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Thread: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

  1. #1

    Default How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    So I'm still relatively new to fly fishing. On top of a lot of reading I've gone fishing twice now with a guide so I sort of know what I'm doing I'm going fishing this weekend, as well as next weekend on my own, went to the shop I like and they recommended a small selection of PMD nymphs/flys and a couple of hoppers. How ever it slipped my mind to ask a few questions that I have so hopefully you guys can help me out.

    I have collected a few spools of tippet made by Rio in 4x through 6x but some of it is a Powerflex with a red label and some of it is Fluoroflex + with a purple label. What are the differences between the two, are there different uses for the 2 kinds?

    Both times I went fishing with a guide I was set up with 2 flies, something like a San Juan worm with a nymph following behind, all while using a float indicator. These were always rigged up by the guide and I didn't pay enough attention to the distances used between the indicator,fly 1 and fly 2. Is there a good rule of thumb or tips I can follow when setting up distances between the 3? What about using a dry fly followed by a nymph, any tips?

    Finally, whats the best way to fish a hopper? Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
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    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Hello and welcome to the forum,

    When I fished the grass hopper imitations down there I would start by staying back from the edge of the water on my side of the stream and try to reach out and dap the edge before I waded in. This was done only if the water looked as if it may well be holding some fish. Somehow we always think that there are always fish on the other side of the stream no matter which side we are on. So.......first thing to think of is that when you approach the water, you are on 'the other side'.

    When you are fishing small creeks as may well be the case there in Colorado you may want to consider whether you are right or left handed as a caster. This matters because you will end up fishing upstream and casting the hopper to the edges where they are most likely to be hitting the water when they fall in. The right / left hand thing dictates which side of the stream you'll want to be slowly and cautiously creeping up along.

    Take your time, get used to casting the fly with accuracy and watch for the presence of grass hoppers. You'll want the heavier tippet material for the larger flies also.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  4. #3

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    deleted post
    Last edited by silver creek; 08-29-2013 at 11:43 PM.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  5. Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Fiend:

    One approach to the Tandem Fly method, is to regard your Hopper as the "Indicator". Fish anything you like, beneath it.
    Welcome to the world of Fly Crying

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  7. #5

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    The difference between the powerflex and the fluoroflex is that the fluoroflex is a fluorocarbon while the powerflex is monofilament. For all intents and purposes at the beginning level there isnt a whole lot of difference between the two given they are the same diameter. Some of the advantages of fluorocarbon that help to justify the extra cost are that one, it is slightly more abrasion resistant, it is invisible in water because the refractive properties of fluorocarbon match water and will sink. Mono will be slightly more limp however and it will float which can make it better for dries while the fluoro will be invisible and sink making it better for nymphing generally. Obviously there are other factors but that should cover the basics.

    Also, as far as the adjustment of the indicator and weight. Its a good idea to keep indicator length about 1.5-2x the water depth you are fishing from the indicator to the weight. And dont be afraid to keep changing the depth! Then space the weight about 12-18 inches above the point fly and the dropper around 12-18 behind that. Just a general nymph rig that you can toy with and adjust to your waters!

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  9. #6

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    I deleted my original post. It was late last night and I started to reply but then I couldn't take the time. Normally I would.

    Let me try to help you in the gentlest way I can.

    First off you are asking really basic questions such as the difference between fluoro and mono, how to rig and fish a hopper/ dropper, etc; and yet you say "you've read a lot." I suspect by that you mean you've read a lot of short pieces on the internet, but not really a book that covers the basics of fly fishing.

    So my first suggestion is to go to the library and look at books under fly fishing to see if there is a good one you that covers the basics. You need a logical framework to organize the small snippers of information you have been reading.

    My second comment is that you wasted a lot of time with the guide and it was not the guide's fault. Whenever you hire a guide or someone takes you fishing, there are two words that need to be on your mind. They are "HOW?" and WHY".

    When the guide rigged the indicators and flies you should have asked "How are you doing that" and Why, as in Why is the indicator up 4 feet from the bottom fly. Why are the flies "X" inches apart. Why did you use the fly X for the top fly and fly Z for the bottom fly? Why did you have me cast there? How did you know to cast there? Why did you have me pick up there? Why did I have to mend? What other mends are there?

    Why? How? What? The guide can not only show you how to fish but WHY he does what he does. You only need to ask. The next time you get a guide tell him right at the start that you want him/her to teach you how to do things for yourself and in fact you want to rig up your own flies and gear, and you want him/her to teach you how to find and rig up to find fish on your own.

    I suggest you start with my FAQs I wrote for FF@.

