Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

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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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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hoppers - Really Big Hoppers!


Orthoptera - aka Fish Food
Phylum Arthropoda - Arthropods
     Subphylum Hexapoda - Hexapods

 
          Class Insecta - Insects
               Order Orthoptera - Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids
 
That's right, hoppers are back in Idaho after an almost 3 year lull and they are HUGE. Except for a few last summer, most had disappeared. I don't know whether it was the moisture (we got lots of rain), the temperature (it was mild) or the wolves (they'll eat anything and we love to blame them in Idaho for decreasing wildlife populations). Anyway, trout love them.
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Big Horn Brown with a mouth full.
 

 
Fly fishermen don't generally like the wind. But if you like to catch fish, particularly large fish, the wind can be your ally. This time of year the fish like to lie deep or at the rocky edges of larger rivers to feed and hide from the birds of prey. As the day warms, the hoppers begin to move (fly) on the "hopper banks" (flat grassy land next to the water). As they fly, the wind catches them and they land often on the water's edge and float downstream. The hoppers naturally become trout food; really big morsels for sometimes really big fish.
 
Just watch and listen for the huge splashes as the fish chase, catch and eat those six-legged insect from their riverbank smorgasbord. It can make for a very exciting time for the Idaho Fly Fisher particularly this time of year. Oh what I wouldn't give to be fishing the Big Horn this time of year when the locust blow into the river from the wheat fields above. Oh yeah. That's right. I'll be there in 2 weeks. Hopefully the Orthoptera will be there as well.
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Nice Big Horn Brown
during hopper season 2011.
 
On this occasion, try out the YSF Stinger. A simple fly to tie and a great pattern for these hopper days. Check out closely the color of your local grasshoppers and use permanent colored markers to change your YSF Stinger appropriately. When casting, splash them down hard; if tied correctly, they WILL NOT SINK. Twitch them frequently on top just like real live hoppers. At the end of the drift try stripping down just beneath the surface. I honestly believe the fish sometimes believe they are minnow and strike them very aggressively.
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

PS-Don't forget those Hopper/Hopper Tandem Secrets.  
 
Hard takes, tight lines, sore arms and exciting hopper takes to you all.
 
 
 
 

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