|A full box makes me happy... even if it is simple.|
The crickets and spiders are simply made from some 6 mm black craft foam. I probably should have added a little yellow indicator to them, but I'm sure we'll survive without that added luxury. The hoppers are slightly more complex with three layers of 2 mm craft foam glued together. The hardest part is cutting a body shape. I kept that pretty simple too. The spiders are slightly rounded on the ends, but that's it. The crickets and hoppers are rectangular with a slight angle cut under the rear of the abdomen.
|super simple, silicone and foam|
In my experience with foam hopper patterns I've purchased, the hook often gets loose very quickly so I coat the initial thread wrap with super glue just before I attach the foam body. I also coat the underside of the finished fly liberally with clear Sally Hansen "Hard as Nails." I coat the full thread wrap including the whip finish at the head (as you can see in the cricket at left)... these flies should be very durable.
I guess the triple-decker hopper looks a bit like a poor man's vegetarian "Club Sandwich." If you want to learn how to tie a proper "Club Sandwich" hopper check out The Hopper Juan blog. Juan Ramirez makes a tasty looking "Club Sandwich."
Mine is definitely not as pretty (or complicated), but I've found some of the similar (professionally tied) foam hoppers I've purchased to be a bit on the stiff side when it comes to producing fish-catching action. They may be great on the drift for big fall Brown Trout, but working them in flat water for bass has been very unproductive for me in the past. I've always found poppers with free swimming silicone legs to be much more productive... thus the simplicity of the legs I've adopted. The foam "Bream Spider" is a classic, but I honestly haven't ever seen such a simplistic hopper pattern out there... probably because no one except me would be willing to show off such simplicity. I like simple flies that catch fish. These are still in the experimental phase, and I'll definitely be giving a report soon.