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 Post subject: Hoppers... yay or ney?
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2017, 7:17 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 754
Location: Brunswick
Hoppers have rarely, if ever, worked for me... only once that I can think of on a tiny brook in NH one August years ago. I always have a few Letorts in my box but they hardly ever get wet.
I was on a different NH river last week and thought about trying a hopper, but decided on some research first. This particular river has a spot where there is a 12 foot tall retaining wall holding back the parking area. You can walk along the wall and peak into the gin clear water and spot trout. A dozen or so bkt and bows were feeding consistently, but there were very few bug in the air. I suspected they were taking emergers, but noticed a ton of hoppers around my feet.
I scooped up a couple of hoppers and tossed them over the wall. Not one of those trout even looked up... none. I looked around again for some smaller hoppers and tossed one over. One trout very slowly came over and for a brief second I thought it was going to eat it... but no. These hoppers drifted 25 feet threw trout infested water perfectly fine, and the fish kept feeding on emergers.

I guess hoppers are a nay for me.

Peter

PS,
I had a fantastic day on that river, water was 58° and took about 2 dozen fish. Most on caddis emergers but fooled a big (for that river) 13 inch bow that snubbed at least a dozen different perfectly drifted dries until a size 20 pheasant tail emerger went by.

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 7:22 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
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Location: New Hampshire
Zippo in the northeast!

Out west in August and early September they generated some cool takes along the bank out of a fast drift boat ride, but i suspect any fly would have worked on those.

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 8:21 am 
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Joined: October 13th, 2002, 12:00 am
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Location: Sidney, Me
One incident doesn't mean much, but I remember wading the Moose below Brassua years ago when a hopper came floating down the river and a huge boil within arm's reach took care of it. I've done ok on brook trout streams and ponds with them.


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 8:28 am 
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Location: Ellsworth
Out West......absolutely.

Here in Maine.....no on trout/Landlocks, but yes on Smallmouths. Small hoppers (less than 1.5 inches) are much better than the large (over two inches) ones.

Dave M

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 12:13 pm 
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Joined: February 11th, 2002, 1:00 am
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Location: Dayton, Maine
I've had decent sucess with a parachute style hopper. Zip with a Joe's or Letort style. Muddyboots and I had a double hookup with two 18" brookies on a southern maine river several years back with the 'chute style 8)


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 5:25 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Manchester, ME
Yes--but I'm in the middle of tying to be in Yellowstone in 10 days. :D

I've seen fish on hoppers at Middle Dam, Upper Dam, Brassua, East Outlet--basically any place there is a large expanse of grass next to the river. This is pretty rare in Maine, except around dams. The other issue in Maine is that hopper time here is August--when the trout fishing is generally tough.


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 9:30 pm 
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Joined: March 5th, 2004, 1:00 am
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I'm a big fan of hoppers in maine at the right time. Two of my favorite Maine rivers at the right time produce big fish on hoppers. Parachute.


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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2017, 11:10 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
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Location: Lyons, CO
As a now Western flyfisher, I'm a big hopper guy, as in, I like hoppers, and I like big ones. Sometimes, the fish are probably really on big stoneflies (e.g. giant golden stones), but other times they are on hoppers for sure. Unfortunately, I do think it's important to have the right hopper pattern. I usually stop in a shop and ask what hopper patterns they like for their local water and then buy and fish them. Shape/size/color/wing pattern all can matter. The fish just can't help themselves sometimes. One great example: I'm with a buddy from Maine fishing one of my favorite remote rivers in Wyoming and we're looking for a morning trico hatch... but it's cool and cloudy and there are no trikes to be seen. However, there are still some fish rising in long slow slicks. I'm working through trying to get a match with various cripples and spent spinners and such, assuming they are rising to leftovers from the previous day's spinner fall or maybe some unseen earlier trikes, but no luck. At some point, I put on a hopper in front with some kind of tiny spent spinner behind (it's misting now and visibility ain't great). The fish start hammering the hopper. Just hammering. Good ones, too. I fished a single hopper in the drizzle all morning and more often than not, if I found a riser, it hit the hopper.

