August means two things to most South Central Idaho anglers; fishing at low light periods and Hopper fishing! With the desert winds blowing and Hoppers fully grown, we are entering an 8 week period where the Grasshopper becomes a mainstay in the trout’s diet.
Some thoughts on fishing the Grasshopper
*To kick or not to kick? That is the question and it’s a good question. The answer is simple. Some days yes and some days no. That is not much of an answer, but it does tell you one thing – It’s almost always either or. They all want the fly moving, or none of them do. Switch back and forth between techniques until you lock in on what they want that day. Personally, if I’m fishing buckets in the middle of the river I move the fly so that it looks like a kicking Hopper. If I’m fishing the bank, I try not to move the fly (if I don’t have to) so that it stays pinned on the bank.
*The splat is where it is at if you want to catch Big fish on Silver Creek with a Hopper. It is no secret that the biggest Brown Trout on the Creek live under the cut banks in the bright light of August. Making your fly go “splat” is telegraphing to the fish under the bank that it is there. They can’t see it land when they are tucked, but they are certainly listening. You can always tell when this happens, because the fish will come out from the bank at a perpendicular angle instead of rising parallel to the fly. The splats where it’s at!
*Foam flies or fur and feathers? No clear answer on this, but without question the fish on the Big Wood love traditional Dave’s Hoppers and fish on Silver Creek and the South Fork of the Boise love to eat Big Foam flies!
*Tippet size…Fish about to eat a Grasshopper DO NOT care what your tippet size is. Fish heavy tippets to protect against fish teeth sawing through your line. Fluorocarbon is also a great place to start. Fishing a 9 foot, 2X Leader is about all one needs.
*Let them have it – then let them have it! This is the technique anglers want to use when fishing adult sized Hoppers. Simply let the fish eat the fly and take it under the surface, before you let them have it with an aggressive hook set. Hoppers have large hooks that you want to bury with force!
Happy Fishing Everyone!