Deer Hair Body for Hopper


Many hopper patterns call for yellow foam with a hackle palmered over it. I think this creates a blurred or confusing image to the fish but has the advantage of superior floatation. I use deer hair in a bundle and lashed down on the hook for a hopper body. This produces a smooth realistic body that I can palmer the thread over for a segmented effect. It doesn't float as good and fish teeth tear it up but I get more strikes. I'm going to loose the fly in a tree in short order anyway so lack of durability doesn't bother me. That philosophy turned around and bit me in the butt on a New River smallmouth trip where I ran out of flies. I couldn't keep the fish off of them and a buddy borrowed a few. If you need better floatation, try the foam and many folks like a spun deer hair body like on the Irresistible. In our area, a tan body color works well but try other colors for your area.

Note. Red thread is used in illustrations for contrast with body materials.

Start with the thread hanging at about 2/3 of the hook shank. Cut off a bundle of deer hair and hold the butts on top of the hook shank. Cut hair so that a trimmed butts are just a little past thread.

Cut hair so that a trimmed butts are just a little past thread.
Make a loose wrap of thread.
Make another wrap of thread but don't tighten thread.
After two wraps, tighten thread slightly.
Push hair down so that hook is in middle of hair bundle.
Tighten thread down hard.
Wrap thread tightly to secure hair to hook.
Move forward as you wrap thread to anchor down hair butts. Notice how my thread goes into hair butts. This really helps hold down the body by having the thread hold down those last few hairs.
Slide fingers holding the hair to the rear of the body material
Palmer thread to rear of hook shank for a segmented effect. Do not tighten thread hard, just snug.
Go all the way to just before hook bend.
Make about three light wraps around body at rear of hook shank.
Be sure you are holding hair so that hook shank is in middle of hair bundle.
If you are tying a small fly, you might want the bulk of hair to be on top of hook shank to keep body from taking up too much hook gap.
Tighten thread down hard.
Clip off excess hair .
Leaving a little stub of hair out past hook shank won't hurt anything.
Palmer thread back forward to front of body. Use light thread pressure.
Leave thread hanging at tie in point.
Should look like this with chartreuse thread.

HOPPER

HOMEPAGE