Fly of the Month – Chocolate Cake  

Pattern, notes & photo by Jerry Burton
From the December 2019 newsletter

Jerry Burton’s signature “Chocolate Cake” is a hopper pattern that is easy to tie, it can be used solo or on a hopper-dropper rig, and is well known for taking generations of trout across New Mexico and the southwest.

Hooks – size 10 -14 2XH/4XL
Foam – various colors (Hobby Lobby)
Embroidery thread – various colors (Hobby Lobby)
Clear nail polish
Thread on a bobbin
Rubber legs
Single-hole punch
Sticky back yellow or red foam


  1. Place hook in vise
  2. Apply nail polish to shank
  3. Wrap thread on hook, double or triple times up and down
  4. Tie down and wrap embroidery thread on the hook up and down several times to form a body, end at the eye and tie in place; alternatively, instead of using embroidery thread, cut a narrow (1/8″) strip of light colored foam and wrap the hook shank to make an abdomen
  5. Take a 2 inch long by 1/4 inch wide strip of foam and place it on top of the hook with 3/4 of an inch extending forward of the eye of the hook, and tie it in place
    Move your thread about 1/8″back from the eye of the hook and wrap the thread around the body several times
  6. Fold the foam that is forward of the eye of the hook back towards the bend of the hook and tie down with the thread to form a thorax
  7. Build up the thorax with 20 to 30 wraps of the thread
  8. Place a 2″ long rubber leg on top of the foam with about one third of it extending forward of the thorax
  9. Tie it in place with two or three soft wraps
  10. Position it to the side and tie in in place with several wraps, repeat on the opposite side and tie off and cut the thread
  11. Use the single-hole punch to punch out a piece from the sticky-backed foam, remove the white backing and place the round piece of foam on the top of the fly; use a bright (visible) color, as this makes a good strike indicator

This is the basic tying procedure. You can change some of the basic ingredients to make blueberry pie key lime pie, banana nut cake, strawberry cake, all variations make a really good hopper.