My favorite hopperish patterns:
I fish a yellow PMX a lot as a general attractor/hopper/stonefly.
I like the Morrish hopper a bunch. It has a slim foam body and no hackle -- very realistic looking.
Chubby Chernobyl -- I use these as bobbers and they do move some fish.
Fat Albert -- I have no idea what these represent, but I'm guessing it's more of a big nasty beetle than a hopper. Pretty near all foam. They work well on brookies out west, no idea how they work on brookies in Maine.

All of these have good rubber legs.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 5:43 am 
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Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
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Location: Bangor
While i don't do much on hoppers per se, I do very well on big attractors- Pushaw- love the PMX- aka "the Bar Fly". My go-to, however, is a purple or orange chubby. My last WB trip was the first outing for an 11' 5 wt switch rod. I put on a big purple chubby and let fly skating across the rough water. You don't hook a lot of fish, but the takes are pretty impressive, as are the size of some of the fish taking.

I have had good success with the Fat Albert floating both Bingham and Solon.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 6:33 am 
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Location: New Hampshire
Maybe it is just me, but it feels like there is a correlation between drift boat fishers and drift boat waters (out west) and the success with these larger attractors. Perhaps covering so much water leads to better success in find the opportunistic feeders, as opposed to waders who cover less water and have to give the fish what htey are looking for... versus finding the fish that will take what is given.

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 3:59 pm 
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Location: Lyons, CO
TGIF -- I think you're pretty much exactly right. I read somebody writing about fishing like a heron vs an osprey. As a heron, you move slowly and work the water very carefully, match the hatch, etc. As an osprey, you cover a lot of ground and fish opportunistically. The point of the piece was that on crowded water, we all needed to be herons, because otherwise we'd just spook all of the fish. I fish hoppers either way, but streamering sure works better when you are covering a lot of water. I don't streamer much at all wade fishing but I spend more than half of my time drifting fishing streamers.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 4:26 pm 
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Interesting takes. Also, I think salmon and brook trout tend to be, generally, more opportunistic than browns or rainbows in Maine. I know at the WB, the EO and the Mag, attractors are very effective.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 5:13 pm 
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Joined: October 29th, 2007, 12:00 am
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Location: Vassalboro Me. USA
Quote:
I have had good success with the Fat Albert floating both Bingham and Solon.



We have also caught fish floating those same stretches on big hoppers, The first trout I ever caught on a dry was caught when I slammed a Hopper pattern I purchased at Beans down off a Beaver dam and a mighty 12' Brookie slammed it, never forget it

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 7:08 pm 
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Joined: May 22nd, 2016, 4:47 pm
Posts: 65
This is an interesting thread, thanks for initiating it! I have had limited positive results with hoppers. mostly on the Kennebec, but that's where I spend lots of time. However, I am smiling as I remember a great guy, Ruel Orf, who, with his wife Hazel, once owned Bulldog Camps on Enchanted Pond here in Maine. Back in the 1950's, Ruel's fly rod hung on the outside porch on the main building (now gone due to a fire), and tied to his leader was a hopper. I don't remember which one, but it was most assuredly a hopper. Shortly before supper, he would announce that he was going out for supper, and he'd shortly return with enough trout for him and for Hazel. He produced results whenever he wanted, it seemed, and a hopper was his fly of choice.


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PostPosted: August 24th, 2017, 8:15 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
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Location: Brunswick
Well, it's interesting to see everyone's experience with hoppers... there all quite different. I do well at time on big bright stimulators, and Madam X style stimmies also, and occasionally a hornberg. Those all are fairly similar to hoppers, especially the Letort I fish. Last summer I tied quite a few hoppers, even went so far to tie in the knotted pheasant tail legs, thinking they might work with the warm dry fall we had. I fished them near grassy areas where I saw hoppers. Nada. Maybe for me it's a confidence thing, I don't fish them often because they don't work, and there never on the leader for long when I try them. I know other things work so I use them.

Peter

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