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RiverBum Fly Fishing Blog

Nymph Fishing: The Hopper-Dropper Technique

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Whether called the Dry-Dropper, Hopper-Dropper, or the double lindy, this method of fishing was popularized in the west but is now deployed all over the world. The basic premise is that your strike indicator is a big bushy dry fly…an indicator with a hook. It does not have to be a hopper as the name might imply. Actually, I use our Crystal Rubber Legged Stimulator more than any other fly. It simply catches fish.

For the dropper, you’ll want to tie on 18” to 48” of tippet to the shank of the hook of your dry. Her, you are generally choosing emerger patterns. Unlike other nymphing methods, you’re not bouncing a nymph off the bottom. If I need to bottom bounce or go more than 48”, I’ll use another method of fishing.

As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the dropper, the larger and more buoyant the dry fly you’ll need. The combinations you can use, are frankly endless. I tend to NOT lifecycle pair unless the trout are totally keyed in. It’s just a thing for me. Rivers have a lot of food choices for trout, so I try to mix it up a bit.

If there’s a stonefly hatch going on, I’ll hook up a large stonefly with a mayfly imitation like the caped avenger. I have of course used hoppers, but don’t overlook such patterns like green drakes. Also, while the rubber legged yellow stimi is one of my favorites, the Brindle Chute is working its way up the list and is a strong back up. This is a bushy, buggy fly that I have fallen in love with. Pair this up with a baddest caddis nymph or never bug….and you’re in business.

Dry-dropper style fishing is very versatile. It’s great from a drift boat. When walking and wading, it is particularly well suited for rifles. It also works great in pocket water, working around boulders that may be a bit more out of reach where you can’t high stick. Don’t forget the seams, with any method of fishing frankly. Fish love the foam and you are sure to find it in the seams.

Needless to say, having a good floatant for your dry fly is critical.  You don't want it swamping out.  For years, little has been advanced in floatant technology...until recently.  High n Dry has come up with a range of products that hands down out performs everyone else.  We've tested time, buoyancy, how long it can be underwater and pop back up, duration on the fly etc.  In every single test performed, High n Dry significantly out performed everyone else, it wasn't even close.

That’s it for now my fishy friends. Please remember, pack it in, pack it out. 

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags.

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