Morrish Hopper

Created by Ken Morrish



HOOK: standard shank, 2X long, turned-down eye; e.g. TMC 5312 or equivalent. Sizes 8-12


BODY: Tan or gray 4mm foam (or two 2mm pieces glued together) and light gray or yellow 2mm foam glued together and trimmed to shape; 4 mm piece goes on top. Alternatively, you can buy bodies already assembed and shaped. The body is glued to the hook shank.

HOT SPOT: Yellow, orange, or red foam trimmed to shape

LEGS: Grizzly rubber, knotted

HEAD: Use a Sharie pen to paint eyes at the head



The Morrish Hopper reflects the modern trend to incorporate foam into large dry fly patterns. It is a deadly pattern during "hopper" season.

Hopper fishing in Oregon is spotty. Some streams can be very productive, while others are rarely so. For example, the Deschutes is not a great river for hopper fishing. On the other hand, I once spent an afternoon on the Klamath's Frain Ranch section and had wonderful hopper fishing. I soon found that if I cast my fly onto sunny water near a grassy riverbank, I had a 50/50 chance of an eagar rise from a foot-long (or better) wild rainbow. Over a couple of hours, that's a lot of fish.



Grasshoppers come in many colors, from green to tan to yellow, and various combinations thereof. Tan/yellow is common, as is tan/olive. Capture a natural insect, then try to come as close as you can to its colors.


How to Fish

Dress the fly with floatant and use standard dry fly presentations.

From August through early October, grasshoppers are sometimes found in the tall grass along the riverbank. They sometimes fall onto the water and are taken by waiting trout. Since a hopper is a big meal, a trout may wait patiently for a long time, then pounce on the unlucky victim. Thus, your fly needs to land very near the bank; the difference between six inches and twelve inches can make the difference between successful fishing and casting practice. If your fly lands on the water with a big "plop" (like the natural insect will), so much the better.



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