The pool toy hopper has evolved into one of my favorite weapons for fishing western rivers and streams. It is highly visible, floats like a cork, and drives fish crazy. Check out my post Grillos pool toy for more information about my introduction to this fly.
During the early and late season I tend to favor a yellow fat Albert over the pool toy hopper. I tie the fat Albert on a size six hook, and it easily supports two size 14 beadhead nymphs in a dry/dropper system. During these periods of the fishing season, the top fly is more of a strike indicator than a fish attractor, and this explains my preference for the large high floating terrestrial. My post of 03/04/2018 provides more background on the difference between the pool toy hopper and the fat Albert.
|Hook||Tiemco 5262 Size 8 or comparable|
|Underbody||Tan dubbing, or a color and material of preference|
|Overbody||Alternating tan and brown layers of 2MM foam|
|Underwing||Silver crystal flash|
|Legs||Barred brown sillilegs|
When natural grasshoppers become a significant presence, however, in June; the pool toy hopper takes center stage on my fly line. The pool toy possesses a narrower profile than the fat Albert, and when tied with a tan body and dangling sillilegs, it provides an accurate representation of natural grasshoppers.The pool toy tied on a size 8 hook also performs the task of floating a pair of beadhead nymphs in an admirable fashion.
In an effort to maintain a more than adequate supply after another active season of fly fishing, I counted seventeen tan, ten yellow, three pink and one tan ice dub versions in my storage containers. In order to boost my tan supply back to twenty I approached my vise and slapped together five additional tan pool toys. Two were refurbished and three were produced from new hooks. Western trout need to be on high alert during 2019 with high floating pool toy hoppers on the loose.