Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fly tying a foam hopper.

My blog gets a lot of visitors looking for foam flies or tying instructions for hoppers.  I'm going to give instructions on my own first productive smallmouth bass foam flies.  One afternoon, I tied this "hopper"/foam fly in a hurry and hurried off to the stream.  I'm not sure why I chose these colors or why I tied this design.  

All I know is that I caught a bunch of smallmouth bass in about a 50 yard stretch.  From this fly, I just started tying this or the Chernobyl Ant and sometimes the Los Alamos Ant.  Most of my previous foam flies where good for panfish but this fly must've had a good profile or I lucked out. 

So, here are some photos I took with my ipad which doesn't have the best quality camera.  I've been busy tying up a bunch of flies for some friends which is why my desk looks a bit messy.

Cut two foam strips (which ever color you want).  1 1/4 x (not quite 1/4 inch but a Centimeter).  Although, a 1/4 inch width may be fine.

I use size 8 streamer hooks.  I sometimes use size 4 and cut my foam longer.  Tie in at the barb.  Depending n your thread size, it could be 6 - 8 wraps.  Before tying in the body, make sure to wrap plenty of thread onto the shaft of the hook.  You'll need to do this layer so adhesive can be applied to keep to body in place.

Use whichever legs you want.

Tie the legs in at the "tie in point" of the foam body.  Your legs will stretch from this tie in point to the front of the body.  Don't trim the legs just yet.

Stretch the legs forward and tie in one side and then the other.

I like to add an indicator for when I drift.  The head will be shorter than the butt/abdomen.

You'll need to do two or three half-hitches.  Cut thread loose and apply glue/adhesive at the "tie in point" and behind the head.  If you want place glue along the hook shank from rear to front legs but not too much.  It basically a Chernobyl Ant/hopper.

I've been tying up a lot of foam flies this weekend.


  1. Josh, thanks for the tips on how you go about tying your Foam Hoppers. I would not have chosen those colors to start with, but, you cannot knock the fact that it works for you.

  2. Those are some great looking foam patterns. I just got back from a hopper trip (not much luck though) and I could use a few more simple patterns to tie up , have to try these out.