Fly Tying the Foam Core Hopper
About the Foam Core Hopper
This is a very simple, buoyant, and rugged fly. It imitates a green grasshopper. Making the foam core is where most of the effort is.
Making The Foam Core
The foam core is the center piece of this fly. To create it, acquire a 3/16 inch diameter tube from a hobby or hardware store. Take a file and bevel the outside diameter of one end. Cut the other end to fit a drill motor. Use the drill motor on a foam flip-flop to bore a core. Cut both ends of the core. Use a bodkin to punch a hole through the entire length of the core. While I use an aluminum tube in the accompanied video, brass is better because it keeps an edge longer.
Tying the Fly
The embedded instructional video details on how to tie the fly. Use regular sewing thread on this fly. Why? Because you actually want to build-up the thread on the hook. Sewing thread also remains round and creates small ridges. Both the build-up and ridges help secure the foam core to the hook when you glue the two together.
The round rubber legs would appear to slip out of the body of the fly as they are only threaded through the foam. I have only had this happen once while fishing this fly. I believe the foam closes up around the leg after threading it - at least enough not to be pulled out during casting.
A natural bend hook seems to be the best hook for this fly because the hook point is further away from the body.
Fishing the Fly
I typically fish this fly with a slow and short jerky retrieve to simulate a struggling grasshopper while fishing still water. In moving water, I let the current take it. In truth, I have better success with other floating terrestrials. I think it is because I do not fish water that has a lot of grasshoppers as a food source. I suspect that a grass-lined creek with little or no tree overstory and a large population of grasshoppers would make this a more productive fly.