I developed this pattern almost 20 years ago while guiding on Colorado’s Tarryall Creek. My clients were going through Dave’s Hoppers at an astounding rate and I figured there had to be a better option. While Dave’s fly works fine, it becomes waterlogged after a couple fish and is a pain to tie. The Charlie Boy Hopper (named after my son) meets all of my requirements in a hopper pattern: active rubber legs, incredible durability, realistic silhouette, good visibility, and great flotation. The best part is it is especially easy to tie. I like to fish Charlie Boys in the standard tan color, as it seems to be the most common color of the naturals, as well as in yellow, green, olive and even blue/green. The blue/green color (with red rubber legs) matches the hoppers found in the hay meadows along many of our mountain streams here in Colorado. The Charlie Boy Hopper also works great as an indicator dry with a dropper. Its high visibility and superior flotation make it a natural for this application.

Fly Tying Recipe:
(Click the links below to purchase the materials from our store)

Hook: TMC 100SP-BL #8-10, or TMC 5212 or TMC 5262 #4-8

A note on hooks: I use the 2xl TMC 5212 and 5262 for larger sized hoppers and have recently switched the smaller Charlie Boy Hoppers over to the standard length, wide gaped TMC 100SP-BL to improve the hook gap while still making a smaller sized hopper. The nominal length of the size 8 100SP-BL is the same as the 5212 in a size 12, but with a much bigger hook gap. In small sizes, the narrower gap of the 5212 is filled in by the foam body, where the 100 SP-BL leaves plenty of bite.

Thread: Tan 3/0 Monocord

“Binder” Strip: 2mmX2mm Piece of foam

Body: Tan 2mm Thin Fly Foam

Legs: Brown Medium Round Rubber Legs

Wing: Natural Deer Hair

Glue: Zap-A-Gap CA Glue

Double Edge Razor Blades