Grasshoppers And Crickets

Possible Grasshopper Patterns

There are many ties for these two important insects. Bert Webb's and Dick Clark's ties for the cricket have been discussed above, but we include the Letort Cricket here together with the Letort Grasshopper for convenience. The grasshopper, when the late summer reaches a peak, forms the basis for possibly the best of fishing for the year. Those amongst you who have not approached the summer stream through the long yellow grass and kicked the hoppers in to the water to watch them disappear in a flurry as the snatch rise occurs just near the edge have missed a lot. The author still remembers the summer day at Yea on the Goulburn. Down went the hopper swirling and twisting. Up came a neb just where expected downstream just inches from the bank. A pussyfoot fly fisher left the bank well clear to position himself below that rise, the splat of the hopper did not disturb that particular fish but as the small fly drifted down, twitched by the fisher, from the depths materialized the largest trout he had ever beheld in that river. Up it came, nose to the fly, followed it down and with an air of disdain just left it with as much to say,"Tie a better one next time you bring me up!" Into the depths went that Gargantuan - ever to grow larger in the memory But then the fisher was on a high bank of perhaps two metres up from the water and there would have been no hope of landing that great shadow

BODY

CHENILLE SPUN HAIR MARABOU SILK YELLOW

RAFFIA

CTT^ RIBBED SILVER

1 !

WINGS

TURKEY GOLDEN PHEASANT YELLOW TIPPETS FLUORESCENT DYED _ WOOD DUCK f T) BREAST

^ q^ cf

HACKLE AND HEAD

MUDDLER HEAD AND RUFF

(Uj, TYING SILK HEAD. 0F DEER HAIR -fc^W HACKLE:

i) BROWN PARTRIDGE

Vfc. flK iii) PARTRIDGE & TIPPETS

v iv) GRIZZLE COCK & RED COCK /—

LEGS

GOLDEN KNOTTED HACKLE PLASTIC FIBRE PHEASANT STALKS FROM DUST-BRUSH

Figure 10.17 Various Grass Hopper Constructions

The patterns for the grasshopper are many and varied, the abdomen can be chenille, spun hair, marabou silk - Southern Member Jack Kelly who writes under the pen-name "Hopper" uses raffiene (plastic raffia) ribbed with oval silver, and the colour to match the hoppers of the area - you will have observed that they vary from brown to yellow and green. The wings may be oak turkey tied flat, a fan of golden pheasant tippets to that of a large Yellow-wing Grasshopper which uses fan wings of Amherst pheasant feather dyed floures-cent yellow, or a similar white contour feather with a distinct black tip dyed bright yellow, the breast feather of the mountain duck. The head construction can be just the yellow tying silk with a hackle of several choices - brown partridge, brown partridge mixed with either a red cock or golden pheasant tippet fibres, grizzle cock, or just red cock. The muddler type head is used for several different ties. Figure 10.17 Legs can be fashioned from two bunches of golden pheasant tippets tied alongside the body, in some cases formed into distinct legs by applying a coating of nail varnish. Other legs vary from the stripped (or close-cut fibres) stalk of a red or yellow dyed large cock hackle - some tiers such as Jack Kelly use the hackle stalk and tie a single overhand knot half way down the leg to simulate the joint of the grasshopper legs. One material used by the author is obtained from a plastic brush and pan outfit. The brush fibres are nylon-type material and come in nice yellow, red or orange colours, -just right for two of these fibres to be tied with the mid-way knot to form the joints of the legs, and the tips are generally frayed.

The combinations are endless. FADG Griffiths in his "The Lure of Fly Tying" gives many dressings which will keep the hopper tier busy for some time, and it would be interesting to experiment with close packed deer hair as a body. At one stage the fly tackle dealers had Mayfly bodies made of a plastic material. These were tied on small hooks and had the appearance of the other insect body - these have been used by the author for hopper bodies, but the many other constructions are far simpler and just as effective.

Practical Fly Fishing

Practical Fly Fishing

Here then is Practical Fly Fishing, a companion book to my Practical Bait Casting, and like that little work this is offered mainly as a text book to help the novice through places where there is rocky bottom, rough water and other hard wading.

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