    Henry's faqs menu


    Quote Originally Posted by fiend540 View Post
    So I'm still relatively new to fly fishing. On top of a lot of reading I've gone fishing twice now with a guide so I sort of know what I'm doing I'm going fishing this weekend, as well as next weekend on my own, went to the shop I like and they recommended a small selection of PMD nymphs/flys and a couple of hoppers. How ever it slipped my mind to ask a few questions that I have so hopefully you guys can help me out.

    I have collected a few spools of tippet made by Rio in 4x through 6x but some of it is a Powerflex with a red label and some of it is Fluoroflex + with a purple label. What are the differences between the two, are there different uses for the 2 kinds?

    Both times I went fishing with a guide I was set up with 2 flies, something like a San Juan worm with a nymph following behind, all while using a float indicator. These were always rigged up by the guide and I didn't pay enough attention to the distances used between the indicator,fly 1 and fly 2. Is there a good rule of thumb or tips I can follow when setting up distances between the 3? What about using a dry fly followed by a nymph, any tips?

    Finally, whats the best way to fish a hopper? Thanks guys!
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  10. #7

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Check out the "mini rig" at flyfishersplaybook | "Fear No Water"

    May answer a question or two.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    The Woodlands, TX & Avon, CO
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicknick222 View Post
    The difference between the powerflex and the fluoroflex is that the fluoroflex is a fluorocarbon while the powerflex is monofilament. For all intents and purposes at the beginning level there isnt a whole lot of difference between the two given they are the same diameter. Some of the advantages of fluorocarbon that help to justify the extra cost are that one, it is slightly more abrasion resistant, it is invisible in water because the refractive properties of fluorocarbon match water and will sink. Mono will be slightly more limp however and it will float which can make it better for dries while the fluoro will be invisible and sink making it better for nymphing generally. Obviously there are other factors but that should cover the basics.

    Also, as far as the adjustment of the indicator and weight. Its a good idea to keep indicator length about 1.5-2x the water depth you are fishing from the indicator to the weight. And dont be afraid to keep changing the depth! Then space the weight about 12-18 inches above the point fly and the dropper around 12-18 behind that. Just a general nymph rig that you can toy with and adjust to your waters!
    +1 Nick did a very good job of spelling it out for you. Follow his advice and keep practicing while on the water. You will learn more from the time you spend there. Don't be afraid to ask your favorite shop any questions and take all of their advice and add it to Nick's for a head start to pure enjoyment. Also, take the time to read books and articles about hatches, rigs, how to read water and each time you go to the river it all will seem to make more sense.
    Roger
    "Nostalgia is not what it used to be."

  12. Likes nicknick222 liked this post
  13. #9

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicknick222 View Post
    The difference between the powerflex and the fluoroflex is that the fluoroflex is a fluorocarbon while the powerflex is monofilament. For all intents and purposes at the beginning level there isnt a whole lot of difference between the two given they are the same diameter. Some of the advantages of fluorocarbon that help to justify the extra cost are that one, it is slightly more abrasion resistant, it is invisible in water because the refractive properties of fluorocarbon match water and will sink. Mono will be slightly more limp however and it will float which can make it better for dries while the fluoro will be invisible and sink making it better for nymphing generally. Obviously there are other factors but that should cover the basics.

    Also, as far as the adjustment of the indicator and weight. Its a good idea to keep indicator length about 1.5-2x the water depth you are fishing from the indicator to the weight. And dont be afraid to keep changing the depth! Then space the weight about 12-18 inches above the point fly and the dropper around 12-18 behind that. Just a general nymph rig that you can toy with and adjust to your waters!
    Awesome, that's pretty much what I remember the guide explaining about the setup we were using it's just been awhile since that trip and I wanted to make sure what I was thinking was on the right track.


    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    I deleted my original post. It was late last night and I started to reply but then I couldn't take the time. Normally I would.

    Let me try to help you in the gentlest way I can.

    First off you are asking really basic questions such as the difference between fluoro and mono, how to rig and fish a hopper/ dropper, etc; and yet you say "you've read a lot." I suspect by that you mean you've read a lot of short pieces on the internet, but not really a book that covers the basics of fly fishing.

    So my first suggestion is to go to the library and look at books under fly fishing to see if there is a good one you that covers the basics. You need a logical framework to organize the small snippers of information you have been reading.

    My second comment is that you wasted a lot of time with the guide and it was not the guide's fault. Whenever you hire a guide or someone takes you fishing, there are two words that need to be on your mind. They are "HOW?" and WHY".

