After seeming like a trip that would terminally remain eons away, we find ourselves less than a week away from traveling to Yellowstone National Park for 5 days of fly fishing in Yellowstone's backcountry. There are plenty of obvious reasons to be as giddy as a child at the thought of fishing the park's waters: large, beautiful, wild and/or native trout, stunning scenery, peace and solitude, etc. One of the most intriguing ideas about fishing in Yellowstone and on other western waters this time of year, especially for fly fishermen from the lesser East who all too often have to do the whole match-the-hatch thing, is the opportunity to fish large terrestrial and/or attractor patterns.

In much of the West and especially on the Yellowstone's Lamar River, which we'll be fishing on the tail end of our upcoming trip, this means hoppers and big attractors like Chubby Chernobyls. True, we're a bit late for the salmonflies and the big salmonfly and attractor patterns that go along with them. And, we're a bit early for prime hopper season, though I have heard that the season is progressing a little quicker than normal. Still. Hoppers.

So, in prepration for the trip, our very own George Costa has been slaving away at the vice to keep us all in hoppers. Using what seems like an endless supply of hopper ingredients from Montana Fly Company (MFC) including various colors of foam, pre-tied pheasant tail legs, plastic legs, rubber legs, 3 or 4 different wing styles, several different eye styles and just about every other grasshopper-ry ingredient you can think of, George has tied up a bevy of traditional and popular hopper patterns as well as creating a few of his own. As a result, we're swimming in hoppers.

Hopefully we're not even earlier than we think.