Wednesday, August 11, 2010


MidCurrent is a healthy part of a fly fisherman's balanced diet. I have been dropping in regularly for a long time due to the well-written articles, knot tying tutorials, podcasts, industry news, and other information that is always readily available.

I have really enjoyed the addition of dedicated sections for featured fly fishing artists and photographers. If you haven't dropped in for a while, definitely check out:



I'm honored to have been featured for the 3rd time this week for some of my recent images dealing with summer fly fishing. Clicking on the image below will take you to the updated feature page.

MidCurrent³ - August 2010 Feature

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Hopper

Walt Whitman didn't write much about hopper patterns, but if he had it probably would have gone something like this:

O Hopper my Hopper! Our fishing trip is done,
The line has weathered every cast, the prize we sought is won,
The stream is near, the gurgle I hear, the terrestrials are raging,
With watery eyes the trout apprise, the hopper grim and daring;
But O hop! Hop! Hop!
O the deer hair bullet head,
Where on the current my hopper lies,
Drifting foam and thread.

Why did Whitman avoid the topic of hoppers? It's hard to say. Historians all agree that he was part of the Transcendentalist movement. As everyone knows, this was the idea that fishermen could transcend (rise above) bait and use artificial flies instead.

This in turn gave way to Realism, which was a period where fly tiers spent copious amounts of time making their flies look as real as possible. Beginning in 1865, Realism essentially ended in 1910, although no one informed Graham F. Owen. Residing in Burbank, California, Graham guffaws at historians and continues to tie flies so realistic that several reasonably intelligent movie producers have mistaken them for actual insects. Many of his life-like creations have taken since 1892 to complete, making them contemporaries of Whitman himself.

Realism eventually gave way to Naturalism. This was a time characterized by the more unpleasant and even shocking aspects of fly fishing. Patterns took on an impressionistic look and the hopper, while not embraced, became increasingly common. Naturalism was more of a movement than a formalized period, but was also closely linked to Determinism - wherein man's life came to be dominated by hatches beyond his control and the biological instinct to prefer dry flies over nymphs.

Regardless of the reasons that hoppers were once taboo, society has progressed to a certain extent. Sure, there are still anglers who will only publicly admit to throwing flies the size of dinoflaggelate algae. During the summer months however, even the most haughty of purists will conjure a gluttonous stash of gigantic hopper patterns at the first sound of a splash.

Happy Hoppertime!

Hopper Gone to Seed

GRASSHOPPER on Wild Teasel

A Hopper's Work is Never Done

Hopper Drift

Underwater Green Hopper