    When the guide rigged the indicators and flies you should have asked "How are you doing that" and Why, as in Why is the indicator up 4 feet from the bottom fly. Why are the flies "X" inches apart. Why did you use the fly X for the top fly and fly Z for the bottom fly? Why did you have me cast there? How did you know to cast there? Why did you have me pick up there? Why did I have to mend? What other mends are there?

    Why? How? What? The guide can not only show you how to fish but WHY he does what he does. You only need to ask. The next time you get a guide tell him right at the start that you want him/her to teach you how to do things for yourself and in fact you want to rig up your own flies and gear, and you want him/her to teach you how to find and rig up to find fish on your own.

    I suggest you start with my FAQs I wrote for FF@.

    Henry's faqs menu
    Maybe I should have pointed this out in the original post, but I did ask these questions. Those trips being 3+ months ago I guess I was looking more for answers that would reassure what I had previously learned and that I was remembering things correctly. Things like mono vs fluoro was something that never really came up and we didn't use or talk about a hopper so it never crossed my mind to ask about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by double dry View Post
    Check out the "mini rig" at flyfishersplaybook | "Fear No Water"

    May answer a question or two.
    It certainly does, but raises another one lol. So the way I have fished, and was shown how to rig is the dropper is attached to the hook rather than the eye to eye like is pictured. Is their an advantage of one over the other?

  14. #10

    Default Re: How to fish a hopper, and some rigging questions

    Hoppers...here's a few things I do:

    Match the tippet to the fly. 2/3x will give a lot of control casting your fly if you are using #10-#6 hoppers. A hopper fish is not leader shy and you sometimes have to stuff the fly in tight to snags and banks. You'll need that extra tippet strength to yank your flies loose and if your not snagging your fly occasionally...your not getting in there tight enough. Caution...learn the roll flip or pull from the reel to free flies from snags, if you use the rod tip, you can break the rod.

    On my bank, I will sometimes cast from well back (30 Ft. or so) across dry land and have only a few feet of the tippet land in the water. I will also make a cast, standing at the stream bank, upstream and have the fly line lay across the bank and grass and allow only the leader to land so as to not spook the fish all the way up the bank. You'll have to know how too do a roll pickup to make your next cast or you will fight a snag on every cast.

    Hoppers need dry wings before they can become active...so this is sunshine fishin', but the trout hate the light so look for shade to drift your fly in...even if it's from a clump of overhanging grass, a limb, a bank, rock ledge, or a leaf casting a shadow through the surface. Best fishing will be with the sun in your face.Tall grass is a sure sign of hoppers and a brisk off-bank breeze will send the hoppers plopping into the water. A hard cast that tucks your fly and makes a splat on the water will get you fish and this cast can even be behind the fish...the fish will hear the fly splat and whirl around and attack it. Should you make a perfect dead drift cast and get no response after a couple of feet give the fly one twitch. A twitch will get a stubborn fish excited.

    I move along...I pick the water to death with casts here and there and don't spend a lot of time in a hole with the hoppers. I go upstream even though I'll fish a cast down and across to the far bank. Be courteous on public water with lots of fisherman...hob-nailing from hole to hole won't make you any friends with the guy who's matching a hatch or dredging nymphs through the bottom of a hole...give a wide berth.

    As far as flies go.....I use a Lawson's bullet head hopper pattern. I'm not concerned with legs and eyeballs and red tails and rely more on the presentation than the pattern. The pattern has to float and I have to be able to see it. When the trout are on hoppers it's bigness form and ugliness that count. Use whatever hopper pattern you have confidence in.



    On leaders and tippets, no big deal here. Whats ever on the market will change and preferences will only be what is available. Modern stuff is up on the strength rating and quality control keeps suppliers in business...so buy what's in your shop and don't fret over it. If knots don't hold between dissimilar materials use a perfection loop to loop handshake connection. I use all nylon.

    Multi-fly rigs I just don't get....so your on your own with that concept. I've always got along with one fly and that's the way my way is. I can understand the dry and dropper giving the ability to see the take on the the smaller fly but over the years I can't recall myself needing this presentation. Personally I have always found it a handicap if I couldn't see the dry fly I was fishing and have made adjustment to the flies I fish so that I can see them. Flies with white wings really fish well!...If you can follow the drift of your fly you can make adjustments on following casts to compensate for a bad presentation.....walk the fly into the fish zone casting a short cast at the target and inching your way with subsequent casts to the drift that you want over the spot you think holds a fish.

    Finally .. on nymph fishing...it's just like fishing a worm. You bait up, add some weight to put it on the bottom and cast upstream carefully watch the drift of your line as it travels in the current and set the hook when the line stops or twitches.

    and finally ..finally the secret is to spend more time on the water you fish... and cast well....it will instruct you better than a guide fellow Denver-ite.

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