Bobby Z’s Hopper Fly

Tied by Bob Zatorsky. A great imitation of a cicada or grasshopper for use on bass and pike.

Tied in Tan, this fly will mimic a Cicada or June bug. These insects are nocturnal. For best results fish these at first light. Tied in Olive or Green it will mimic a Grass Hopper. Fish these during daylight and at dusk.


  • Hook: Mustard REF3366, size #2
  • Thread: Danville flat waxed nylon, olive or tan
  • Square shaped toothpick
  • Spongy foam
  • Chenille, olive or tan
  • Hemp Twine
  • Paint Brush bristles 2
  • Doll Eyes 2, 1/8th inch
  • Feathers, olive or tan
  • Head Cement or Hard as Nails(HANs)
  • 5 Minute Epoxy
  • Sharpie pens: black, olive, tan



1. Prepare legs: Cut two 4” lengths of Hemp twine. Tie an over hand knot 1 ½” from the end. Bend the twine 90 degrees at the knot. Apply 3 or 4 coats of Hard as Nails. This will lock in the shape of the legs. Color the joints of the legs with a black Sharpie. If tying olive or green tone the legs with proper Sharpie.



2. Prepare eyes: Color the two doll eyes with a Sharpie, green for an olive hopper, tan for a tan hopper or black. 



3. Antennae: Cut 2 paint brush bristles of an old paint brush. Approx. 2”, color optional. 



4. Body: Hook, Square toothpick, Spongy foam



5. Insert hook in the vise and wrap a thread base the entire length of the shank of the hook. Apply a coat of Hard as Nails. Tie on a toothpick starting at the eye of the hook, down the shank & coat with Hard as Nails. Tie on a piece of spongy foam loosely from the eye of the hook to ¼” past the bend of the hook. This will give the Fly the buoyancy it will need to float. Wrap the thread back loosely to ¼” from the eye of the hook to create a neck, cinch down & whip finish.



6. Wrap on the Chenille. Create a football shape from the neck down the shank & toothpick to ¼” past the bend of the hook. Cinch down your thread at the neck. Continue wrapping the Chenille to create a head & tie off at the neck. Nip off the rest of the toothpick which is unwrapped.



7. Tie on the feathers as shown at the neck. The feathers should be no more then 3/8” x 1½”. I use the tips from larger feathers and trim accordingly. Color feathers the body color with a Sharpie if you can’t match up the body color. Coat the neck joint where all your wraps are with Hard as Nails.


8. Tie on the legs as shown at the neck. The 1½” segment is the rear leg.



9. Attach eyes to the head with a dab of Epoxy. I find using a spring loaded clothespin holds the eyes in place firmly till the epoxy cures. 


10. Attach the two antennas to the head in between the eyes with a dab of Epoxy on the ends. Try and screw the bristles into the chenille & trim to 1 ½”. Trim legs so that the completed Hopper will sit upright on a table. Coat leg tips with Hard as Nails after trimming to the desired length to prevent wicking.


11. Done!

Presentation: Cast out to some Lilly Pads or Reeds. Twitch the line every few seconds to simulate a wounded hopper in the water. A strike by a Bass or Pike will be fast & violent.