The Flop and Hop is a technique I developed to imitate a female caddis laying eggs on the water. This is not a universal use everywhere technique but in the right circumstances it does very well.
You will need a leader about 7 or 7 1/2 feet long including the tippet. I build my own starting with a piece of old leader butt and using 3 feet from the loop to tie in for the next piece. Usually this will will give you a piece about 3X or 4X. Next I tie in about 2 feet of 4x or one size smaller than the 3 foot piece. This give you a total length of 5 feet of leader base.
Next tie in a piece of 5X or 6X monofilament tippet about 12 to 18 inches long. Then tie on one caddis dry fly. The standard elk hair caddis dry or the catalyst caddis variant to match the hatch if there is one. If the caddis activity is sparse, I usually use a size 16 or 18 for this technique.
Fishing the Flop and Hop
The up and down motion of an egg laying caddis is what we are trying to imitate. So apply floatant from first foot of your fly line, the entire leader and the fly.
This technique requires tension on the line for it to work properly so a quartering downstream or straight downstream cast is used with a short line. Generally no more than 15 feet of line plus the leader.
I like to use this technique where caddis are popping in a pool at the end of a riffle or a slick at the end of the fast part of a run. Drop a short cast quartering downstream into the top of a riffle. Dead drift thru the riffle and be ready for a strike at the top of the pool or slick. Allow your drift to continue into the quiet water a little ways and let the current swing it gently until it is down stream from your position.
Try a short sideways skitter in case a fish has been following your fly. If nothing happens, lift most of the line off the water and give a short sharp flip up of the rod tip. This should lift a short run of line, leader and fly off the water. While the fly is in the air, move your rod tip about 6 inches back out toward the center of where the riffle drops into the pool. Or drop the fly into the riffle a short distance from the top of the quiet water and do another short drift. Once your fly is in the air, you can also just pull the rod tip higher and then drop the fly back into the current. This positions your fly for another drift.
It takes practice to get the line, leader and fly off the water with a minimum of fuss but it can be done. This will scare all the fish, you think. But I have caught some respectable trout using this weird little technique. Besides if you are not catching fish right then, what do you have to loose?
Fly Fishing Colorado
Successful Fly Fishing for Trout
- Clinch Knots
- The Skitter