Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Dave's Hopper fly is a great, dry fly that imitates a grasshopper. When Dave Whitlock does
something, he does it right and his Dave's Hopper fly is one fly anyone would have a difficult time
improving. It not only looks like a grasshopper, if fished correctly, it acts like one. Trout love
grasshoppers and they love Dave's imitation of them. There probably isn't a fly shop in America
that doesn't have a few Dave's Hoppers for sale, It is a very popular fly. It is also one that isn't very
easy to tie. Its deer hair head helps keep it floating high and dry. Its knotted feather legs look and
act like the real things. Over the years, the Dave's Hopper has caught thousands of trout as well
as other species of fish including bass and panfish. Smaller size Dave's Hoppers are great panfish
Grasshopper don't live in or even like getting in the water. They get into the water purely by
accident. They can fall from plants and bushes into the water, make a jump that they didn't think
would land on anything but the solid ground and end up in the water, but most of them that get in
the water get blown in by strong wind. Most of the time, they land in the water near the banks. For
that reason, we highly recommend fishing the Dave's Hopper parallel to the banks. That will keep
the fly in the most productive areas or strike zone, and help increase your odds of success.
Real grasshoppers that get in the water make an effort to get out of the water, or back to the bank.
If you want to experience this, just catch one and toss into the water. They usually kick wildly a few
times and eventually, probably from exhaustion, just stop kicking and drift. Watching the real thing
in the water will teach you a lot about how to present the fly.
You just about can't present a Dave's Hopper wrong. Of course, you don't want to splash the water
with your fly line, and you do want to straighten out the line and leader, but otherwise, how the fly
lands isn't very critical. It can land with a splash because that's how most of the real ones land.
Don't try to present the fly softly, or without making a splash. A splashy delivery may even help. It
can alert trout that can't see the fly that something has landed on the water. In situations where
lots of grasshoppers are getting blown into the water by high wind, the trout will eventually start to
look for them, or line up waiting on one to land in the water. I have witnessed this happen where
hay fields closely border trout streams that have a huge population of hoppers.
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