Ah, hopper season.
For dry-fly anglers, it’s like Christmas, the Fourth of July and the day we got our first bicycle all rolled up into one. Fat, floating hunks of foam and rubber legs that bring big fish to the top? Oh, hell yeah.
But let’s face it. Even during “hopper season,” trout don’t always feed on top. In heavily pressured waters, they’re more wary. They might like to hit the big bug, but they’re likely going to be more comfortable with something drifting right by their noses under the surface. Time to add a dropper.
Above, Dave Lovell, the education and outfitting manager of Trouts Fly Shop in Denver, demonstrates the tried-and-true method for assembling the “hopper-dropper” rig, and he even offers up some advice on how to fish it, what weight of tippet to use … even what flies he prefers. While hoppers and other terrestrial patterns will bring big trout to the surface, adding a dropper simply doubles your odds.
What’s not to like about that?
— Chris Hunt