One of my most effective dry patterns for wild trout on lochs is simply this Claret Hopper. Quick and easy to tie, representing nothing specific but with all the trigger points wild fish love, this fly has been successful on many occasions for me over the years.
Essentially a dry, fished in the surface film either static or with a very slow ‘figure of eight’ retrieve, it’s also pretty handy as a ‘pulling fly’ both across the surface as well as sub-surface.
I like to tie all my Hoppers with the legs high on the top for two reasons; firstly it helps the fly sit low in rather than on the surface film, secondly from underneath the profile can be taken as a terrestrial fly or possibly a sedge by the trout.
Don’t get too hung up on counting out exactly six legs either, I just pick out a bunch, if it’s slightly less or slightly more no matter, as long as the overall profile fits the bill and the fly isn’t unbalanced.
The deer hair wing I feel is a must, adding to the profile for a surface fly, although for sub-surface work, especially if pulling, then to be honest it makes little difference.
What is essential however is the florescent tag which catches what UV light there is around and acts as the all-important trigger point.
Finally don’t forget to trim the underside of the hackle, again this is to help it sit low in the water film, again if it’s intended as a pulled fly then this makes no difference. I trim the hackle as a matter of habit, this way you can fish the fly either way.
Loved by wild and stocked fish equally, a dry every angler should have with them.
Hook: Partridge Patriot SLD2 barbless (excellent hook)
Thread: Semperfli 8/0 red waxed thread
Tag: Semperfli 8/0 hot orange florescent thread
Body: Claret rabbit fur dubbing
Rib: Tying thread
Legs: Red or claret pre-knotted pheasant tail
Wing: Pinch of natural deer hair
Hackle: Claret grizzle cock (four turns maximum)