Information on Fly Fishing a Dry-Dropper Rig from The Blue Quill Angler

Summer and Fall are great seasons to go fly fishing with a dry dropper rig. This setup allows you to effectively cover the surface with a dry fly while also covering the sub-surface with nymph fly like a tungsten bead head mayfly, caddis, or stonefly pattern. A dry-dropper rig is often a capable solution when fish become sensitive to standard indicator setups. Typically, a dry-dropper rig consists of a dry fly that matches the hatch with a bead head nymph, or possibly an emerger, tied from the bend hook on the dry fly by a length of tippet that’s roughly the same depth of the water you are fishing. We’ve found the size 18 bead head pheasant tail to be one of the more effective flies on a dry-dropper setup along with a big and bushy dry fly like a rubber leg stimulator. For more information on fly patterns, check out our available fly tying classes along with our online fly fishing learning center.

When Should You Fish a Dry-Dropper Setup?

Fly fishing with a dry-dropper rig is one of our favorites when fish are being particularly selective. We’ve found the dry-dropper rig to be particularly effective for small streams and creeks as well as larger rivers with a variety of boulders that create ‘pocket water.’ An important part of fishing a dry-dropper is to pay close attention with a keen eye. You should be looking for flashes under the indicator while also looking for dips from the dry fly. Similar to standard fly fishing, you’re likely to miss the majority of your strikes if you’re not paying careful attention to flashes and lifts under the water column. For more hands-on experience with fly fishing a dry dropper, join us on one of our guided fly fishing trips with The Blue Quill Angler where you’ll also experience some of the best fly fishing the Colorado Rocky Mountains have to offer.