After a somewhat limited hopper fishing season, it's finally getting good! The fish are finally looking up, and they've been eating hoppers on several streams with regularity. Some days any hopper will do, but some days the fish get a little pickier. We've come to rely on a few different patterns for terrestrial fishing success under varying conditions - here's a few of our favorites!
Rainy's Grand Hopper
This is a staple in many western guides' boxes - it floats high and fish eat it confidently. If you want to put a dropper on, it holds up heavy tungsten nymphs with no issues. Another bonus is that it comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes to match any "hopper hatch".
This is my personal favorite hopper pattern. I use a parachute hopper below Pactola 0n Rapid Creek a lot - even the snootiest fish will at least give it a look. If your fish are a little more selective and aren't particularly receptive to large rubber-legged foam hoppers, tie one of these on and let it work it's magic.
The Streambank Hopper has treated me well everywhere I've fished it. It's a nice "hybrid" between a Rainy's Grand Hopper and a traditional deer hair grasshopper. This is the highest floating hopper pattern I've ever used, and it will hold up the heaviest of dropper flies.
Big Secret Cricket
When fishing gets tough, put on a Bill Logan's Big Secret Cricket. Fish that have seen a lot of hopper patterns sometimes get a little skittish towards them, but will eat a black cricket pattern without hesitation. This fly is a killer on Rapid Creek especially - especially in the fast water. I always have a few of these stuck in my box somewhere!