Hatches Made Easy:

Grasshoppers - (Acrididae/Tettigoniidae)            


Hooper Presentation:
Since most of the grasshopper that get into the water do so by accident, you
would certainly suspect that they sometimes fall from vegetation located along
the banks although some make the mistake of flying with no place to land but the
water. For this reason it is usually best to fish in a direction parallel to the banks
and place the fly as close to the bank as possible. This is where the trout are
more apt to be looking for hoppers and where you will probably have the best
Usually when a hopper finds itself in the water, it will make an effort to get out of
the water. They usually struggle for a short time until they either get back to the
bank or stop trying. Try catching one of the grasshoppers and tossing it into the
water. Watching the real thing will teach you what you need to imitate.
There is one thing about presenting a hopper is that unlike most flies. You don’t
have to concern yourself with making a quite presentation. When a hopper hits
the water, it usually makes a splash. So a quite presentation isn’t necessary and
in fact may not get as much attention from the trout as a splashy one.
Both the upstream and downstream cast near the bank will work. Generally
speaking, if there is much current, the upstream cast is preferred. In smoother,
calmer water of pockets along the banks and pools, the downstream approach
may be the best presentation.
In low, clear water it is best to use a long leader, at least ten foot, with 5X to 7X
tippet. I normally use a 6X under these conditions. Most likely the trout are going
to get a very good look at your imitation. Most of the time when a trout does take
your hopper imitation, it does it very aggressively. Just don't over react and
break the tippet setting the hook.  

Coming Up Next:
Crickets - (Gryllidae)                               

Copyright 2008 James Marsh
Two different colors
of grasshoppers in
one image.