Hoppers, hoppers and more hoppers and I am not talking about grasshoppers. Jassid is the name and they are leafhoppers. On Saturday the 27th of February we had a hatch of these insects in numbers that I haven’t seen for many years. The back wall of our shed was covered with dozens of these small insects. A few days later I was at Bronte Lagoon where I had these insects landing on my shirt. On both occasions the jassids were of the brown variety. They are still very much on the trout’s diet if there is enough to get the interest going. In Tasmania’s highlands there seems to be mostly two different colours, that’s brown or red bodies. Groups of jassids cluster together to feed on the young eucalypts. These insects particularly the very young will be attended by ants which feed on the honeydew excreted by the jassid.A good way to see if these insects are on the water is to have a really good look in the slicks, where there mostly is a collection of what is hatching. If the trout have an eye for the jassid they can be very selective so the tyer needs to get the size right, which is small.
If fishing this fly to fish in a slick I use a single fly, but when searching two flies would be the go to make it look as though there is a hatch on.
Hook - Short shanked light guage size 16 for brown body and 14 for red
Thread - Black
Body - Dark brown cock feather
Wing - Speckle Hen feather
Front Hackle - Dark brown cock Hackle
1. Wind black thread the full length of the shank.
2. Tie in body hackle make sure this feather is of a larger size this will be explained.
3. Wind thread forward finishing back from the eye a little. Now bring brown feather forward winding in nice tight turns. Tie down with thread firmly and cut away excess feather. Trim this feather into a small body shape.
4. Take the speckle hen feather and wipe some vinyl cement on the speckle part of the feather leave this for five minutes to dry. When dry cut a slip from the cement area fold this in half and tie in as a wing over the top of body. Let the wing protrue over the back of the body slightly. Trim the speckle hen slip into a nicely shaped wing.
5. With a small brown cock feather tie in firmly make only two or three turns tie down and cut away excess feather. Whip finish cut away thread and varnish.
To tie the red bodied version of this fly use a red feather for the body a guinea fowl feather for the wing and a black cock feather for the front hackle. Also I use a size larger hook - size 14. Hope you find some jassids or should I say some fish feeding on them.