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The Easy E Hopper Tutorial

November 4, 2013

Easy E Hopper Tutorial


The Easy-E Hopper is an easy to see, easy to keep floating, and easy to tie, foam pattern that caught lots of fish this past summer.  I generally tie this foam bullet-head pattern in smaller sizes to imitate caddis, stoneflies and little hoppers.  The simple and durable madame-x style legs add lifelike movement to the pattern, but more importantly, the legs help this little pattern land upright and correct…nothing worse than having a pattern land sideways, or upside-down half the time, especially when you’re drifting from a boat and have one shot at a particular spot.  This pattern is similar to the chubby chernobyl in appearance and float ability,  with its thick dubbed body and poly wing.  Yet, by omitting the the chernobyl style legs, and adding single legs and a bullethead, this pattern can be tied in much smaller sizes than the chubby chernobyl, down to size 14, to better imitate smaller insects and terrestrials.  I tie this pattern mainly on a size 14, 3XL nymph hook with either tan or cocoa foam and a spiky hare’s ears dubbed body, or hare ear’s and ice dub mixed for a little more sparkle.  I also tie this same pattern with a high-viz orange poly-wing for better visibility in poor light conditions.  I thought the wing might scare off some fish, but they really didn’t seem to mind the bright orange wing. If you’re looking for great little attractor pattern, try tying up a couple of Easy E Hoppers and let me know how they work.


Hook:  Dai-Riki #710 nymph hook

Thread:  UTC 70 denier

Body:  2mm foam cut to shape

Dubbing:  Natural Hare’s Ear or Hare’s Ice Dub

Wing: Chubby Chernobyl Wing/Poly

Legs:  Zebra Hopper Legs – Goldenstone

Tying Easy E Foam Hopper

Step 1:  Form a thread base on hook.  End thread at hook eye.

Add dubbing to hook

Step 2: Dub a fairly thick body as shown above.  End thread at hook point.

      Cutting 2mm Foam body

Step 3:  Cut a strip of 2mm foam to shape.  The width of foam should be width of gap of hook and tapered at one end as shown.

2mm foam hopper body

  Step 4:  Attach foam strip to hook with 3-4 firm wraps of thread.

hopper tutorial adding wing material

Step 5:  Attach a strand of poly yarn with 3-4 firm wraps of thread.  Advance the thread in front of the poly wing and build a thread dam with 10-12 wraps of thread.  The wing should be slightly slanted back and very secure.

trim material on foam hopper

Step 6:  Gather the strand of poly together and trim at a slight angle as shown.  Length of wing should extend to end of tapered foam body.

tying easy e hopper

Step 7: Trimmed rear wing.

advancing thread tying hopper pattern

Step 8:  Apply a thin amount of dubbing, enough to cover up the thread wraps that secure the poly wing and enough dubbing to be able to advance thread to two eyes length behind hook-eye.

tying on foam hopper body

Step 9:  Bind down foam body with 3-4 firm wraps.

Adding second wing

Step 10:  Attach the front poly wing just like the rear wing.  3-4 wraps to bind down the poly wing, then 10-12 wraps in front of poly wing to secure.

tying foam hopper

Step 11:  Trim front wing.  Length of wing should be about the length of your hook and trim at a slight taper as shown.

Easy E Foam Hopper

Step 12:  Trimmed front wing.

foam hopper tutorial

Step 13:  Create the bullet-head by folding back the piece of foam and bind down with 5-6 wraps of thread.  Try to keep the thread wraps 2 eye lengths behind the hook eye.

Tying Foam Hoppers

Step 14:  Trim the butts of the foam flush to the poly wing and apply a few more wraps of thread back towards the wing to bind down any remaining foam.

Tying in rubber legs on hopper

Step 15:  Attach legs on both sides of the fly and bind legs down with 10-12 firm wraps of thread.

Easy E Hopper Top View

Step 16:  Apply a thin amount of dubbing, enough to cover up any remaining thread wraps.  Advance the thread to hook eye and whip finish.  Trim legs madame-x style…short in front, and longer towards the rear of the fly.  I usually trim the rear legs even with the end of the foam body.

Finished Easy E Foam HopperThe Completed Easy E

3 Comments leave one →
  1. George permalink
    November 4, 2013 7:24 pm

    Looks good, catches fish, and is easy to tie, what more could a person want. I like it!

  2. November 13, 2013 4:29 pm

    Very nice , i like the bullet head. Glad to see a new post here.

  3. December 15, 2013 9:43 am

    Looks like a great fly, and thanks for the detailed description and pics. Will give this a try next weekend.

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