Purple GFA Foam Hopper Tutorial
This hopper pattern was created by Walter Wiese out of Parks Fly Shop in Gardiner, Montana. The GFA Hopper reminds me of the Madam-X, but with a little foam thrown in for floatation and a splash of color. I really like this hopper in sz. 14 for fishing the smaller creeks here in Montana, but it works equally well on the big rivers like the Yellowstone River and Madison River late in the summer. This pattern is easy to tie and looks and fishes well in all colors. Tie some up and let me know how they work.
Hook: Dai Riki 280, sz 8-14. The Dai Riki 280 is a specific Hopper Hook that is 2xl long with a curved shank.
Thread: UTC 70 denier for sz. 14, UTC 140 denier sz. 8-12.
Body: 2 mm craft foam.
Wing: Deer Hair.
Post: 2 mm craft foam, any bright color such as yellow, white, or orange.
Step 1: Wrap a tread base to point of hook. I usually wrap a 3-5 layer thread base which seems to keep the hopper body from twisting on the hook.
Step 2: Cut a strip of 2mm craft foam. Strip of foam should be width of gap of hook and 2″ long.
Step 3: Trim end of foam strip to a taper. Next, place foam strip on top of hook as shown above and mark the foam with your fingernail just beyond the hook eye.
Step 4: Place the foam strip on top of hook. Next, line up the thumbnail mark in foam with the point of hook. Bind down foam with 5-6 firm wraps of foam.
Step 5: Advance thread forward, on hook only, about a quarter of the way to eye of hook. Bind down foam with 5-6 firm wraps of thread.
Step 6: Advance tread, on hook only, to eye of hook.
Step 7: Apply some super-glue to thread wraps as shown.
Step 8: Bind down foam strip with 4-5 firm thread wraps just behind eye of hook.
Step 9: Advance thread back over foam body to middle of hook eye and point of hook as shown above. Bind down foam with 2 firm wraps of thread. Notice the three body segments. The front segment should be a little bigger than the other two segments. Keeps thread wraps to a minimum here since the rest of the steps will be tied in here.
Step 10: Tie in stacked deer hair with 4-5 firm wraps of thread. The tips of hair should extend to tapered end of foam body.
Step 11: Trim butts of deer hair.
Step 12: Apply super-glue to butts of trimmed deer hair as shown above.
Step 13: Form bullet head of hopper. Pull strip of foam extending over eye of hook back, and bind down with 2 firm wraps of thread.
Step 14: Trim remaining strip of foam to desired length.
Step 15: Barr the rubber legs using a Sharpie or other permanent marker.
Step 16: Purple barred rubber legs.
Step 17: Tie in a foam post. Cut a narrow strip of 2mm orange foam and bind down with 2 firm wraps of thread.
Step 18: Tie in rubber legs on both sides of hopper body with 3-4 thread wraps.
Step 19: After tying in both legs, whip finish fly. Trim legs and post to desired length. I usually trim the back legs even with end of tapered body and trim the front legs shorter. For added durability, apply head cement to the thread around the legs.