Green River Fly Shop

Hopper and a Dropper

Green River BrownI love to fish Dry as much as I can. There are times when the fish aren't looking up so well. So, to pass the time between dry fly opportunities you can throw on a dropper. I think of this as a shallow nymph rig with an edible indicator. It can also give you some versitility on days where they eat nymphs in one spot and dries in another. You can use many different kind of dries, but make sure you use one buoyant enough to hold up the dropper. I like to tie my dropper off the bend of the hook versus through the eye fo the hook. I think this makes for easier casting and doesn't sink the dry as fast. When fishing dry/dropper, maybe the hardest part is determining the length of the dropper. Many people are shocked when I put a dropper on their line that is five feet long. Many people seem to believe there is some sort of standard where all droppers are between 18 and 24 inches. I've fished droppers anywhere from 6 to 60 inches. On the Green we have a distinct advantage, water clarity. You can simply look in the water and see where the fish are. Through most of late summer and fall there are a lot of fish around four to five feet. Until last year I rarely saw these fish fished to even by guides. That being said there are a lot of days when they are in shallow water. Look at the fish, they will tell you how deep to make your dropper! Along with looking to see how deep the fish are, observe what they are eating. Are they cruising for scuds, midges, or other stuff (like little fry or flesh from dead fish)? If there isn't something they are keying on, throw an attractor. Get your fly where the fish are. They are not always in the seams. Many days they are in slower or stagnant water. One last tip, make sure your dropper weighs enough to keep the dropper line tot. If there is any slack your dry will never even move when the fish eats it. To summarize:

  • Use a dry buoyant enough to hold up the dropper.
  • Tie the dropper line to the bend of the dry fly hook.
  • Observe the fish to determine the length for the dropper.
  • Observe what and where the fish are eating.
  • Make sure the dropper weighs enough to keep the line tot.

Posted on 3/17/2009 under techniques, dry fly, dropper