Three prior posts on this blog thoroughly documented my introduction to the pool toy hopper as well as the evolution of my experience with this fly. If the reader clicks on the link in the previous sentence, he or she will encounter two additional links to access previous posts.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OTT6aBmKwxA/VsO8W6dJmFI/AAAAAAAA7vo/wjIwds-QLrE/s144-c-o/IMG_0636.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02162016PoolToy#6252047809555044434″ caption=”A New Pool Toy” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0636.JPG” ] [pe2-image src=”http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kiM79vFWgWc/VsO8X3kODtI/AAAAAAAA7vo/qhQnPwvot5w/s144-c-o/IMG_0638.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02162016PoolToy#6252047825959259858″ caption=”Yikes Up Close” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0638.JPG” ]
Not much has changed with this fly. It remains a large visible buoyant terrestrial that I select when I wish to fish a dry/dropper arrangement. I particularly appreciate its buoyancy when I elect to fish two trailing nymphs as it continues to bob along on the surface despite the weighty attachments. Occasionally a fish will fall for the large hopper imitation, but most of the time the pool toy hopper serves as a sophisticated strike indicator.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V7auwWorcC4/VsO8Y73dKsI/AAAAAAAA7vo/i3bKzqM1TT8/s144-c-o/IMG_0641.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02162016PoolToy#6252047844293552834″ caption=”Fish View” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0641.JPG” ]
One locale where I experienced decent success with the pool toy is on the North Fork of the White River as well as the South Fork of the same drainage. This September pool toy success story seemed to repeat itself on each of my trips to the Flattops. Also it seems that large foam hopper patterns reach their peak effectiveness in August and September, and this probably makes sense since this is when the majority of large juicy grasshoppers get blown into the rivers and streams.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6zv3GOmjUUE/VsUWb-Ajz9I/AAAAAAAA7ws/MdP853Ne2N4/s144-c-o/IMG_0648.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02162016PoolToy#6252428327431426002″ caption=”Twelve Tan Pool Toys” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0648.JPG” ]
I often choose a pool toy earlier in the season when fish refuse my Chernobyl ant pattern. I get easily frustrated when fish rise to my top fly and reject it, and this circumstance usually coincides with trout totally ignoring my trailing nymph droppers. In this situation I am more interested in a buoyant indicator that will not attract attention, and the pool toy serves this purpose.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Vi0eaSGJ_mU/VtOSxsXve0I/AAAAAAAA74M/y2ibQVGYcY0/s144-c-o/KLFM2616.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02162016PoolToy#6256505689769737026″ caption=”Four Views” type=”image” alt=”KLFM2616.jpg” ]
Unlike previous winter tying sessions, I settled on a standard combination for my pool toy hoppers in 2016. I made ten with tan and medium olive foam, and I settled on olive barred sexilegs from Montana Fly Company for the legs. I did vary from my established pattern to produce two versions with a pink top foam layer. These should be extra visible under difficult lighting situations.