This time of year, when the big terrestrial bugs are out and about, trout are definitely looking up. But trout, like any fishy predator, are opportunists—that’s why the “hopper-dropper” set-up with a high-floating bug on top followed a couple feet down by a nymph is so en vogue.
But what about a hopper and streamer? Heresy?
No way. This set up, particularly if you’re fishing from a drift boat in transition water (edges, drops, etc.), can be deadly. As noted above by Dave Jensen in this helpful Orvis video, the hopper-streamer rig gives you not two options at fish, but really three. How so? First, obviously, there’s the floating bug—the big Chernobyl or foam hopper. Second, a size 6 ‘Bugger, as Jensen recommends, can be fished on the dead drift as it flows through the target water. Finally, at the end of the drift, the streamer can be pulled from the structure and stripped back to the boat, often drawing a strike.
Three shots at fish as you float by good water but a single time. Give it a shot next you’re in the front a drift boat.
— Chris Hunt