Fly Fishing Dropper Rig

Fly Fishing can often be tough, but one thing that will dramatically increase your fly fishing success is by utilizing a dropper. Fly fishing with a dropper is fishing with two flies on the same leader. There are several ways you can successfully use a dropper rig to improve your catch rate from using a dropper with a dry fly to dead drifting steelhead on your favorite great lakes tributary. Here are some dropper rig tips and techniques that will improve your fly fishing success.

Dropper Rigs

  • How to Rig - Attach the first fly as you normally would then attach another piece of tippet to the bend of the hook of the first fly using a Trilene Knot. The length of the piece of tippet connected to the first fly will vary depending on how deep or how far you feel is best, but I generally use a dropper about 12 to 18 inches apart.

  • Dry Fly Dropper Rig - A very popular method of locating fish when you haven't a clue what trout are targeting or you are covering a lot of water. Combine a large dry fly such as a wolf with a nymph such as a bead head prince or bead head Hare's Ear. The awesome thing about this rig is that the dry fly acts as a strike indicator to the nymph, but the large dry fly will often get a fishes attention then the fish will take the nymph.

  • Two Nymphs Dropper Rig - I use this rig a lot and one of my favorite things to do is use a heavier bead head nymph on top then a much smaller nymph below. The heavier nymph will act as split shot to get your smaller fly deeper but also has the ability to gain a trout's attention and possibly a strike.

  • Streamer and Nymph Dropper Rig - Attach a nymph such as a Kaufmann's Stone on the main part of a the line then attach a large streamer behind such as a bead head woolly bugger or egg sucking leach. This is a very productive way to fish for steelhead on the Great Lakes tributaries. I often will use an egg pattern like a sucker spawn fly and an egg sucking leech with great success when fishing Lake Erie tribs in Pennsylvania. Please note that using two flies is prohibited in some states like New York for instance.

So the next time your out fishing and looking for that secret fly try two at once it will cut down on the time it takes to find it. Fishing a dropper will increase your catch rate, my fly rod very rarely on has one fly at the end.