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Thread: How to fish a dropper fly?

  1. Default How to fish a dropper fly?

    Hello everyone!
    I have never fished with a dropper fly and am looking for some suggestions as to how to go about doing this. I do warmwater type fishing (bluegill), but plan on trying for trout some time this fall.
    A few questions:
    Do certain types/sizes of flies work better combined with others?
    What type of knot and where to attach it?
    What type and length of leader/tippet for each fly?
    Any other questions I'm not asking?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    1. Hopper or popper as main fly
    2. small nymph as dropper
    3. 12" between them
    4. tie tippet from dropper to bend in hopper/popper hook with a clinch knot

    I generally dont use this method as I am the king of tangles.

    But if I am in my pontoon I am known for swinging two leeches.

  3. Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    Fishing a dropper is quite simple. There are different knots you can use but for all practical purposes a blood knot will do fine. This knot will give you 100% breaking strength of your line if done properly. There are also a couple of ways to set the flies up as well. Weighted fly on the point, non weighted on the dropper or you can do the reverse. The thing here is to keep on experimenting with what works best for you. If I'm fishing for trout then I will put a leech on the dropper and a shrimp on the point but there are times when I willput a bobby fly on the dropper and a weighted fly on the point. Whatever way you do it it is a fun system to fish with. When casting remember to keep your loops open to prevent good old tangles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    I like to fish a heavy nymph under a unweighted wet fly with an indicator in fast water. I tie mine on differently though. Start out with a leader of 8' or more and tie on about 18-24" of tippet, leaving the tag end pointing away from your rod about 6-8" long. The unweighted fly gets tied onto this short end and the weighted nymph at the far end. Tangling can be an issue with this set up, but using an unweighted wet fly pattern as the top fly greatly reduces this. (as it doesn't have the inertia to wrap around the standing line like a tetherball)

    Even still, false cast as little as possible. Try to position yourself off to the side at the bottom of the run you want to fish so that you can cast to the top of it, drift it, pick up, and cast to the top again with no false casts. This greatly increases your chances of catching fish as you will have your fly in the water 95% of the time and less false casting reduces time spent untangling.

    My typical top fly

    My typical bottom fly

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    Oh yeah, and use an indicator. I prefer the rondicator type

    or the football type with the rubber tubing so you can move them around

    Biostrike putty or a yarn indicator would be a better choice for slower water.

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  6. Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    I come off the bend of the first hook (larger) in some cases. I use this mostly if I am fishing a dry and a dropper, cause I still believe it effects how the first fly floats and I seem to get more hits off the dropper instead of the main. It also works great if you have fish hit first and miss them, you can get them on the second (granted some are fowl hooked), but I still prefer my "Y" connection:

    And I make the connection first, then add flies.
    I have used two dries befor with this set-up and caught two fish at the same time.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    Read a great article last knight "Winners and Losers" by Dave Hughes in the Flyfishing and Tying Journal. Dave explain what a lot of the San Juan Guides like to use when setting up dropper rigs. He explained that by using a bright larger attractor pattern such as a San Juan Worm and a smaller more natural pattern is a deadly combination. Reason being that the attractor fly will get there attention and if they chose to pass it up they have the second oppurtunity for the more natural fly. Simple when you think about.

    Here are a couple of post of interest as well:

    All of the above, suggestions are great. Try one that works for you and let us know the results.

    Hope this helps.
    "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
    Henry David Thoreau

  8. Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    thanks everyone for your input! Now all I have to do is remember what ya'll said while I'm fishing!

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    if your fishing deep and trying to find correct depth fishing for trout on the bottom you can add a couple feet to the bottom fly with tungsten beads on the heads.. this gets you deeper especially in hot weather when the fish are deep... for intance if you have a 9 foot leader you can put the larger fly or the one you are going to probably change the least on the end of the leader, then put two feet of tippet onthe top hook, and put the dropper fly on it.. if your not hooking up of the bottom frequently your simply not deep enough.. we use caddis nymphs alot and it seems that if your not bouncing the bottom your not catching fish.. i add one or two or three b split shot about 16 inches above the top fly alot of the time.. last week end i was using 12 4x leader with float about 12 feet above the fly.. my son had on a 9 foot leader and i put 4 feet of tippet on it so he was well below the float quite aways.. both lines had 2-3 b split shot, he caugt two 3 1/2-4 pound trout in the 22-23 inche range and i cought one about the same size.. we were on a boat and with the moss on the sides of the river and trying to manage the long leaders, it was quite a chore, but we got fish.. we had very little luck on 9 foot leaders.. we were fishing the deepest holes in that area of the river... you need to roll cast to get the cast started, then use the water to drag the line to load the line , pull back for the backcast,and you must let the line extent fully to your back, even letting it lay out on the water can help beginners keep away from tangles, then as moving forward change your forward cast up towards your head about a foot or so so it wont pile up on you... (the pole arc gives you a verticle u, the movement up towards your head gives you a horrizontal u,, sorry i cant explain it any better.) your just lobbing it and not going for distance or power as these manuvers will cost you alot of tangle time.. we let the boat do the possitioning, if fishing from shore let the legs do your posstioning that is move to the correct spot, and your final cast should be downwind, let ithe line slide thru the glides for max distance. its like golf it doesnt take power, it takes finesse,, ya right as if i had either ... dave

  10. Default Re: How to fish a dropper fly?

    When I use a dry/dropper setup I tend to get the line tangled. I'm sure it's just an issue with my casting.

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