Fuzzy Foam Grand Hopper Tutorial
How to tie Rainy’s High-Viz Grand Hopper. Rainy’s Grand Hopper has been around for years, but the trout never seem to get tired of eating this realistic foam hopper. With it’s wiggly, knotted rubber legs, thick foam body, and realistic over-wing, this hopper just flat out works.
I think the main fish attracting characteristic of this hopper is the thick foam body. Most foam hoppers have bodies that are anywhere from 2mm- 6mm thick. Popular 2mm thick hopper patterns include the Improved Chaos Hopper, Sanchez Foam Hopper, and the Chubby Chernobyl. 4mm thick hopper patterns include Chernobyl Hoppers, Doug McKnight’s Sweetgrass Hopper and the Pink Pookie. 5mm-6mm thick hopper patterns include the Morrish Hopper, and the Grand Hopper. All of these patterns catch trout, but some days the fish seem to key in on hoppers that are sitting low in water, much like the real thing. The thicker the foam body on the hopper, the lower the hopper rides in the water.
The Grand Hopper is a deadly pattern that should be in everybody’s fly box, especially on those days when the fish are looking for low riding, thick bodied hoppers. This hopper is easy to tie, and looks great in all sizes and colors.
Hook: Dai-Riki #730 hook size 6-14. For the last few years I’ve been tying all my foam hoppers on nymph hooks because of their durability, plus my hoppers seem to land upright more often with the heavier hooks.
Thread: UTC 140 denier. Great foam tying thread because of its strength, and the fact that it doesn’t cut foam.
Underwing: Crystal flash.
Wing: Hen saddle feather applied to packing tape, trimmed to shape.
Legs: Medium attached round rubber legs from a strand.
Dubbing: Dry fly dubbing. I usually dub a slightly contrasting color than the color of the foam.
Post: Any high-viz 2mm foam such as orange, goldenrod, or yellow.
Step 2: Cut hopper body out of layered foam, or trim out body with scissors. Good rule for trimming out bodies is to cut hopper bodies the width of hook gap. Above, I have a medium sized, pre-cut hopper body and a size 1o 2xl hook.
Step 6: Apply a very thin layer of super glue to thread wraps. We want the super glue to quickly set upon placement of foam body. If you add too much glue, you will have to hold the body in place for several minutes before the glue dries.
Step 7: Place foam hopper body onto hook. The slice in the foam should now just cover the hook as shown above. Secure foam body to hook with 2-3 thread wraps. Notice the hopper body is sitting high on the hook, not interfering with the hook gap.
Step 10: Make hopper wing. Tear of a small piece of clear packing tape. If you can find industrial strength tape, the feather should stay adhered. For extra durability, add some spray adhesive to tape before applying feather.