This is a new hopper pattern that I came up with for the upcoming season. This patterns has all the right qualities to be a real fish catcher. It has rubber legs, a foam bullet head and a very realistic silhouette. The legs of the hopper may seem a bit excessive, but I noticed last year that the trout, especially late in the season, liked this style of hopper with the over-sized legs, or Thunderthighs. This realistic foam hopper pattern is easy to tie, and it can be tied in any color combination. Tie a few up and let me know how they work.
Hook: Dai Riki 730 sz. 8-12
Thread: UTC 140 Denier. Tan
Thighs: 1mm craft foam, tan.
Legs: Super Flex. I use super floss or super flex for the legs of this hopper and barr them with a black Sharpie. Super Flex doesn’t break when you tie the over-hand knot for attaching the leg joints.
Post: 2mm craft foam, orange.
Step 2: From the foam block, cut out a 1/4″ wide strip, or a general rule is to cut the strip the width of the gap of the hook. You should have a 4mm strip of foam that is 1/4″ wide and 2″ long. Next, shape foam as shown above. The strip on the right I used a medium pre-cut foam body and for the one on the left I shaped it freehand to illustrate both possible methods.
Step 2: Side view of foam strip.
Step 3: Wrap thread base on hook. I wrap a 3-layer thread base for more durability, plus the hopper body tends to rotate on the hook less with a thicker thread base. Stop thread at hook barb.
Step 4: Attach hopper body onto hook directly above the barb. Tail of hopper body should extend about a hook gap beyond tie in point. Use 5-7 firm thread wraps to secure the foam to the hook.
Step 5: Advance thread forward on hook only to point shown above, just in front of hook point. Next, tie down foam body with 5-7 firm wraps. Here we have created the first body segment of the hopper.
Step 6: Again, advance thread forward on hook only to point shown above, about a hook gap behind eye of hook. Bind down foam hopper body with 3-4 firm thread wraps. Keep wraps to a minimum here because the legs still have to be tied in here.
Step 7: Advance thread forward to point shown above, about 2 eye lengths behind eye of hook. Bind down foam body with 3-4 firm thread wraps. Notice body segments are all about equal size, and the last body segment is 2 eye lengths behind eye of hook.
Step 8: Cut a thin strip of orange 2mm craft foam for the post. Strip of foam should be narrower than width of body.
Step 9: Bind down post with 2 firm wraps of thread. Post should extend to barb of hook.
Step 10: Advance thread back, over the top of the hopper to 2nd body segment as shown above. Next, bind down post with 2 firm wraps of thread. Trim remaining post extending over eye of hook.
Step 11: Cut out two thin pieces of foam for the hopper thighs or legs out of 1mm tan craft foam. The pieces above are about 1mm x 2mm and 2 inches long.
Step 12: Using a strand of tan super floss or super flex that I barred with a black Sharpie, form an over-hand knot towards the end of the super floss.
Step 13: Insert foam strip into over-hand knot as shown above. Notice the foam strip is shaped like a matchbook match, thin and flat. The super floss will be tied on parallel to the wide part of the foam strip.
Step 14: Tighten super floss over-hand knot onto foam strip with firm pressure.
Step 15: Trim legs as shown. Here I trimmed the super floss nearly flush with the over-hand knot on one end, and trimmed the remaining foam extending beyond the rubber legs. These legs look good with red super floss also.
Step 16: Attach legs to hopper body with 2-3 firm wraps of thread. Notice joints of legs should extend to barb of hook.
Step 16: Top view of hopper legs tied in.
Step 17: Form head of hopper by folding over foam strip extending over eye of hook. Bind down foam strip at same tie in point as the legs of the hopper. Notice the head of the hopper is extending over the front of the eye of the hook. Next, trim remaining leg strips flush with thread wraps.
Step 18: Hopper with legs trimmed and bullet head formed.
Step 19: Next, trim excess foam body material around the orange post flush with thread wraps. Notice how the orange post really sticks out now.
Step 19: Top view of trimmed hopper.
Step 20: Advance thread over hopper body to segment just behind the eye of the hook. Bind down body with 2-3 firm wraps of thread.
Step 21: Attach legs to both sides of hopper.
Step 22: Whip finish at this point at trim legs to desired length. Add some superglue to the leg joints and body segments for extra durability.
It’s always good to have a couple hopper patterns that are different from what everyone else is using.