Hook: Size 10-12 Fulling Mill all-purpose
Thread: Black 8/0Rib: Pearly tinsel
Body: Black seal’s fur/SLF 50/50
Legs: Dyed black cock pheasant tail fibres, knotted
Hackle: Black cock
There are countless hawthorn patterns available, but few come better than a Black Hopper. This fly can either be fished dry or wet.
1. Fix hook in vice and run the thread down to the bend, in close turns. At this point, catch in a length of medium-width pearl tinsel.
2. Apply a pinch of black fur to the tying thread and dub it on to form a thin rope. Wind dubbed fur along the hook in touching turns.
3. Once three-quarters of the hook shank have been covered and a thin body formed, apply the pearl tinsel in open, evenly spaced turns.
4. Secure loose end of tinsel and remove excess. Knot three fibres of black cock pheasant tail and fix them so they trail along the body.
5. Create another three legs by repeating the process and catch in on other side of hook. Secure fibres with thread and remove excess.
6. Prepare a dyed black cock hackle by stripping away the fibres at its base to leave a stub of bare hackle-stem. Catch in hackle by its stem.
7. Take hold of the hackle-tip, using hackle pliers. Working towards the eye, apply three full turns of the hackle.
8. Secure the hackle-tip with thread and remove the excess. Complete by casting off the thread with a solid whip finish.