The little Letort Hopper from Ed Shenk is one of the easiest hopper patterns to tie and one that many tyers cut their terrestrial teeth on. Using just a few commonly available materials, the Letort can cross over for small hoppers as well as caddis and stoneflies.
Hook: TMC 100SP-BL #10-16
Thread: Yellow 3/0 Monocord
Abdomen: Pale Yellow Dubbing
Wing: Turkey Wing Fibers, coated with vinyl cement
Collar and Head: Natural Deer Hair
Start the thread and wrap back to the bend of the hook.
Dub the body from the bend up to about the 75 percent point. You want a clean shoulder at the front of the body and the body itself should be relatively thick.
Clip a coated section of turkey wing fibers and trim the butt end to a point. This slip should be about 2/3rd as wide at the hook gap. To coat the feathers, use a flexible cement such as Dave’s Flexament or Wapsi’s Vinyl Cement to coat the fibers from the butts to the tips. Be sure to allow adequate drying time as they remain sticky for about an hout or so after coating.
Lay the slip on top of the hook with the tip extending just beyond the bend. Tie the slip in place with a couple firm wraps of thread.
Clip the excess turkey slip close to the hook shank on the front. Build a thread base to the eye and back to the base of the body.
Cut, clean and stack a clump of deer hair. Measure the tips against the hook so they are about a shank length long. Clip the butt ends a bit so they have square ends.
Hold the clump of hair above the hook with the butt ends sticking out past the hook eye.
Put two soft turns of thread over the hair at the front of the abdomen.
Pull the thread toward you and slightly back to flare the butt ends. Wrap the thread forward through the butt ends of the hair to the front of the clump.
Cut and clean another bunch of hair and clip the tips off. Place this clump of hair on the hook from the front with the center of the clump even with the front of the first bunch.
Put three turns around this clump and spin it on the hook.
Work the thread forward through the hair to the eye and whip finish the thread.
Use a razor blade to trim the head into a square shape as shown here. Leave the natural tips on top to form the collar.