I'm sure there's a bluegill out there that can take this puppy in it's mouth. And I am more than certain and smallmouth bass somewhere has a hankerin' for a large foam hopper. I am going to copy this pattern (for the most part) while throwing in a custom bit in here and there. I used to tie something similar to this and the Double Decker Hopper (Orvis?). I loves my hoppers - heck, I love my top water patterns.
I bought some flies last Friday at the local fly shop. These were really productive flies with which I was landing spotted bass. The owner's son asked me if it was trout - I said, No. He then asked where I went and I told him, "Ancient Chinese Secret". I'm not about to share my spots, lol - but I am more than happy to expound upon those seemingly progressive patterns our flyfishing forefathers gave us.
Sure, you can find a foam fly swap on the occasional forum but folks don't flock to them such as the Smallmouth swap of the Midge swap. Even the occasional bluegill swap can raise dead fly tyer.
In a way, and I think some of you readers will disagree, I am progressive in the way I tie flies and perhaps fly fish (or where I fish). I'm far from the best tyer but I like to think outside the box. Foam flies aren't new. They aren't that old either. Perhaps, when we fish, it should be like that guy who fishes for pocket water jsut to land those little trout. I do the same for bass. We kind of have to think outside the norm such as drifting flies in a long current. In fishing pocket water, we have to position ourselves in a certain manner as to fish a certain way - we have to look for that odd spot in a precarious area. It's not like we wade and sight fish. We have to think a bit and use our heads more than we usually do.
One reason I tie foam flies is because I'm a bit tired of tying flies out of bits of feathers and chenille. I like top water and naturally, I use foam. It can be manipulated more and it seems I can be more creative with it than if I was using dubbing, etc. PLUS, I have fished a lot of "not-so-nice" streams where you have to find "pocket water" or that certain hole. Perhaps, the water flow has to be just right after a rain. I would spend hours on a lousy stream in the middle of town just to land a large Pumpkinseed. I do think it's awesome to fish a stream folks don't dare think about twice and yank out a quality fish. To me, part of the hunt is the enjoyment and my hunts usually involve small to medium size streams. I don't know why but it's what I like.
So, when it comes down to selecting or tying foam flies, don't be hesitant. After all, you never know what a fish will hit. And you can always expand your selection of flies. Foam is cheap and goes far. You can manipulate it and use your imagination to create awesome patterns you never once thought of tying.
In a way, fly fishing is a bit fundamentalist or traditionalist but at the same time, this sport is undergoing some transitions and changes such as Spey casting and heck, I guess even the selling of smallmouth or warm water species fly rods. More and more companies are making rods and reels - and it would seem a lot of those have grass roots beginnnings.
So, as we go out to the nearest stream or water, let's think about being progressive in the way we fish.