles. It's a great trick and I guarantee you'll have more strikes. I would like to say this is an Idaho fly fishing trick, but it actually does belong to Montana.

Thanks for looking and remember to fly fish Idaho this year if possible. It truly is worth the trip to our beautiful country. The Idaho Fly Fishers Association is waiting for you.

IdahoAngler@live.com

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PS - Check out related posts @ YSF Stinger Perfected (fishing techniques) and YSF Stinger Foam Terrestrial (fly tying).
               

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