Tying The Tomsu Hopper August 24, 2020 – Posted in: Learning, Vedavoo – Tags: , , ,

Vedavoo Torchbearer JR Maggard fishes a bunch in Idaho, and if you take a look at his Instagram page (JRizzle50) you will see he does pretty well out there! Here’s a great step by step for a grasshopper pattern that not only looks awesome to our eyes, but gets the job done on the water. The trout love it!

Step 1:
Cut out the foam pieces of your hopper with the River Road Creations Tomsu’s Supreme Hopper Body Cutter.
– Body (2 pieces) – 3mm Foam
– Legs (2 pieces) – 1mm Foam
– Wing (1 piece) – Wing Material
– Pronotum (1 piece) – Micro Foam

Step 2:
This is where you’ll create the hopper body & tail — Put the extended body tool in the vise and attach your thread. Sandwich one piece of foam body on each side of the tool/thread and make your first body segment towards the very tip of the hopper tail. Make 3-5 moderately loose wraps. Bring your bobbin and thread directly over the top of the fly and bring it down in between the 2 body pieces so you can advance your thread while also keeping your body segments clean. You will see some diagonal indents on the top/back of the hopper, but that’s okay (these will get covered up). Repeat this process until you have completed the tail of the hopper and made it to the main portion of the body.  Depending on the width of your segments you will probably get 4-5 in place.  Whip finish at your last segment, pull the body off of the extended body tool, and trim thread.

Step 3:
Attaching body to hook – Put your hook in the vise, start your thread and advance it to the bend of the hook.  Place your body on the hook and see how everything lines up to make sure it looks corre.  If you like it, place some super glue on the hook shank around where your first attachment point will be, place the body on the hook and attach it using the same style of wraps that you were using to create the tail segments.  With the super glue it should feel solid pretty quick.  If you use truly barbless hooks like I do, this is also a good opportunity to attach a tippet ring down the back of the hook before you put the body on.  I hate droppers slipping off my barbless hooks.

Step 4:
Attaching back legs – Before you move to the next segment, you need to attach the rear legs to the hopper.  Attach them one at a time at this segment making sure that they line up appropriately, etc.  Trim off the excess foam at the front of the legs so they look more flush and you are ready to move on.

Step 5:
Last segment (Wings, pronotum, front legs) – Move the thread up between the body pieces one more time to create the last segment right behind the hopper head. Before you close this segment up and completely seal the two body pieces together, place some super glue in between them for an extra strong bond to the hook.  You are now ready to attach your wing, front leg and pronotum:
Wing – I usually layer Krystal Flash, than parapost material, and then foam wing on the back of the fly at this segment. You may have to use some super glue to hold some of this material down to the back.
Front Legs – Take the rubber legs and place them on each side. Trim to desired length.
Pronotum – This last piece of foam will go right on the back and cover the front part of the wing you tied in. I like to use some super glue to make sure it attaches well and continues to hold the material down.

Step 6:
Whip finish and fly completion – Toss a whip finish in and remove your thread.  Put some super glue around the thread at this segment to seal your finish and also keep your front legs secure.  Also, feel free to take a sharpie and create some other coloration/patterns on the hopper.



  • 3 mm Foam Sheets
  • 1 mm Foam Sheets
  • Micro Thin Foam
  • Wing Foam / Material
  • Krystal Flash
  • Parapost Wing Material
  • Thread – 70 or 140 Denier is suggested
  • Hook – Firehole Outdoors 413 Sticks (or similar)

TOOLS NEEDED (Other than the usual fly tying tools)

  • Extended Body Tool
  • River Road Creations – Tomsu’s Supreme Hopper Body Cutter
  • Sharpie
  • Super Glue

A few of our top gear picks for your fly tying bench. We’ve also included a few of our favorites for exploring and fly fishing for trout with a hopper pattern.

« Podcasts: August 2020
Fly Tying Tips For Rabbit Strips »