Much like the slightly smaller Chernobyl Ant, the Chernobyl Hopper is now a staple in most fall season boxes. The hopper nymphs are starting to disappear and we’re seeing lots of larger hoppers while walking out to the creeks. I like this pattern, simple and quick to tie. I like to use a bit of Zap-A-Gap on the contact points with the foam to get it really stuck in place. Also, a bit of bright dubbing underneath doesn’t hurt. If you have some nice green olive and tan foam at hand, you can make a nice number of variations. Take note of the hoppers you see on and off the streams and copy that color scheme.
I’m starting to see quite a few Hopper Nymphs along the banks of the streams and now is a good time to tie up a few on the smaller side. It won’t be long now before the adults appear, and so this pattern should help you get a bit of a start and some inspiration. Match the size and color to the local bugs as always. The browns and cutties should give this some attention.
First, I wanted a pattern that I could call my own; I didn’t want to copy something already out there. Second, it had to look nice. I wanted to create a pattern that was simple and attractive, a reflection of my tying style. Third, it had to float well and be able to hold up a nice chunk of iron and tungsten. Fourth, it had to be high-viz for my clients that have trouble seeing a small duck on the water, and lastly, it had to catch fish and be durable enough to catch a bunch of them.