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Rangeley Grasshopper

Posted on July 14 2020

rangeley grasshopper at a maine fly shop

I have a great story about this pattern. I had my first fly tying lesson when I was about 12 years old and I remember it clearly. It was a woolly worm and it was at the long gone fly shop in Oquossoc called the House Of Tall Tales. During this past winter a customer emailed and shared with us a picture of a grasshopper fly that he remembered from his past from his visits to that same fly shop. When I saw the picture I also was brought back to my youth and the many hours spent fishing the beaver bogs with that same grasshopper. For months I told myself that I needed to search my father's old fly vest with the chance that maybe one of these flies still existed. Sure enough after a brief search through that old vest that I coveted as a child I found it and in great shape. It matched the same pattern recipe that was found in the 1952 Fletcher's Fly Shop catalog. In the past it was just that old hopper that caught countless beaver bog trout but for now on I guess I will call it the Rangeley Grasshopper.

Hook - dry fly 10-14

Thread - brown

Tail - red duck quill under yellow yarn

Body - yellow yarn

Rib - red thread

Wing - mottled turkey quill

Hackle - brown

3 comments

  • Bob Lauer: August 09, 2020

    I fished the Rangeley area from the mid-seventies through the eighties, and spent a fair amount of time and a fair amount of money at the House of Tall Tales. And I remember as Paul does that Polly offered her Grasshopper in red, orange, yellow and green. I always thought rather than imitating a grasshopper the fly more accurately imitated a caddis fly. Caddis fly hatches were plentiful from June to mid-July on the Rangeley rivers particularly The Rapid. Your posting this fly now is somewhat ironic. I just gave all my trout flies to my younger son including about a dozen Polly Damon Grasshoppers.

  • Larry grant: July 14, 2020

    I tied and used a version just like this, never knew the name or where it came from. It is a really good version and simple enough to tie.

  • Paul George: July 14, 2020

    Hi Brett , as I recalled that very same time period in life ,and also being fortunate enough myself for some expert fly tying mentoring at the House of Tall Tales , in or about the same age as you , I remember a few variations with this pattern that Polly offered , the yellow one you highlighted , and also a green / red / and orange bodied combinations with also a variety of different ribbing colors and turkey quill or mallard wing , and in similar fashion ravaging my old childhood vest for any original remnant , lucky to find a couple ,(although not in very good shape (no doubt to some upper meadow Cupsuptic River Culprits ) , it was always a “go to” fly for most of the area , and nice to see you finally attribute (unofficially /or ?) a name for this effective Rangeley Grasshopper Pattern , it just seems perfectly fitting in every way …. Regards > PG

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