With terrestrial season coming on strong throughout the country, it’s an obvious time to start flinging a hopper-dropper rig.

But what’s the best way to do it? What knots make the most sense? How far below the high-floating hopper should the “dropper” nymph be?

The hopper-dropper rig.

Here’s a great short video from the New Fly Fisher that answers those questions, and tackles some of the other ambiguities that surround this method, including what flies to consider for both the “hopper” that has to float high and dry and the nymph that needs to get down far into the water column to tempt trout feeding at depth.

Fishing the hopper-dropper rig in late summer can be a killer method for trout. Terrestrial bugs are big bites of protein, but warier trout won’t always come to the surface, even for such meal. That’s where the dropper comes into play.

Consider this method on big, sweeping western river where depth isn’t an issue, and where bank-hugging hogs might be looking up. It can be particularly effective from a drift boat.

No matter where you fish it, the rig is a dependable go-to option when big bugs are out and about along rivers and streams. It’s a rig you should know how to tie, and how to fish.