A while back I got a tip from another trout hound who sent me a link for a youtube.com video by a fellow named Mike Wier. This informative video shows Mike using a three fly rig including a hopper pattern set as the indicator, what makes the fly intriguing are the mono-loops tied t0 the shank prior to construction. The loop at the hook eye allows for a loop-to-loop connection between the Hopper and the leader, the mono-loop at the rear of the hook is meant for the rest of your tippet to pass through so the Hopper sits level on the water allowing the trailing nymph rig to pass behind the indicator smoothly, allowing for a higher number of accurate presentations, article here.
I recently received the Beavertail Body Cutters in the mail and have begun the task of creating a multi-colored mini-plague of my own hoppers, some of which I have constructed with the added mono-loops to create my own hoppicators. On a tip I roughed up the mono prior to attempting to attach it to the hook. Also, I chose to use 50 denier White GSP thread to really get the mono tight, after which I used Zap-a-Gap to hold it firm, period. I chose a 14lbs Fluorocarbon mono to make the loops strong but invisible. I tied a few up and used them recently and found the foam to float excellent, now two things will make or break the float on these flies IMO. First, taking the time to adquatly dry the fly each and everytime it gets struck or pulled under the surface, besides if you just caught a fish off a dropper you should let the stream rest and recover before presenting to the trout again. To dry the flies quickly I use my cotton t-shirt and press firmly without damaging the fly into my shirt on both sides, dries it out without the use of floatant, everytime. The other thing that can make or break the float, and thus the presentation is the attachment of the trailing rig, wether using the mono-loop or tying directly to the hook eye with your leader the flies must fall naturally down below the fly, if you tie the leader to the fly not using the mono-loop but to the eye and the right angle of the trailing flies does not fall straight down at the correct right angle the flies want to fight each other and turn the hopper pattern for a poorer float.
The cost of this little project was a bit more than usual due to the added cost of the foam body cutters but if properly used/maintained I’m confident I will be able to make a few thousand of these things over the years without issue. The foam was dirt cheap and some of the deer hair I cured myself making the hooks, flash and legs the other main cost. After spying youtube.com a bit I came across the video that ultimatly led to the choice of the body cutters, this video is slick for sure, allowing almost anyone with the tools/materials to duplicate the pattern.