Evidence that I made a more significant commitment to the pool toy hopper is documented by the seven decommissioned foam imitations in my refurbishment canister. During 2017 I knotted this buoyant and visible terrestrial imitation to my line quite frequently, and as expected, it accounted for a considerable number of fish. I continue to believe, however, that a simple yellow Letort hopper would outperform a pool toy or Charlie Boy hopper, if I dedicated an equal amount of playing time to the grasshopper imitation created in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the Letort hopper does not possess the buoyancy that I crave in my dry/dropper configurations, so I cling to the pool toy and Charlie boy hoppers as my surface fly during summer sessions. The pool toy seems to attract more fish than the Charlie boy, and I dislike dealing with the super glue that is fundamental to Charlie boy construction.
[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UHTe3w29FbQ/WJ87LDSw1TI/AAAAAAABHDk/ACZS7ySpsWogTyxtQDxhmmHTlyJFHoL5gCCo/s144-o/IMG_2575.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6385887820899477169?locked=true#6385887857683256626″ caption=”I Like This One” type=”image” alt=”IMG_2575.JPG” image_size=”1536×2048″ ]
During 2017 I stumbled across a competing foam attractor that stole line time from the pool toy. The fat Albert proved to be a superior indicator fly that was effective in supporting two size 14 beadhead nymphs. In addition it duped quite a few Colorado trout as either a golden stonefly or grasshopper fraud. It even fooled a wily Pennsylvania brown trout on Penns Creek that presumably mistook it for an eastern golden stonefly. I shifted my loyalties from the fat Albert to the pool toy during the prime summer months in Colorado, but then I reverted to the fat Albert in the fall season, and it did not disappoint.
Despite my newfound love affair with the fat Albert, I decided to hedge my bets, and I increased my pool toy supply by fifteen for the coming season. I counted twenty carry overs from the previous seasons, so this puts my inventory at thirty-five, and this is assuredly the greatest quantity of pool toys to occupy my fly bins.
[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zEp1rTY_UdE/WJ87MLFgnkI/AAAAAAABHDk/b6eOLblq-uMzSQyGcb5mtwE8M0slmgO_wCCo/s144-o/IMG_2579.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6385887820899477169?locked=true#6385887876955020866″ caption=”Associated Materials” type=”image” alt=”IMG_2579.JPG” image_size=”1536×2048″ ]
The retired flies in my canister served as my starting point. The bodies of these handicapped flies were intact; however, all were missing legs to varying degrees. I managed to attach my thread at the midpoint to attach replacement hind legs, or in other cases I tied down the thread near the eye and added front appendages. This process also tightened the foam to the hook shank and increased the stability of the flies.
[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CoH64nAASao/WJ87JbidqpI/AAAAAAABHDo/tZkv6CYAc5IYgBsL_PkD9V0Dd3nO76awACCo/s144-o/IMG_2570.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6385887820899477169?locked=true#6385887829831821970″ caption=”Seven Refurbished Pool Toys” type=”image” alt=”IMG_2570.JPG” image_size=”1536×2048″ ]
After I refurbished the seven misfits, I moved on to constructing new pool toys. I tied the freshly minted foam hoppers on size 8 hooks, and I generated three with tan bodies, four with light yellow and one with a tan ice dub body. I am anxious to give the ice dub version a test. Hopper season cannot come soon enough.
[peg-image src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QODb9RoAyDI/WJ87L57XfEI/AAAAAAABHDk/Meu68FzsPgce85ngM9aWYdZ1JKqJZeerwCCo/s144-o/IMG_2578.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/6385887820899477169?locked=true#6385887872349076546″ caption=”Eight New Pool Toys Ready for Action” type=”image” alt=”IMG_2578.JPG” image_size=”1536×2048″ ]