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Notes: Developed by Art Winnie in the early 1940's. It was known as the
Michigan Hopper but evolved into the name of Joe's Hopper by the 1950's. It was a popular hopper pattern for Joe Brooks, hence the name, and the pattern is much different than the original tied by Art Winnie. This fly was a forerunner to
Dave Whitlock's Hopper. Joe's Hopper can be fished as a dry fly but it is often fished as a wet fly when
it is weighted. Fish the fly within riffles during the hottest part of the day. Also use the fly along
undercut banks and deep pools. During periods of hatching, a wieghted Joe's Hopper will not work well.
However, during a lack of nymphal activity, a weighted Joe's Hopper can become the fly of choice. Gary
LaFontaine was a strong proponent of Joe's Hopper. He preferred the weighted variety and would wade
upstream presenting a drag-free drift. He found that size and color played a primary role in trout
selection. The trout would prefer the most abundant mature hopper in a particular size and color
available on the stream. Larger hoppers might be available but they would be ignored by the trout.
Gary also liked to utilize a skip cast and a carom splash off the banks. He tried to minimize the use
of the loud splat presentation since it would often frighten the fish.