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PostPosted: August 26th, 2017, 6:20 am 
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Joined: May 6th, 2017, 8:59 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Arundel
This is indeed interesting to see the various takes on hoppers. Personally, I've had good luck on the Upper Andro with Joe's Hoppers and a pattern I found on a Jack Dennis video called a Poppin' Hopper. I tried Googling this pattern, but no luck. Dennis' pattern (intended for Western waters) was large and bulky. I downsized the fly and tied it more sparsely and it worked very well. It seemed to me that the (trimmed and knotted) hackle legs and buoyancy of the fly due to the flared and spun deer hair body accounted for the success. Twitching the fly caused it to "pop" on the surface as though the hopper was trying to jump/lift off the surface. Occasional twitches as it drifted along the grass banks was deadly. Of course, like Jeff said, hoppers are mostly found along grassy banks and there are many such stretches. But that was long ago. Since the (illegal) introduction of bass and changes in NH's stocking practices, trout fishing isn't anything close to what it used to be. Too bad.

HW

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PostPosted: August 27th, 2017, 4:27 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2016, 2:18 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Bath, ME
I've rarely found the need for an actual hopper pattern during hopper season. I spent many years fishing big time hopper feeds living CO and I'd go buy a couple of the fancy hopper patterns and then tied some CharlieBoy hoppers...but truth be told I never caught any more on those than I did on at big stimulator in yellow, tan or olive. My 2nd favorite pattern during that time was an Amy's Ant (which is not an Ant but that's what they call it). I right sized Stimmie is really all you need thought IMO.


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PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 6:55 pm 
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Joined: May 22nd, 2016, 4:47 pm
Posts: 65
Well, back from a trip to the Kennebec up north and thought that I'd play with some hoppers to see what happened and would report here. Zip, nada, nyet, not a look from any finny critter. Trying other terrestrials, as usual, the black ant was the winner.


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PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 7:27 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 753
Location: Brunswick
I've never had much luck on ants eirther... although I'm currently tying Gallops Ant Acid. I think they look enough like a caddis and an ant they could work cover for both, and they are quick and easy to tie.

Peter

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PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 7:56 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2016, 2:18 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Bath, ME
I've always had good success with ants...I have caught fish with them probably 8 out of 12 months of the year including December. I grew up fishing the Swift in MA and there are few hatches most of the year although it has improved gradually over the last 30 years. Ants and beetles are a staple on that river for me. I always had confidence they would catch fish and therefore I think I catch more with them. I saw some big black ants on crawling around the Deckers section of the South Platte about 4 years ago and grabbed one off of my patch that had been sitting there since summer... 3rd cast I was tight. IMO the more confidence you have in a fly the better it will be. For me its ants, stimmies, x-caddis, Iris caddis, deep sparkle pupas, PT's, Prince's, Gartside soft hackle streamers and a non-descript grey soft hackle with a red thread head. I probably rely on these for 80%of my trout coast to coast.


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PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 8:10 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3912
Location: Ellsworth
Peter010786 wrote:
I've never had much luck on ants eirther

Peter


Hmmnnn.......

Ants are the # 1 terrestrial for me. I also fish Beetles, but other than huge ones on Soda Butte Creek in the Park I've seldom had a whole lot of success with them. Often a trout of landlock will look at the Beetle, but I'll actually catch it when I take off the Beetle and put on an Ant.

Dave M

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PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 8:35 pm 
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Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2518
Sherp,
Back in the early to mid ninety's I was working for a while in the Chicopee area. Stayed in the Bondville/Three Rivers area. Fished above Route 9 about every weeknight, week-ends I went to VT. Had one fish would give me one shot each evening. Always came up for an ant. He won the battle every time. That has got to be the coldest river I've ever fished in the summer.

Back to grasshoppers, Letort hopper+/or cricket plus a bullethead hopper worked extremely well for me in Vermont. Not so much elsewhere.

Ron

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PostPosted: August 29th, 2017, 8:56 am 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5128
Location: Manchester, ME
Last year on my Yellowstone trip everyone told me to tie hoppers and beetles, mostly big ones. I ended up catching most of my trout on 16 and 18 ants.

I like a foam ant for floatation and visibility, but fur ants, both wet and dry, will work if the more visible foam pattern is rejected. They are a wicked pain to fish on moving water because so hard to see--more like swinging a wet than dry fly fishing, but they don't work if dragging. An indicator fly can be key--small hopper or parachute with an ant behind.


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2017, 11:28 am 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5147
Location: Near the tying bench
Fishing them on windy days this time of year helps. The hoppers (and, if it's humid, ants) get blown out of the grass. I'm less likely to fish a terrestrial unless there is, or recently has been, some wind. There are lots of hoppers around right now- so it's a good time of year to fish them.

I used to fish orange hoppers a lot. Brook trout love them. Even if fished wet. Not sure why I got away from such, but expect it's due to their being a PITA to tie.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 6:30 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2016, 2:18 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Bath, ME
1weight wrote:
Sherp,
Back in the early to mid ninety's I was working for a while in the Chicopee area. Stayed in the Bondville/Three Rivers area. Fished above Route 9 about every weeknight, week-ends I went to VT. Had one fish would give me one shot each evening. Always came up for an ant. He won the battle every time. That has got to be the coldest river I've ever fished in the summer.

Back to grasshoppers, Letort hopper+/or cricket plus a bullethead hopper worked extremely well for me in Vermont. Not so much elsewhere.

Ron

YUP I know that fish...lol...often with ants...at least recently...bigger has been better. like a 12-14 when you think you should be fishing an 18-20. Kelly G told me to try it when things got tough a couple years back and yeah...more interest by the fish...the other think that helps is really having a good leader that will give you a nice drift. I have been using the George Anderson Hard butt formulas the last couple years and when I double the tippet length its has made a difference. I think the prepackaged are pretty good but having that hard butt kicks the leader over all the way and shocks the tippet into landing in soft s-curves...off topic I know but I thought I'd throw it in.
Below rte 9 is better if you are ever back down there. The bondsville area is also good I've heard but I do not know it very well. I haven't gone above rte 9 since the early 2000's, I shoot down a few times in fall and early spring to get a fix.


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 10:15 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2306
Location: Lyons, CO
Maybe the difference with hoppers east and hoppers west is the wind.

Out west, the wind blows pretty good almost every afternoon. You wind up fishing in the wind a lot. And you wind up casting to the bank where stuff is getting blown in and catching fish there. Fish will opportunistically eat terrestrials and duns/spinners of whatever has been hatching over the last day or so. I've fished small parachute dries all day on windy days and hammered fish keying on bugs blowing into the river.

Where I'm fishing this weekend, I find that hopper pattern does matter. The river will be low and the water will be borderline too warm in the afternoons (highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s cause some pretty extreme water temp variation). A slim-bodied foam hopper that matches the prominent natural color should get me in fish.


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PostPosted: August 31st, 2017, 12:35 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2016, 2:18 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Bath, ME
Great point Pushaw....wind makes a huge difference...the more the better during hopper season..Where are you headed this weekend? I miss the front range pretty badly....so many places to go within an hour of town.


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