Hoppers are starting to happen!

Bighorn Mountain Pocket

I had my doubts about the hopper fishing this year—the cool, wet spring had me concerned—but it appears it’s going to be good. Already, we are experiencing some productive hopper action from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The hot, windy weather has kicked things into gear.

Some anglers are fishing a hopper/PMD dropper, others a hopper/caddis pupa dropper, while still others are going straight hopper. Many patterns are working, but the Schroeder’s (Parachute Hopper) and the Morrish Hopper are personal favorites. Presently, you need to get the fly near the bank, but over time, as the trout start seeing lots of insects on a regular basis, you will be able to hook trout in the middle of the river. I like a 9’ 3X leader for hopper fishing. You don’t need to go any lighter, and keep in mind that some of the largest fish of the season are taken on hoppers. Try to make a “down and across” presentation so that the hopper lands downstream of our fly line. This will enable you to get a longer, more-natural drift. And please de-barb your hooks. Oftentimes, a big trout will take a hopper deep. If your hook is barbless, you should be able to release the fish unharmed.