By Simon Graham
I’ve been playing round with a number of Hopper patterns over the last couple of months for my upcoming trip to The Bokong river in Lesotho. One of these patterns I’ve come up with I call “The DHD (Deerhair Dubbing) Mini Para Hopper”. I recently took them to the Mooi river in the Kamberg and the Brown Trout loved them so am rather confident the Yellows on the Bokong will think likewise. It looks a complicated fly to construct but it’s rather easy to be honest. I tie these either on a size #8 and size #10 Mustad caddis hook but one could use any brands caddis hook of their choice.
Place hook in vise at an offset angle and take either an orange or red thread and build a small hotspot a quarter the way down the bend of the hook. I used Fluoro orange for this tutorial. Then coat with head cement.
The main ingredient for this fly is Deerhair dubbing. This will give the fly the floatability it needs. If you’re unable to get any then use a tan dry fly dubbing and mix it in with small cut pieces of deerhair found closest to the pelt as this is the most buoyant part of any deerhair.
Take a thread colour of your choice and attach to just in front of the Orange hotspot, I used Olive but a light brown would suffice. Then make a small dubbing loop. Add a small clump of deerhair dubbing to the loop and spin tight.
Wrap the dubbing loop around the hook shank to make a small ball. Remember to pull back the small strands of deerhair after each wrap. Once that is complete trim the longer deerhair strands.
Take two turkey biot filaments and make a knot ¾ along to form the back legs of the hopper. You can buy these readymade if you have fingers like an Orang-utan, and there are a number of YouTube videos showing easy tutorials on how to knot legs if you want to do it yourself. Attach one to either side directly in front of the deerhair dubbing ball.
Make another small dubbing loop of deerhair dubbing and wrap around the hook shank to the halfway point.
Take 2 to 4 strands of Krinkle flash, I used pink and tie on then fold over itself. Snip away excess so they lie just just past the bend of the hook.
You’ll need some winging material for this next step. I used Web Wing winging material from The “Angler & Antelope” http://www.anglerandantelope.co.za/ and speak to Alan Hobson on Facebook for this.
Cut a small section off it 5mm x 15mm long.
Trim to a point at one end.
Tie on directly in front of the deerhair dubbing ball so it hangs over the back.
Now make your parachute post about 2mm from the hook eye. I used orange Antron for this. Cat the post with head cement
Now attach your hackle feather vertically so the V-shape of the hackle is facing away from you and that the end filament is directly in line with the top of the post.
Make a final dubbing loop and spin till tight. This dubbing loop needs to be slightly longer than the other two as you’ll need to cover a slightly larger area with deerhair dubbing.
It should look like this. Remember to give yourself enough space approximately 2mm to 3mm down the pole to be able to palmer the hackle around it. Once you’ve palmered it around the pole, tie it off and then whip finish.
When I first started tying this pattern I had deerhair tips for legs towards the head area but have since found that they aren’t necessary as I’ve caught a number of fish without them being tied on. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy tying some up.