The Duckfly Hog Hopper

hog hopper (1 of 1)-2

I discovered this pattern just recently in an excellent video by Davie McPhail.

You tube video by Davie McPhail

I liked it instantly.  It ticks a lot of boxes for me. It is light and springy. It could be one of several things: A cranefly, a small hopper, a half hatched cripple, a hatching midge, and just about anything else your imagination can muster. Exactly what you want in a searching pattern.

The  one in the video is on a #12. That is rather big for me, unless it is the hopper you have chosen from the list above, so I tied my first ones on a #16. To start with I made a beginner’s mistake by trying to put on similar quantities of material to that evident in the video. The result was an overdressed fly:

Hog Hopper (2 of 2)

Notice how it looks bulky, and lacks that sparse, buggy, springy feel that one should be after? 

The smaller one is better off with a single CDC feather , and just a sprinkling of deer hair fibres. I think I could even trim the dressing more than I have done in the picture at the top of this page.  Take a look at McPhail’s one again:

Duckfly Hog Hopper

The colour combinations that you could try are endless. I put a spotter post of yarn on one, and left the wing off another.

hog hopper (5 of 8)hog hopper (7 of 8)

hog hopper (1 of 1)-3

I contemplated converting it to a parachute pattern. But just as you can’t have bacon on everything, I realised I was bastardising the pattern beyond what was reasonable, and I reverted to something closer to the original.

This one is tied on a klinkhamer style hook, and with longer more gangly legs, so that it is somewhat more of a cranefly:

hog hopper (4 of 8)

If you have a look at “Sedgehog” patterns, and the “Duckfly” (an Irish midge pattern), you will see where this pattern came from. To Davie McPhail:  hats off to you! I think you have a winner here.

I read somewhere that creativity is the art of putting existing ideas together, that no one has ever thought to put together before.  This pattern is a truly creative one. I look forward to putting it over some fish.

6 Responses

  1. That really is a “Buggy” looking pattern, Davie McPhail certainly puts out some of the best fly tying video clips around and has some wonderfully innovative techniques. I really like this one though, and can see it has application in a variety of sizes, colours and even locations from stillwaters to rivers. Well done, interesting and informative post.

  2. Nice one there Andrew. For our conditions I prefer the brownish colours and touch of red – more hike the small local hoppers found on our waters in summer. I think I might trim the hackle below to get it down where hoppers tend to float on the surface, may even leave it off altogether or make just one or two turns – but that is just me. Davie McPhail is good, love his stuff.

    1. Indeed Peter. I think that in the bigger sizes, with the hackle trimmed it becomes a hopper. And for those I like the lanky klinkhamer hook. These ones pictured are #16 and #18, where they become more of “cripple midge”. I am already filling a small box with various colour combinations! Agreed: Good old wiry red seals fur (like on the first picture) is making a comeback for me on this one.

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