Eric Johannesen, (AKA: Eric WI), is from Livingston, Wisconsin
which is blessed with many wonderful trout streams. I sent him
a copy of Slicfoot's Tapered Leader Formula and some brochures
about Trout Streams in Minnesota.
Eric sent me a letter thanking me for the information and sent
along some flies he had tied. I asked Eric permission to share
his letter with you, so you can see some beautiful flies. ~ Steven
Thanks for sending me the information regarding Slic's Leader
Calculator and the SE Minnesota Trout Streams. As usual, I
have found fellow Fly Anglers, to be outstanding and helpful
people. I am not sending these few flies in return for your
generosity. They are being sent from one Midwestern Fly Angler
to another. I sent duplicates, so that you could keep one for
a pattern, and use one for fishing.
The Brown Peacock Beetle is a pattern from one of Ross Mueller's
most recent books. I have found it to be deadly in the early
season here in Wisconsin.
Eric's Short Hopper is a variation I came up with last summer
after studying some of the hoppers I found in a field near the
stream. The trout were going crazy on them! The hoppers were
much smaller than most hopper patterns, so I found a way to tie
them up on a size 10 standard dry fly hook. It was a killer
pattern in the small streams here in Southwestern Wisconsin.
The Packer Hopper, originated from a floss woven dry fly pattern
I found in one of the fly tying magazines. The original pattern
was a dry fly Blue-wing Olive with an extended body and micro
fibrils for a tail. I tied a few Blue Winged Olives, found
they work quite well, except they are way too much work to tie.
Most of the dry flies fished here are tied in a comparadun manner.
I thought that it would be neat to attempt a hopper pattern,
using this technique without the extended tail. Out of this
came the Packer Hopper:
The first attempts to tie this pattern used a dubbed head
instead of a spun deer hair. These sank like the Titanic!
I then started using denser foam, wrapped under the woven
abdomen section and a spun deer hair head and collar. I also
added a little tuft of Z-lon under the yellow deer hair wing.
It displaces quite a bit of water and it floats pretty deep
in the water, similar to a real grasshopper. So what started
out as a whim derived from boredom of the same old fly patterns,
became the 'Packer Hopper.'
I submitted this to the Fly Fish America publication, and
they notified me recently stating that it will be in the September
2002 issue. I hope you enjoy! Tight lines! ~ Eric WI
The photos do not do justice to these beautiful flies. The
"Eric Short Hopper" is simple yet very well designed. The
"Packer Hopper," has a beautiful weave pattern for the abdomen.
Al Campbell has weaving instructions in the Advanced Fly Tying
Series, here at FAOL.
Eric's letter shows what can happen when one thought leads to
another and you end up with something that you had no intention
of creating at the start. This is almost a perfect illustration
of creative thought not being bound by constraints. This is
fine example of "Thinking Outside the Box." ~ Steven
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to