Yesterday, I went fishing. Sunny, middle of July, and windy. The perfect day for a grasshopper to get blown off its perch and into the water.
I fished some fast water — a mix of riffles and pockets that ranged from shin high to waist deep — with a team of three wets. The top dropper was a just-about-too-small-for-a-hopper-and-way-too-big-for-a-caddis fly I call The Monstrosity. Size 8-10 streamer hook, body of yellow or insect green rabbit fur, gold wire rib, palmered with webby brown hackle. Deer hair wing lashed at the junction of thorax and abdomen, same deer hair strands tied over the thorax, then a caddis-like head. Simple. Impressionistic. By mending the line I was able to keep that fly on or just below the surface.
The trout loved it.
Back you go, Tubby. Thanks for playing. Look at that sky. Ain’t summer grand?
I whipped through the run in 45 minutes. No hatch, no active surface feeders, but the fish picked that fly out to the exclusion of all others (Drowned Ant and SHBHPT). None of the trout I brought to hand were under fifteen inches. And I regret to report that I lost a pig of a brown just as I was coaxing him into the net.
Hoppers. Wet or dry, ’tis the season.
Not the fly I was fishing — this is a Hopper Hammerdown, which is a little bigger than The Monstrosity and doesn’t have the soft hackle palmered along the whole body. But you get the idea and the energy of the design.