Saturday, February 13, 2010

Zudweg's "Darth Hopper" Tying Instructions

If you love fishing hoppers for large trout, this pattern is a must for your box. I've caught some of my largest trout on this pattern! It is also very effective with tan or kelly green foam. Regardless of the foam color, the body and leg colors should remain the same. It has also proven to be very effective on bass when tied larger and bluegill when tied smaller.

You will need 3mm sheet foam (found at most hobby stores) and Hareline's Beavertail Body Cutter (size medium)

Step 1: Stamp out a body from the foam about 3/4" from the foam edge, then using a razor blade (or x-acto knife) cut a sleeve to the foam edge. This sleeve will be used to form the head.

You can see from this photo how the foam body should look.

Step 2: Place a Daiichi 2461 (size 4) hook in your vise, wind black thread (I prefer "Big Fly" Uni Thread) to the back and dub a body of Hareline's Ice Dub (Olive) about a third of the way toward the front.

Step 3: Place the foam body on top of the hook with two snug wraps between the middle and rear body segments.

Step 4: Place two of Hareline's Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs (orange/black) on top of the thread wraps with two more wraps.
The legs should hang off the rear by about 1" and off the front by about 2 1/2".

Step 5: Continue dubbing a body up the hook, finishing about 1/16" behind the eye.

Step 6: Tie down the foam body at the next body segment just behind the hook eye with two snug wraps.

Step 7: Tie in a clump of Hareline's Stiff Pearl Krystal Flash using two more wraps. (If you're going to be bass fishing at night use glow in the dark flashabou as a substitute).

Step 8: Fold the sleeve back to form a head and tie off with two snug thread wraps. Step 9: Tie in the remnant of the rubber legs on the top using two snug wraps, then pull the head back and whip finish just behind the eye of the hook.

Step 10: Cut the legs in the center and shimmy each of them to the sides of the body. Cut the legs 3/4" to 1" in length. At this point you should also cut the pearl wing even with the foam body. The sleeve should also be cut shorter as seen in this image.

Step 11: Using a white paint marker, place a spot on the head and sleeve of the foam for better visibility.

At this point the fly looks finished, but there is one more very important step.

To make it durable, you must add a drop of Dave's Flexament to the tie in point of each leg. Do NOT use anything for this step except a Flexible Cement or it will distort the rubber legs. Also, be sure the legs are positioned exactly where you want them before cementing.
If done properly this fly will be durable enough to catch many trout. To purchase this pattern and many other of Matt Zudweg's patterns visit