How to Tie: Dave’s Hopper

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Savage Flies ties a classic terrestrial pattern created by Dave Whitlock himself, Dave’s Hopper.

Difficulty: Intermediate

When it comes to summertime, nothing may be more exciting than a trout munching a downed grasshopper. Although today there are many advances in fly tying, traditional hoppers are still used and for good reason. These natural bodied imitations create a profile and movement in the water that artificial materials cannot replicate. Dave Whitlock is a world renowned tyer for a reason, and Dave’s Hopper is the proof of his talent.

Using all natural materials is certainly more tedious and time consuming than tying with foam. Beginner tyers will face a more difficult time tying Dave’s Hopper, but the time and effort is well spent. This is one of the most successful hopper patterns ever created and like anything in fly fishing, practice makes perfect. Working with natural materials will make you into a more skilled and efficient tyer. What may start out as a difficult fly to tie will soon become your favorite after a long day of work.

Hitting the cut banks with Dave’s Hopper this summer may just produce that fish you have been looking for. Having a soft natural body, this fly lands and sits like a real grasshopper on the water. Creating a profile that trout accept on hot bright days is difficult, but this is the pattern for the job. Today, many anglers adopt new materials and methods, but the classics still hold their own and Dave’s Hopper is the proof.


  • Hook: #6-10 long shank
  • Thread: Yellow
  • Tail: Red hackle fibers
  • Rib: Brown hackle, palmered
  • Body: Yellow synthetic yarn
  • Wing: Mottled turkey
  • Head and collar: Deer hair

Now you know how to tie Dave’s Hopper!

Video and ingredients courtesy of Savage Flies.


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