Thunderthighs hopper pattern

While I’m generally of the mind that specific fly pattern isn’t too important, particularly when it comes to hoppers (Does it float well?  Does it have rubber legs?), as a fly tier I’m always looking for new ways to do things.  And while the PM often has great hopper fishing, late July afternoons on the fly water can be frustrating.  Those fish see a lot of flies and can sometimes be reluctant to smack a big hopper they would have eagerly jumped all over just a month ago.

So I was poking around online the other day looking for different approaches to hopper patterns.  I found a website run by a guide in Montana, Eric Paramore, called Hopper Fishing.   Eric’s website is fantastic- clean design, clear instructions and photographs, creative patterns, if only he posted more often.

The one pattern that really caught my eye is called Thunderthighs.  It’ s a fairly quick tie, should float very well and has an extremely realistic profile.  And rubber legs.  Check, check and check.  I followed Eric’s pattern pretty closely, but added two body segments off the hook bend rather than just leaving a straight piece of foam there.  I also love super floss, the material Eric uses for the legs, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used sili legs.  They worked pretty well for tying onto the “thighs.” Finally, I angled the “thighs” up a bit to get the more natural look of a real hopper leg.

So check out Eric’s step by step on his website.  I’ll let you know how these flies fish later in the week.

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