The Klodhopper is a simple, high floating hopper that is virtually unsinkable. Yet, it rides down in the water film just like a regular hopper would. Sometimes hoppers can be fished just under the surface film. You can make this fly perform in that manner also.

If you’re like me, you receive a few fly fishing magazines and read them when you can. You run across an article about a fly pattern, and it holds your attention. You cut it out and put it in a folder for future reference—and then promptly forget it. Because I am guilty of all that, I make a point of reading the contents of that folder every so often, especially if I’m looking for something new or a particular type of fly. Recently I was looking for a new hopper pattern to supplement the others that I favor, so I consulted my folder where I found several good looking suspects. One of them was the Klodhopper. I tried it; it works; that’s all I need to say. I’m not saying you should abandon all of your favorite hopper imitations; rather, here’s a simple one to add to your terrestrial box.





Any hopper hook, 2x long, such as Mustad 94831 or Daiichi 1180, sizes 6-10


8/0 with color to match body of the fly

Tail (optional)

Red deer hair


Grey, tan, or olive 2mm foam, covered with dubbing material to match

Dubbing for body

Sparkly fine synthetic dubbing material


Brown dry fly saddle hackle

Under wing

Deer hair

Over wing

Speckled turkey wing


Orange and black rubber leg material


Foam, same as body


Tying Instructions

  1. Cover the hook shank with thread after de-barbing it. At a point on the shank just above the back of the now smashed barb, tie in a very short tail of cleaned and stacked red deer hair. It should be no longer than ¼”. Note: the red tail is not part of the original pattern; I added it because I liked that feature of some other hopper patterns.

  2. Cut a piece of foam about 2 inches in length, and about ½ the width of the gape. At one end taper with your scissors to a point. Bring the thread forward to a point that is just behind the eye.

  3. Fold the foam around the shank after making sure that the pointed end is to the rear and is sticking out about ½ the length of the red tail. Tie in the foam just behind the eye, and move the thread rearward about 1/8”. There take two wraps around the foam. Repeat this process until you reach the rear of the hook. This forms a nice segmented body. Leave the thread hanging there for now. Note: at this point, about 1 inch of the foam should be extended out over the hook eye. Don’t cut it off.

  1. Tie in a good dry fly saddle hackle; brown is best for this purpose. Apply dubbing to the thread, and move the thread forward, winding it into the creases that form the segments so that there is a nice dubbed look to the body. Palmer the hackle up to about the 1/3 point behind the eye and tie it off there.

  2. Cut, clean, and stack a pencil-and-a-half size clump of deer hair for the under wing. Measure it so that it extends to the end of the red tail, and clip the butts. To make the hair stay under control and on the top of the hook, take one wind around the butts before putting the hair on the hook. Move the hair and thread to the hook and tighten it. Use 5 or 6 good tight turns to lock the wing down. Trim any excess and move the thread to the base of the wing.

  3. Cut a strip of turkey wing about 3/8” wide. Apply a coat of Flexament and let it dry well. Hint: if you’re doing (as you should) a half dozen (at least) of these, cut and coat the strips all at one time.

  4. Shape the wing so that the rear is tapered round. Apply a coat of Flexament to the butt end of the under wing and lay the turkey wing on top of it. The end of the wing should match that of the under wing. Take several wraps around the butt end of the turkey wing to secure it atop the under wing.

  5. Tie in the rubber leg material on each side of the hook just ahead of the turkey wing tie-in point. Note: I will demonstrate a good shortcut for this at the October general meeting.

  6. Apply some dubbing, if you choose to, of the same sort and color that is used for the body. It should be wound between the legs.

  7. Bring the remaining foam back over the eye and anchor it down behind the legs, taking care not to catch up the legs in the winds. This forms a nicely shaped head. Trim the legs fairly long, with the rear legs being slightly longer.

  8. Move the thread under the thorax and to the hook eye, where you should now form a small head and whip finish. Apply a tiny drop of superglue to the underside of the body, at the point where the foam was tied down in the last step.

Take a few of these in different sizes and colors and go to the Lower Yuba. See ya on the creek!

Copyright 2005 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted