Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fly 15 - Joe's Hopper

Joe's Hopper
5x7, soft pastel

Joe's Hopper is a terrestrial type dry fly. This particular fly can also be fished as a wet fly when it's weighted.  While it does look like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, it's supposed to represent a common grasshopper.

Terrestrial fishing flies are land-based creatures (think spiders, beetles, ants and crickets).  My husband even has a few mouse-like flies in his fly box...but I draw the line at painting a mouse fly.  It's bad enough I had a nightmare last night of being buried alive with stone fly nymphs crawling all over me!  

Developed by Art Winnie in the early 1940's. Joe's Hopper was known as the Michigan Hopper but evolved into the name of Joe's Hopper by the 1950's. Why Joe?  Because it was a popular pattern used by Joe Brooks (1901-1972).  Joe was often referred to the Father of Modern Fly Fishing and is actually in the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame...now, who knew there was a fishing Hall of Fame?   Not me but I suppose my dad would have known.

This fly is fished within riffles (rocky or shallow parts of a stream or river with rough water) or along banks and deep pools during the hottest part of the day.  Think of those hot summer days when the grasshoppers are out bugging the heck out of you.  That's when you use this little guy.

I should point out that during hatching, the Hopper doesn't work well (because there's plenty of good eats for the fish I presume) but when there's a shortage of nymphs...pull this guy out and give him a try!


OK...I know...I'm beginning to sound like a fly fisherman. Don't tell my husband or I'll be drafted soon to get out on the water with him!   I think I'm content to just paint these puppies in the comfort of my studio instead.

Hope you enjoy this one and only terrestrial!