The VW Hopper is designed to ride flush in the surface film while having enough bouancy to support your weighted droppers in heavy water. Fish seem to hit harder and more often on hopper patterns with eyes and it seems like now a days more and more hopper patterns are adding eyes, I guess they are just trying to figure out what I have known for years! These will fish well early in the season from late May all the way into October and fish wil take em' for hoppers and stones so anytime you want to throw a hopper dropper rig, which by the way has been around for decades....this is a great choice! As seen in American Angler's Summer 2006 "The Perfect Ten Front Range Favorites"
How to fish Wilcox's VW Hopper:
There are few things I enjoy more than watching a trout rise off the bottom of a stream bed to crash a big dry on the surface, judging by the vast numbers of fly fishermen that attempt to time out Drake, Hexagenia, Isonychia and Salmonfly hatches through out the country, I don't believe I am alone! Try fishing the shelves that are one to three feet deep along the banks early in the season when the snow melt begins its decent from the high country. Beetles, ants, crickets and all other terrestrial imitations are a good bet from the time the leaves begin budding on the trees in the Spring until late Fall when the approaching winter strips the foliage from the branches.
Using a VW Microstone for a dropper can be a lethal combination, although I suggest you release them. These hoppers may also be taken for Golden and Giant Salmonfly's which are active as early as late April, whether the fish are taking them for hoppers or Stoneflies is irrelevant as long as they are taking them! Anyone that has spent time nymph fishing with an indicator has experienced the oddity of a fish rising to inhale it, what did they mistake it for? The VW Hopper is an excellent choice when you want to use an indicator to fish the pockets, riffles and seams to elicit strikes. The next time you are fishing double nymph rigs, try using one for an indicator and when the fish slams your "indicator" you will have a tight line! The great thing about fishing a big dry like the VW Hopper is that it has enough buoyancy to support your weighted nymphs and can be fished almost all season long with success just by dropping off some hatch-matching nymphs off the bend. If there is caddis, emerging try an Aanes caddis pupa or Hogan's Yuba Pupa, if there are, midges and mayflies try one of my Little Green Machines an absolute fish slayer! I like to use 30 to 42" of 5X tippet as a dropper length when I am fishing the VW Hopper as an indicator and off a 7.5' 3X or 4X leader tied to the hopper. The heavier leader will not scare the fish and will help resist any additional line twist caused by the bigger dry.