"The Takahopper is my version of Pennsylvanian’s fly designer Ed Shenk's Letort Hopper, The pattern was one of the first dry flies I learned to fish over 40 years ago and with much success catching fish it increased my confidence in the pattern.
The Takahopper remains my top dry fly.
I have modified the pattern to meet my requirements of designing a durable fly and a pattern that will sit lower on the surface of the water. To accomplish this, I replace the mottled oak turkey wing with a synthetic wing material.
It became apparent to me that the underwing made of Mottled Oak Turkey would often become shredded due to the effect of the trout’s teeth or from the effects of casting.
I favor using River Roads Creation Mottled wing material, Pelon 808 Interfacing or Web Wing. I believe the wing outline when viewed from underneath is a trigger point and these materials create that illusion.
I replaced the rabbit fur dubbing with Fly Rite #9 Golden Yellow dubbing which is a shade darker than the majority of the dubbings on the market and is made of polyester fibers which float well in water.
I designed the Takahopper to sit lower in the surface of the water by decreasing the amount of deer hair found in the original design. Instead of tying the deer hair head in-the round, I chose to only attach the deer hair on the top half of the shank; this allows the fly to sit flush with the waters surface.
I fish the Takahopper as Grasshopper when tied in larger sizes then size 12 and in sizes 12 to 16, I fish this pattern as a caddis.
I approach fishing this pattern by presenting the fly close to the bank and working it into deeper water. Movement is not necessarily a detriment to the presentation, some subtle movement can often elicit a strike; be sure to add a floatant like Umpqua Dry Magic initially and then redress the fly by using Shimizaki’s Dry shake.
If I only had one dry fly to fish it would be this pattern."
- Signature Tyer Rick Takahashi