The Charlie Boy Hopper

Originator: Charlie Craven (Colorado)
Tied by Jeremy Barela
Photo by Jeremy BarelaHook: Daichi 1280 #4 – 8
Body: Tan, Yellow, Brown, Olive or Gray foam folded in half (match color to conditions)
Legs: Rubber terrestrial legs
Underwing: Krystal Flash
Overwing: Elk Hair
Indicator: Fluorescent Pink Antron (substitute Fluorescent Green)

A Tutorial

Cut a three-inch strip of foam the width of the hook gap. Place foam on hook by poking the hook point through one end leaving enough foam to pull over the eye of the hook and fold over and match ends up
Start thread at eye and wrap back to above the barb and leave thread on opposite side of hook. Once you have measured the foam, poke the eye of the hook through the foam, making sure both ends will match up behind the bend of the hook. You want about ½” – 1” to hang over the bend of the hook.
Take super glue or Zap-a-Gap and evenly dab on the foam. Fold the foam over and apply pressure so it holds. Now take a two-sided razor blade and lay it flat on the foam and cut back towards the bend of the hook. By doing this, the top piece of foam will end and evenly meet the bottom piece of foam that extends to create the body.
Begin making rib wraps towards the eye of the hook. I use four ribs by wrapping around the foam twice then crossing over the top of the foam to create the next rib. Do this four times evenly spaced so that you leave about ¼ of the shank behind the eye. By crossing on top of the foam, the thread will not show as you progress to the front of the hook.
Tie in the leg nearest to you by using terrestrial legs the length of the foam body. Tie in the first leg with two wraps then cross over the foam using the same cross over made previously while ribbing the body. Then tie in the back part of the leg with two wraps.
Tie in the second leg on the far side by doing the same thing, starting in the place you left the first leg. Wrap and then cross the foam to move towards the eye of the hook and capture the front. Your legs should stand out similar to a Madam X, just with two tie-in points on each side.
Tie in 4 pieces of krystal flash that are folded in half, giving you 8 ends. This should be just about the same length as the body.
Create an overwing with elk hair. Stack and measure the wing so it is even with the krystal flash and tie in. Trim the butts down.
Tie in the indicator, making sure it is the same length as the wing. Whip finish and dap a drop of cement or Zap-a-Gap.

Fishing a hopper

With the summer months in full swing, hoppers are out and because of this, they should be included in our arsenal of patterns. Hoppers can be found almost everywhere – the San Juan River, Jemez watershed, Pecos watershed as well as around the country on the rivers we travel many miles to fish.

Hoppers bring on some of the most vicious strikes. One of the most effective ways to fish a hopper is along riverbanks with a twitch. You can also fish these patterns along the bank of a lake, which has produced some of the largest fish I’ve seen from the Gravel Pit Lakes in Cimarron Canyon.

This particular pattern can be tied in numerous colors. I prefer tan, yellow and green, but other colors could be just as effective. What ever color you choose, just remember to have fun while fishing this great pattern!