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Fishing Two Flies with a Dropper Rig
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Fishing two or more flies on a dropper rig will often produce fish when fishing either fly alone will not.

The fly dropper rig or system is a way to fish two or more flies at one time. Fishing two, or more, flies on a dropper rig will often produce fish when fishing either fly individually will not. There are several reasons for this increased production including:

  • Fish a heavier or stiffer leader and you will probably have fewer tangles.
    A two fly dropper rig offers twice the meal and usually twice the menu so as to better attract fish. When offering "twice the menu" dropper rigs can more quickly help the angler narrow in on the 'hot fly' when fish are being finicky.
  • With two flies, one fly can perform as an attractor for the other fly.
  • When two flies are tied on a properly designed and tied dropper the angler can mimic the scenario of one bait chasing another bait. This often has the effect of enticing fish to join in on the action.
  • The angler can tune the dropper system for presentation to multiple feeding zones or a targeted feeding zone within the water column. This is very important when weather is driving fish to prefer one zone over another zone.

There are two basic dropper combinations. One is the nymph/nymph (sinking/sinking) (hopper/dropper) combo, and the other is the dry/nymph dropper. The nymph/nymph can be fished two major ways; the heavier nymph leading (as the dropper) or the heavier nymph trailing (as the point). Often the heavier nymph, such as a stonefly nymph with potentially a split shot, is tied trailing at a distance from the lead fly. The trailing distance can be tuned such that a targeted feeding zone within the water column is reached. It will usually take some experimentation to get the appropriate water depth. With the heavier fly up front it is easier to get both flies deeper into the water where fish may hold during cold weather as an example. One common way to tie this dropper system is to make a normal knot on the lead fly while leaving the tag end long enough for the trailing to fly to be tied on. Another way is with an overhand knot or a dropper knot in the main leader with the trailing fly off the loop. Yet another way is to tie the trailing leader to the bend of the leading hook.

The dry/nymph combo is the same principle except with a dry fly in the lead. Commonly, a larger dry fly with lots of buoyancy will lead a subsurface dropper pattern. Very often I see the trailing fly's leader tied directly to the eye of the leading fly's hook.

Cast dropper riggings with care, as it is easy to tangle your leaders and flies. Once tangled it is often easier to cut the rigging off and redo it, rather than try to untangle two flies. Also cast very tightly, as it can become unwieldy with wild casting or under windy conditions.

Dropper rigs are great for fishing. They take practice to tie and master but are well worth the effort in increased hookups. Please check all regulations before fishing two flies as they are prohibited in places.

Rainy's Flies
Rainy's Favorite Hopper/Dropper(FL905)
Double your fishing odds! One of the favorite and productive types of fishing: using a hopper on top and a nymph/wet dropped below. This collection of 18 is designed to give you a great visible hopper on top and a hot producing dropper below. If fish are eating below, they will take your dropper, if the hopper above is on the menu, then you can get them with that. All flies are time tested to be great producers in all conditions. You can even use the hopper as a strike indicator on those days the fish just won't rise to your offering. Collection comes in a sleek re-usable, 4 compartment fly box. Contains: Rainy's Gorilla Hopper, Rainy's Marshmellow Hopper, Rainy's Hi-Viz Hopper, Rainy's Grand Hopper, Rainy's Virus Midge, Rainy's Beadisco Midge, Rainy's Micro Scud, Rainy's Real Meal Nymphs, BH Micro Mayfly, BH Hare's Ear Nymph, BH Pheasant Tail, BH Brassie, BH Copper/Copper
See also

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