Nymph Dropper? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Nymph Dropper?

04-29-2003, 11:11 PM
Can someone tell me how to properly fish a dry fly with a nymph dropper? I would like to fish both a dry fly and a nymph at the same time. Do I simply tie a nymph to the bend of the hook on the dry fly using a section of tippet material? If so, what type of knot should I use? How long should the section of tippet used to tie the nymph to the dry fly be? In other words how far below and behind the dry fly should the nymph be positioned?

Also, is fishing two flies simultaneously like this much more difficult than fishing just a single fly? Are there problems with knots forming or the two flies getting entangled with each other while casting?

04-30-2003, 06:38 AM
There are a number of ways to fish more than one fly. The best (less tangling) is the method you described. Use the same knot that you do to tie your fly on to your tippet. Will it tangle and give wind knots? Well, yes - but it's not that big of a problem. Just use good casting techniques, and there should be minimal problems.
Distance between flies is an option, and depends how deep you wish fish.

In the early 1900s, it was common to fish a "cast" of wet flies - this was a leader with droppers/dropper loops containing a variety of wet flies. From a low of two, I have seen as many as nine flies fished simultaneously.

Flies were also sold "snelled", and the snells would be the means of attachment to the main leader.

Don't laugh - these guys could really catch numbers of fish!


04-30-2003, 08:07 AM
I would add that this rig works the best with a high floating dry fly. Something with some deer or elk hair. My favorite is a stimulator. Dress it well so it doesn't get pulled under.
This is a really fun way to fish, especially when checking out new water or situations and aren't sure how to get after it.

My other reccommendation would be to make sure the dropper isn't too close or too far from the dry. While you want to be sure it is drifting at the proper depth, I'd say you need at least 18 inches between the dry and the nymph, but no more than 3 feet. This works the best as far as not getting tangled goes.
If you need to go deeper, you should just set up a straight nymph rig.

04-30-2003, 08:20 AM
A good knot to use is a uni-knot because you can tie loose and pull it tight once completed.

I like a hopper style or caddis style fly because aggressive trout will attack it while it serves the other purpose well with it's floating characteristics.

04-30-2003, 08:27 AM
Agree with what dewey said. If the dropper is going to be more than 3ft behind the dry, use a regular indicator.

Stimulators and hoppers are good for this but if you're fishing slow water try a bushy parachute pattern. They don't twist the line and the calf-tail wing post makes a great visual reference.

Just open up your loop, false cast as little as possible and you should stay tangle free for a while at least. It's a deadly tactic.

John Desjardins
04-30-2003, 09:10 AM
One tip not mentioned yet is to use a weaker tippet between the two flies than used to tie on the dry. If you use the same strength tippet you stand a greater chance of losing both flies to a snag.

04-30-2003, 07:08 PM
As a matter of real real real fine tuning and in support of John D's point. It is also (sometimes?) important to match the dropper line size to the size of the leader where the dropper gets attached. This often prevents snagging. If my point fly is tied to 5X tippet, my dropper is often tied with 4 inches of 3X followed by 4 inches of 4X and tied about 12 inches above the point fly. The point fly being the heavier of the two flies.