HOPPERING!!!
By Montana Grant

Posted: September 27, 2018

August through October are the best months for grass hoppers in Montana. These tasty insects jump into the rivers and lakes for a cooling dip but end up as what’s for dinner. Trout love hoppers.

Fishermen love Hoppering too! The most common way to present a hopper is using a Hopper/ Dropper technique. The majority of fishing guides will use this technique throughout October.

Not all hopper fly patterns are created equal. Some local patterns look pretty and are constructed with all kinds of modern materials. Foam Hoppers look amazing but are very lightweight.

A proper hopper needs ass! What I mean to say is that the plop is what makes the hopper hop! Trout hear and sense when a meaty hopper hits the water. The fat floundering hopper plopping is the dinner bell. Lightweight, pretty hoppers settle on the water as light as a feather. All hat and no cowboy.

M favorite hopper pattern is the …

Dressing a proper hopper is important. Foam hoppers still have hackle and other materials that absorb water.

Tying a dropper to a hopper takes practice.

Hoppers plop near the banks. The wind and movement help to land hoppers into the water.

As a kid vacationing in Yellowstone Park, my dad would drop me off several miles downstream from Madison Junction campground. The Madison River is Hopper paradise. My Mom would prepare me a lunch and make me carry some sodas in my vest. A few candy bars and I was good to go. I would fish upstream always heading ack to the campground.

Presentation was key. I wore am old camo shirt and hat. You had to stalk these trout. The big trout would line up along the bank under the grass. They patiently waited for a proper hopper to smack the water. The huge trout would ease over to sip the hopper as it drifted by. The hard part was to set the hook and hang on. These bruisers were tough and strong fighters for a young kid. More got off than ended up in my net. The big ones are always bigger when you lose them.

Sharpening the hook was so important.

You can’t hopper hunt like Bigfoot. You need to stalk the banks. The trout can easily feel any vibration along the shore. Shadows and loud noise will give you away.

Polaroid glasses are a must.

Long strong rods help when hoppering.

A great reel with a disc drag will help you land more fish.

Forceps help to de-hopper your trout. Catch and release is so important.

Hop on in!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, hop on over to www.montanagrantfishing.com.