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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Streams in the GWNF, SNP,Potomac, Rappahanock and Shenandoah Rivers, Exploring NY and PNW rivers
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    Default Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    I thought that I might be able to resurrect an old, on point thread to get a specific question answered but after re-reading it and seeing the most recent posts I think that this needs a thread that is focused on my pretty nuts and bolts basic newbie question. nymphing-diagram.jpg
    Hopefully, this will be quick and painless. In the drop shot rig set up {see the above diagram}, whichever name you call it or style you choose, my question is, is there a science or logic to which fly rides closest to the shot and the bottom and which one rides the leg of the setup closer to the surface? I have seen videos of guys demonstrating basically two of the same woolly buggers, two of the very same streamers, just different colors, just different depths in the water column and I have seen some illustrations where there are two mature flies at different depths. I tried this fishing for brookies in the national park a week or two ago and I caught one of the slippery little buggers but I was totally winging it. Basically I went with what I will call in newbie speak the "stages of evolution" logic, lol. I had a small, bright colored bead headed nymph ride low and a stonefly emerger ride closer to the top of the water column. So was I just lucky, was it an actual light bulb coming on moment or is there a better order of battle here, i.e. better than nymph, emerger, spinner, low to high? Is there an answer, i.e. a particular way to rig the flies on this type of rig? Thanks.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Boston, Mass.
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    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    There isn't a single right answer to you question. It depends on what kind of bugs you expect to be drifting at what level in the water column in that particular stretch of water, and where in the column you expect the fish to be feeding. If there's no hatch and you don't have any better idea, you might try a stonefly or mayfly nymph or a caddis larva on the lower dropper and a soft hackle or emerger or caddis pupa on the upper one. Or try an attractor on the bottom.

    In any case, if you're relying on the drop shot to provide the anchor weight in your rig, use unweighted flies on the droppers, or you'll be spending more time fussing with tangles than fishing.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    Top fly should (generally) be the flashier, emergent offering. Bead, flashback, soft hackle. Bottom fly- standard nymph, attractor, darker bodied. Idea being that the upper fly is rising to hatch. Bottom fly has merely broken free of the bottom and is adrift.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    Moucheur is dead on right on this, arrange your flies so they'll be where the bugs they're imitating will be. The concept has nothing to do with drop shotting or "regular" nymphing, that's how you should present your nymphs no matter what nymphing system you're using. Bugs like stoneflies and cased caddis will almost always be near the bottom, emergers are usually nearer the surface, some bugs will be found throughout the water column. Arrange your flies any way you like, but that's generally how most folks go about it.
    I love drop shotting. I only fish one nymph most of the time, though, because I like things simple. I like the drop shot because it almost never snags, and the single fly because it almost never tangles. I get to keep my fly in the water all day instead of constantly taking time to re-tie or untangle. I think I catch more fish because of it, and I know I enjoy fishing more because of it.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Streams in the GWNF, SNP,Potomac, Rappahanock and Shenandoah Rivers, Exploring NY and PNW rivers
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    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by moucheur2003 View Post
    There isn't a single right answer to you question. It depends on what kind of bugs you expect to be drifting at what level in the water column in that particular stretch of water, and where in the column you expect the fish to be feeding. If there's no hatch and you don't have any better idea, you might try a stonefly or mayfly nymph or a caddis larva on the lower dropper and a soft hackle or emerger or caddis pupa on the upper one. Or try an attractor on the bottom.

    In any case, if you're relying on the drop shot to provide the anchor weight in your rig, use unweighted flies on the droppers, or you'll be spending more time fussing with tangles than fishing.
    Thank you very much, this what I had in mind when I tried this but you have artculated it all much more clearly.

    Top fly should (generally) be the flashier, emergent offering. Bead, flashback, soft hackle. Bottom fly- standard nymph, attractor, darker bodied. Idea being that the upper fly is rising to hatch. Bottom fly has merely broken free of the bottom and is adrift."

    Excellent, this exactly the type of guidance I was looking for, i.e. not just guidance on the type and order the flies should be rigged in but examples of flies charecteristics in each location.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

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  10. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    For what it's worth.....Stones emerge on shore, where they molt.
    They commute to shore via the bottom.
    So, they are not found near the surface.
    The winged female adults will be found on/in the water, when they return to oviposit.
    Hope that clears up that bug for ya.
    Learn the bug's behavior for best results.
    Jim

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfly View Post
    For what it's worth.....Stones emerge on shore, where they molt.
    They commute to shore via the bottom.
    So, they are not found near the surface.
    The winged female adults will be found on/in the water, when they return to oviposit.
    Hope that clears up that bug for ya.
    Learn the bug's behavior for best results.
    Jim
    Not always so with the Little Yellow Sally... watched them emerge midstream two summers ago. Blew my mind....

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    In some Oregon rivers we used to have an emergence of early brown stone flies (about a size 16) that emerged in the river usually sometime in February.

    And in Eastern Idaho around the same time of the year we got little black stone that we called snow flies. Those often came off in the water.

    The yellow sallies do sometimes, but not as predictably as the other two.

    I never saw those flies emerge in the water in Pa. or N.Y.

    Don

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  16. #9
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    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    They crawl out first....We see shucks on rocks for sallies..
    This is why Ralph Cutter started filming bugs. Everybody said they hatched on the water.....
    Swim and watch...I thought so too..

    Jim
    Last edited by Bigfly; 04-30-2019 at 09:06 PM.
    The bar isn't set by the fish we catch, but by the one's we don't.

    Bigfly

  17. #10

    Default Re: Drop Shot Nymphing, Part II

    Oh, I must have fished that hatch for 3 days in my dreams then...

    Beware of absolutes in nature. I thought the same thing until I witnessed it, and couldn't match what the fish were eating. Returned the next day, after some time at the tying bench, and slayed~

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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