Clay’s Hopper
By Dirk Burton


Size 10 or 12 streamer hook
Rayon embroidery thread in contrasting colors
Craft foam
6/0 thread matching craft foam color
Dubbing to match craft foam color
Round rubber legs (I like barred style) in medium and small sizes
Marking pens in various colors

Using a pair of pliers, open the gap of the hook slightly, then bend the shank slightly downward toward
the rear so when you weave the butt section it has a more bug like appearance.  Start your thread just
behind the eye and wrap back into the curve of the hook.  Tie in a four or five grizzly hackle fibers at
the back of the hook. Tie in six or seven inches of rayon weaving material, one color on each side of
hook up to about the halfway point on the shank. Wrap tying thread forward, throw in a half hitch, and
cut off thread so you can start your weave.

Using overhand knot weave, make an abdomen section to just past the halfway mark on the hook
shank. Start your thread again and tie off the ends of your weaving material. Trim the ends. Make a
dubbing loop and apply dubbing forward nearly to the hook eye.  Make a couple of wraps back to just
where the woven body ends and tie off. Let your bobbin hang here until the next step.

Cut an isosceles triangle from the craft foam. It should measure approximately 5/8ths of an inch by
7/8ths of an inch. Hold the piece of foam up to the body of the fly and it should extend from right
behind the eye to just past the end of the abdomen.  

Place a couple of drops of superglue on the underside of the foam where it lined up with your bobbin
when you checked the foam length in the above step. Folding the foam triangle in half lengthwise, but
not closed tightly, place it over your hook and tie it in with a fair amount of pressure to begin making
the segmented thorax.

Take a three inch length of rubber leg material, double it and tie a knot in it. Cut the front loop, and
trim one of the forks in the rear to make a hopper leg.

Slip this leg under the last wrap of thread on the near side of the hopper. Make another wrap or two
with your thread staying in the same channel for all of these wraps.
Repeat the above step and position the second leg on the far side of the hopper. Make a couple of
more wraps in the channel and tie in a half hitch. The legs are now complete.

Slip the thread under the foam and bring it forward to about 1/8 inch behind end of foam. Make a
couple of fairly tight wraps over the foam to put the second segment in the thorax and create the
hopper’s head. The head should almost look like a Crease Fly from the front.

Slip the thread forward under the foam once more, make some wraps right behind the eye of the
hook, whip finish and apply a drop of head cement.

Take a bodkin and make a hole completely through both sides of the head above where the eyes will
be. Run a threader through the holes and insert a piece of small rubber leg material in it. Pull it back
through to make the antennae. Put a drop of head cement on rubber next to the foam and pull this
part back into head to glue it in.

Put a drop of head cement where legs are attached to body and on knots in legs. Color foam
accordingly using waterproof pens