Hoppers Save the Day!
Fly fishing for smallmouth bass can be challenging on those days when they’re not hitting on top. Traditionally we’ve headed subsurface with various streamers and other weighted offering to entice fish that were not “looking up”.
Things have changed.
Yesterday we started with some historically effective poppers and have very few hits. We felt conditions were good – but the fish weren’t cooperating. This happens very frequently.
Instead of going under, we switched to foam hopper patterns and the action began to heat up.
Bass were sipping in the hoppers (slightly twitched) and dead drifted, just like trout. The difference was astounding and the color of the hoppers did not seems to make a big difference with orange, tan, yellow and…purple all working well.
At right is a dandy landed by Dennis Erickson of St. Cloud on a medium sized Hopper Popper.
We did what I called a “matinee float”. We floated only about an hour and a half and in that time drew upwards of 40 hits (many were missed, of course), but were it not for the Hopper Poppers, it would have been nothing more than a deer fly float trip.