Category Archives: Hoppers

The Fly Tying of Adam Harman

Adam Harman

I’ve been fishing most of my life but I really didn’t take up fly fishing until I was a young adult. I did a lot of “dabbing”, as my Dad called it, when I was younger with a 7’ fly rod and a dry fly catching native brook trout in some of the small creeks in Southwest Virginia, where I was raised. As years past, I discovered a whole new world of fly fishing.

A couple of years after I truly started fly fishing my Father-In-Law gave me a fly tying kit for Christmas when I was 27. This opened the door to endless possibilities. I remember the first fly I tied, an olive wooly bugger with red hackle. It was a pretty ugly, disproportional fly but it started a passion that has grown into a small side business over the years.

Back in 2014, I started posting my flies on Instagram and people started asking me if I was selling them. Before I knew it, I was selling a couple here and there and then one day I asked myself why not turn it into a legit tying business? I got together with my friend and fly fishing mentor Jeff Wilkins, he gave me some sound advice on running a tying business and that started the endeavor. In early 2015, Blue Ridge Custom Flies was launched. Since that time I have tied for people all over the country, including places like the UK, Canada and Australia. I have tied at several fly fishing shows and demoed for local shops and fly fishing clubs. I’ve also had the honor of joining some very fine pro-staffs. I am currently on the pro-staff of Dr. Slick, Flymen Fishing Company, Hazard Fly Fishing and most recently J. Stockard Fly Fishing.

When I am not tying, I enjoy targeting native brook trout and wild brown trout in the small streams of Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and SW Virginia. Small stream trout fishing has always been in my blood and it’s something I am very passionate about. To me, there’s nothing more rewarding than hiking several miles into a wilderness and catching 8-10” native Appalachian brook trout out of a stream that is generally less than the width of a two lane highway. Some people may scoff at this idea, but if one could just see these beautiful creatures in person and the streams they come out of, it might just change one’s perspective. Sometimes fly fishing isn’t just about catching, it’s about enjoying the creation that surrounds you.

*Adam resides in Kernersville, NC with his wife Erin and their two children Jonah and Olivia. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook @blueridgecustomflies or visit his website at

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Filed under Foam, Hoppers, nymphs, Realistic, Trout flies

Flies Around the Net – August 2017

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Filed under Classic, Deer Hair, Dry Fly, Foam, Hoppers, Pike, Saltwater, Streamers, Trout flies

Tim’s Hopper

Tim Neal shows how to tie his hopper pattern. This is a really cool hopper pattern in my opinion. You can see that Tim took the time to design this one and perfect it. It has become popular in Michigan over the last several years; a terrific fish taker!


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Flies Around the Net – May 2017

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Filed under Deer Hair, Dry Fly, Foam, Hoppers, Intruders, nymphs, Poppers, Saltwater, Streamers

Panther Creek Hopper – Brandon Bailes

Topwater foam

Posted by Brandon Bailes on Thursday, January 5, 2017

Brandon has been doing a live tying session usually about one day a week on Facebook. In this one, he shows how to tie his Panther Creek Hopper. This is a fly pattern that Orvis has picked up. This live tying session from Brandon was back on January 5th. Check it out, it’s a very nice hopper pattern.


Filed under Foam, Hoppers

CDC Claret Hopper – Davie McPhail

Hook, Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium size 10
Thread, Uni-8/0 Wine
Rib, Uni-Mylar Pearl No.14
Body, Claret Seals Fur or Sub
Thorax, Claret Seals Fur or Sub
Legs. Knotted Pheasant Tails Fibres
Hackle, Dyed Claret CDC Feather
Wing, Roe Deer dyed Cinnamon…

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Filed under Hoppers, Trout flies

W4F – “Hopper Dropper” Late Summer Terrestrials

Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water. Late Summer fly fishing is all about terrestrials. Time to get out the ants, beetles and HOPPERS. One of the best ways to utilize both water columns is the dry dropper or the hopper dropper. This way you take advantage of rising fish as well as fish feeding subsurface. Ken says, “Here I will be using the W4F Hip Hopper designed by Wish4Fish and Blue Ridge Custom Flies as well as the Mutt Bug designed by Wish4Fish and Fletcher’s Flies. My set up is the Winston Biiix 9′ 3wt and Ross Colorado LT reel. I am also using the Rio Gold line and a Rio Powerflex Plus 7.5ft leader in 3x with Rio 4x Fluorocarbon tippet.”

W4F Hip Hopper can be purchased at

Mutt Bug can be purchased at


Filed under Foam, Hoppers, nymphs

Grayling, Michigan 2016


Headed up to one of my favorite places on Earth last week, Grayling, Michigan. Staying in a cabin on the Holy Waters of the Au Sable River, I was able to fish daily. My oldest son, Brayden, joined me.



During the day I fished dry flies and caught many brookies. You catch smaller fish mostly during the day. The big ones come out at night. But the fishing is still challenging. You have to have a good dead drift presentation and the right fly. I was able to catch several the first couple of days on a Borchers Parachute. That quickly faded and they wouldn’t rise to it any longer. I tried many other dry flies, including an Adams, but the fish wanted nothing to do with it. So I tied on a fly I always have luck with, a Madsen Skunk. I caught trout the rest of the week just using this fly. Even if there were no visible risers, they would come up for this fly.

Paul with trout

Paul with trout


Madsen Skunk tied by Paul Beel

Madsen Skunk tied by Paul Beel

Every night we went out late and tried mousing. This is a hunt for the big ones. Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn’t. My son got lucky on the 4th night and landed a good sized brown trout. He acted like it was Christmas morning and was talking about that fish the rest of the trip. It was one heck of a trout!

Brayden with big brown

Brayden with big brown

A little side note about fishing at night. We were still seeing some Hex on the windows of the cabin and near the river.



For me, the highlight of the trip was fishing for smallies with Chris Lessway. Chris is the head guide for the North Branch Outing Club in Lovells, Miching, near Grayling on the North Branch of the Au Sable River. We floated in Chris’ Hyde Drift Boat and had a great day. Even though we had warmer, bass style weather earlier in the week, the day we went was much more like trout weather, cool, overcast, and misty. Regardless, as soon as we left the boat ramp I caught the first smallie of the day right off the bat. It was a good sign, but during the day we had periods where they would turn off and then turn back on while we searched for the right color and fly they wanted. But we had action and caught fish all day long. We were successful on a 4 inch streamer, an articulated streamer, and even some poppers got them to rise to the surface. Olive seemed to be the best color of the day.







I spent some time on the sticks so Chris had time to fish too. I was shaky at first, but by the end of the day I felt comfortable behind the oars and it felt good to add this skill to my repoitoire.

If you are looking for a guide up in Northern Michigan, I highly recommend Chris Lessway. He is a highly skilled angler who knows the waters in the area very well, plus he is a super nice guy. He can definitely put you on the fish!

I can’t wait to head up to Michigan again, I’m missing it already!


Filed under Foam, FrankenFly, Hoppers, Michigan, Smallmouth, Trout flies

Flies Around the Net – May 2016

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Filed under Foam, Hoppers, nymphs, Poppers, Streamers, Trout flies

Mini D Hopper

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 3 of the Tasty Bug Tying Series, brought to you by Fly Shop of the Bighorns located in Sheridan, WY.

In this Episode, MFC signature tier Carl Pennington ties his own unreleased and exclusive pattern, the “Mini D Hopper”!

Featuring Carl Pennington
Filmed and edited by Zach Andres
Music licensed from Audioblocks

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Filed under Hoppers