One of the best parts of summer hopper fishing is the opportunity to see fish materialize beneath the water surface and ferociously rise and take dead-drifted flies. Ed Schroeder’s Parahopper fly pattern is one of the more popular summer hopper hatch patterns that seems to bring out the worst in big trout. Whether it is the fly’s unique low riding profile or the general buggy appearance, trout just can’t get enough of this sleek hopper; giving fly anglers a handy technique for duping fish. The beauty of the Parahopper pattern is that this fly is relatively simple to tie, leaving more time to do what you like most, and that is fish. Ideally carrying Schroeder Parahopper in a variety of colors and sizes will cover any hopper hatch you may encounter out on a days fishing.
To fish the Parahopper take a more robust approach than normal and let the fish know that you mean business. Cast flies at their respective target and allow a noisy splash down. Once on the water let the fly drift for a short period then begin to actively twitch the fly on the water’s surface. When real-life hoppers land on the water they fight like crazy to get to the waters edge, so imitating this behavior will pay big dividends. The trick to fishing hopper patterns is to never take your eye off of the fly as it drifts. It only takes a split second for the fish to suck your fly down and a few seconds longer to spit it right back out. If you are mindful enough to keep a taut line while fishing flies then your chances of hook up will be significantly higher. Unfortunately Murphy’s Law seems to come into play here, and as soon as you turn your head or allow slack line to develop a fish will swing and leave just a quick.
Hopper patterns can produce great action for fly fishers as long as anglers are able to get away from the norm and create some commotion on the water’s surface.
Tie this fly in sizes 8-12.
Start this fly by placing the hook into the vice securely and clipping a half inch section of quills from a turkey feather. Onto this section of feather spread a small amount of flexament and allow the glue to dry fully. Attach the thread onto the hook shank and advance it to the ¾ mark on the hook shank. Clip a small amount of white calf tail and place it into your hair stacker. With a few taps of the stacker align the tips of the calf tail and tie down to the top of the hook shank (tie down point should be the ¾ mark on the hook shank). Clip the tag ends of the calf tail short and bind them down tightly with the thread. Place a few drops of head cement on these thread wraps to make sure that the post does not slide around the shank. With your left hand pull the calf tail fibers backwards and wrap the thread in front of the post holding the post in a vertical position. Advance the thread to the point above the barb and tie in a brown strip of antron for ribbing and begin to pinch dub the thread. Begin dubbing the body for the fly until you reach the back of the post, getting bigger as you go forward. Once you have finished dubbing the body advance the rib forward and tie off behind the post.
Onto the sides of the fly tie one of the pheasant tail legs so that they hang towards the rear of the fly. On top of the dubbed body you just created tie in the section of turkey quill you fixed earlier. The wing should extend off the back of the hook and be cut in V shape.
Tie a grizzly hackle by its stem onto the base of the post. Restart dubbing the body of the fly until you reach the back of the hook eye. Wrap the grizzly hackle around the base of the post a few times until you have a nice thick vertical hackle formed. Pull the hackle stem over top of the hook shank and tie if off behind the hook eye. Whip finish the thread and cement the head.