Family: Acrididae (Common Grasshopper or Short-Horned Grasshopper)
Tettigoniidae, Long-Horned Grasshopper
Some streams have large concentrations of grasshoppers. Trout sometimes hold near
the banks waiting of one getting blown into the water. These streams are almost always in
fields or open meadows with a lot of weeks or grass. Streams located in sage fields and
hayfields are idea. The more grass there along the banks of the stream the better the
fishing is. In such cases, more hoppers are going to accidentally get in the water.
Streams that are not located in such prime grasshopper habitat have some hoppers.
Even streams that are located in forest.
In many streams where there is not much aquatic insects, the grasshopper may
represent a majority of the trout's source of food. On many streams during the summer
and early fall months of the year, hoppers may be one of your best bets to catch trout.
Most grasshoppers use their strong legs to get airborne just about as much as they do
their wings. They are actually terrible fliers. They land wherever they happen to land and
apparently don't know the difference in land and water. Most hoppers can fly only a very
Grasshoppers vary greatly in size depending on how old they are. They usually emerge
in the late spring or early summer and stay around available as trout food until the fall.
We have often seen them after a frost or two.
It would certainly be rare for trout to become selective on a particular species of
grasshopper. They don't belong in the water and only get there by jumping in or getting
blown in by wind. With the exception of a few trout streams that flow through fields and
large meadows, there is usually not that many of them in the water at any one given time.
The biggest concern is matching the size and color of the most prevelent grasshoppers.
Many anglers think that their hoppers need to float high in the water. That certainly
makes it easier to fish the flies but real grasshoppers don't necessarily float high in the
water. In fact, most of the time they sink. That is why we sell hoppers that sink and those
Most hoppers are yellow, brown, tan or green. There are variations of these colors, of
course, but for all practical purposes, this just about covers it. If you have four or five
different sizes in those colors, you should be well prepared.
You should check the grass and weeds for hoppers and take note of the sizes and colors
of them before selecting a particular fly. There may be several sizes available and even
several colors on a stream but most of the time you will find one or two that seem to
dominate the population.
We don't want to leave the impression that matching the hoppers isn't necessary at all.
The closer your fly is to the naturals along a stream the better off you are. If the water is
smooth and clear, a good imitation may help. That is why we sell Dave's hoppers. I doubt
anyone could improve on that fly very much. We haven't even tried to do so.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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