Madam-X Hopper Pattern |
By Jason Akl
When it comes to filling my fly box for the upcoming summers fishing trips there is one principle I always adhere to. And that is the simple fact that one cannot have to many different hopper patterns. In my fly box I carry deer hair, foam and parachute hoppers in every color from dark brown to yellow. You really never know what might be the lucky pattern and color on any specific day so I find it best to always have a vast selection with me. When I first started out fly fishing I had a few fishing trips where I neglected to pack hopper patterns thinking that just any old dry fly would suffice, and what I saw in those few days changed my life forever. I never believed that such cautious creatures like trout would throw danger to the wind and relentlessly go after grasshoppers that were unlucky enough to be blown into the water. I watched as these lunker trout aggressively rose and took hoppers four to five feet in-front of me in two to three feet of water with absolutely no cover around for them to hide in. Unfortunately on those trips I would never get even with those fish, due to my shortcomings in packing my fly box. However, I swore to myself that it would never happen again.
The Madam X hopper pattern is a truly unique pattern that was invented by Doug Swisher quite a few years ago. Swisher originally developed this fly for fishing the Bitterroot River located in Southwestern Montana and boasts diverse waters and excellent hatches. Overall the Madam X is a very rounded attractor pattern. It can imitate various insect life including hoppers, cicada, stoneflies, dragonflies and many other of the larger sized insect that big trout love to prey on. Also the Madam x is what I consider to be one of the best exploring patterns on the market, it casts well under all conditions, floats like a cork, is easy to see. You never come home after a day fishing the Madam X and wonder if you missed a strike or two because you were not able to feel the line at all times. When trout take this fly hold on it is going to be vicious.
As far as the equipment standpoint, I like to cast this fly with a 5 weight rod and a floating fly line. The leader length can be adjusted to suite one own needs. When fishing this fly cast ahead and diagonal or your position. Do not just cast once and move on, I like o cast this fly in the same spots and the reed beds a few times to give the fish a little time to rise for the fly. Also do not be afraid to give the fly a little life. A few timely strips will send big trout into a feeding frenzy.