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The Arizona Mini Hopper!

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The "Arizona Mini Hopper"

July 1 stream fishing time. Still working (27 shifts down 11 to go) Can’t fish but I can still tie. I’m preparing for a twist-off trip up the Alaska Hyw. and into the East Slope Rockies. Been tying some big Double Bunnies and Mice patterns for the Bull Trout and lots of Copper Johns in greens and black for Whitefish, rainbows and Grayling. Now it’s time for some dry’s. Was going to go with my normal Elk Hair Caddis in various colours and sizes and some foam beetles. That was until I came across a hybrid of both and after tying some I’m convinced it will be my go to dry fly. The fly is called an Arizona Mini-hopper. The creator of this fly is Ben Smith and I found it on his site Arizona Wanderings. It’s a modification of Roman Moser’s Balloon Caddis. The one I’ll be describing is a black Mini-hopper which could represent a small black caddis, a beetle or an ant. I’ve also tied a bunch in green ,tan and brown. This primarily a stream dry fly but I’m sure it would work on B.C.’s still waters too! It’s an easy tie and unsinkable which get’s it bonus points right off the hop.


  • H00k:  Size 12 dry fly hook
  • Thread:  Colour to match body
  • Body:  Peacock herl
  • Wing:  Black deer hair
  • Legs:  Medium round rubber legs barred olive
  • Head/Overwing:  Black foam 2mm


  1. Cut a ¼” strip of foam and secure to the front of the hook with the bulk laying out over the eye.
  2. Tie in four peacock herl and wrap up the hook to form your body up tight against the foam tie –in point
  3. Cut a small stack of deer hair, align the tips and tie in just behind the foam and trim butt ends.
  4. Tie legs on either side where you secured the hair.
  5. Add a drop Krazy glue at the base of the foam, pull back over the fly and tie down at the same point as the legs whip finish and trim off excess foam.

I’ll report back in a couple of weeks to let you know how they worked.

Gord – Flyguys Northern Division

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About Gord

Fly fishing the great white north! I mainly fish the lakes, rivers and streams of North Eastern B.C. for Rainbows, Lakers, Brookies, Bulltrout and Grayling.
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