Fly of the Month – CDC and Elk

by Mike Hogue, used by permission

I had been attending the FFF National Conclave and I was determined to see and fish a few of the really great spots. I went into Blue Ribbon flies and talked with Craig Mathews, one of the owners of Blue Ribbon. I asked Craig what flies he suggested and he said that the Chaos Hopper was one of the best flies he had been using all summer.

Some time later the Chaos Hopper appeared in the Flies of the West which is a book of patterns put together by Schollmeyer and Leeson. The author credits Roman Nyman as the inventor. I have no idea where or how this thing was invented but it is definitely interesting.

A couple of things strike me about this fly. You can make a ton of these with very little foam and they couldn’t be easier to make. While they look a bit dorky, I can assure you that ‘yes Toto these really do catch fish’. When I first started fishing the Choas Hopper this year, I was at Fall Creek. I went down there unsure of what to fish. So I figured well, I’ll try this as I think they will be able to see it. See it, they DEVOURED IT! The first night that I fished this hopper, I caught 10-15 trout, and 4-5 really big smallmouth on my 3 weight. On another trip I went to a creek in a deep gorge and caught another 30 plus trout. On yet another trip I caught some more really big smallmouth. So while my Chaos Hoper is a bit different than Blue Ribbon’s it is still pretty neat. As an added bonus this was a really big hit with the Catskill Fly Tyer’s Guild. It is now part of the Mark Ramero collection of really interesting flies.


Hook: Kamasan B401, size 12

Thread: 6/0 Black ( or you may match the body color if you wish)

Under Body: If you wish dress the hook shank with twisted Crystal Flash or Pearly

Body: Pre-punched or hand cut hopper bodies out off thin sheet foam

Wing: Gold and Brown Antron

Legs: Knotted Round Rubber legs.

CDCElk3The splayed out legs give the fly its action and its motion in the water. I like to make these in green and cinnamon. You might try yellow, tan, brown and all black. You can mix or match the legs and wings as you see fit.

More flies by Mike are at

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