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12 Variations on the Pink Pookie

February 7, 2012

variations on the pink pookie foam hopper

     As a fishing guide, I enjoy tying the majority of the nymphs, streamers and dry flies for my clients. Not only is tying flies cost effective, but having clients catch fish on hand tied flies that are a little different than what can be found in every fly shop, seems to make a difference.  I noticed early on in my guiding career that store bought flies certainly catch fish. But after a season of seeing the same  flies, the trout would refuse those patterns fairly regularly.  I began experimenting with tweaking flies, either by changing the colors or using different materials for common flies.  I noticed that substituting golden-dyed deer hair and brown legs for a Madam-X resulted in a great Golden Stone imitation.  Change the colors on the deadly parachute hopper to olive, add some short rubber legs, and you get a great Skwala pattern.  What I began to realize was I could have an arsenal of the same killer pattern, in various sizes and colors to imitate anything from caddis to Salmonflies.  But more importantly, now I had flies that no one else was fishing resulting in more fish caught.

     Dean Reiner’s Pink Pookie is a great hopper pattern.  This pattern has been around for years now and still catches fish.  The Pink Pookie floats like a cork and just looks buggy out on the water with its foam bullet head, deer hair over-wing and rubber legs.  This pattern reminds me of a foam Madam-X which has caught untold numbers of trout.  But there are days when the trout will not touch the original pink version of this grasshopper, but they will take a tan version, or goldenrod, fuzzy foam or black version instead.  Just by tweaking a great pattern to show the fish something different can make all the difference, even subtle changes in colors.  Pictured below are some alterations to the Pookie mainly using different colored foam, hair and legs.  With one pattern, I was able to adjust the size and color of the fly to imitate various hoppers, stoneflies, bees and crickets.

  Who knows, maybe that perfect pattern that you have been searching for this whole time for whatever hatch has been in your fly box all along…minus a few tweaks of course.

Variation #1: Yellow Grasshopper

Body:  Yellow 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Deer hair

Over-wing:  Tan 2mm foam

Eyes:  Medium plastic eyes

Variation #2: Foam Bee

Body:  Black 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Golden-dyed deer hair

Over-wing:  1mm yellow foam/ 1mm black foam

Legs:  Medium barred round rubber legs, yellow super-floss legs

Variation #3:  Tan Hopper

Body:  Tan 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Yellow-dyed deer hair

Over-wing:  Cocoa 2mm foam

Variation #4: Skwala Adult

Body:  Olive 2mm fuzzy foam

Under-wing:  Furled gray poly yarn/crystal flash

Over-wing:  Etha-wing, tape wing

Variation #5: Yellow and Green Hopper

Body:  Yellow 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Dun-dyed elk hair

Over-wing:  2mm green foam

Legs:  White barred sili legs

Variation #6: Salmonfly Adult

Body: Orange 3mm foam

Under-wing:  Elk hair

Over-wing:  Black 2mm foam

Legs:  Black medium round legs, orange super-floss

Variation #7: Fuzzy Foam Goldenstone

Body:  Brown 2mm fuzzy foam

Under-wing:  Golden-dyed deer hair

Over-wing:  Brown 2mm foam

Variation #8: Tan and Brown Grasshopper

Body:  Tan 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Elk hair

Over-wing:  Brown 2mm foam

Variation #9: Thunderthigh Pink Pookie

Body: Pink 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Elk

Over-wing:  Tan 2mm foam

Legs:  Medium round rubber tied to 1mm foam strip

Variation #9: Realistic Foam Hopper

Body:  Yellow 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Elk

Over-wing:  Green 2mm foam

Variation #10:  Tan and Cocoa Hopper

Body:  Tan 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Elk

Over-wing:  Cocoa 2mm foam

Variation #11: Foam Cricket

Body:  Black 2mm foam

Under-wing:  Black-dyed deer hair/organza

Over-wing: Black 2mm foam

Legs:  Medium black round rubber legs/superhair

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 7, 2012 7:20 pm

    Hello, my name is Leandro Vitorino. I’m brasilian flyfisherman. I see your blog and like soo much!! I realy like a hopper… in my state have one fish species: “Pirapitinga do sul” (Brycon nattereri) and she love terrestrials.
    I crieted a new Hopper in my blog (www.goiasfly.blogspot.com), the GO FLY HOPPER.
    Welcome to the GO FLY BLOG!
    Congratulation for your blog!
    Att,
    Leandro Vitorino

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