Raffia Hopper

Created by Jeff Morgan


Imitates grasshoppers, which can be common from late July through early fall. Grasshoppers are terrestrial insects, but they often fall onto the water from streamside vegetation. They represent a large and easy meal to trout.

For more on this pattern, see the article Hoppers . . . At Last.


Vary the body color and thread to match the insects that are available. Common natural colors are lemon yellow, chartreuse, dark brown, dark gray, and dark olive .

How to Fish

Dress the fly with floatant and use standard dry fly presentations. On small streams, you can fish a hopper anywhere in the river, but on larger flows you will do best to present the fly right next to the bank. On larger rivers, the best places to cast are along the margins, no more than 15 feet from the bank, and often only inches from the bank. Unless you're fishing from a boat, you may find it works best to wade into the river and cast back to the bank.

One effective tactic is to cast so the fly hits shoreside grass, then lands in the river with a distinct plop. This mimics the natural insect. To further imitate natural behavior, give the fly an occasional twitch as it drifts.

Tying Instructions

1. De-barb hook, put in vice, start thread.

2. Tie in foam for body. Super glue hook shank and wrap foam up to hook eye.

3. Tie in legs.

4. Tie in two pieces of Raffia wing material at the hook eye, facing forward.

5. Dub head. Or spin or dub deer hair head. If you use deer hair, leave a few hairs sticking out to the side and skip the next step

6. Tie in a few deer hairs for front legs. Leave them sticking out to the sides. Whip finish and trim thread.

7. Pull Raffia back over head and along top of fly. Glue top edges of Raffia together.

8. Wrap thread around wings and body at the same point the back legs are tied in. Trim wing to shape.

9. Paint eyes (optional).

HOOK: Dai Riki 270, size 8-14

THREAD: Yellow

BODY: Yellow foam

LEGS: Knotted yellow-dyed grizzly hackle

HEAD: Yellow dubbing. Alternatively, use deer Hair, spun and clipped.

FRONT LEGS: A few deer hairs sticking out to each side

WING: Raffia treated with two coats of Flexament

EYES (OPTIONAL): Black paint dots on top of head