More Euro Dry-Dropper Work

It doesn’t make sense to drive four hours to fish for four hours. Not much of fly fishing makes sense to non-anglers: the long drives, the early wake-up times, the incorrigible obsessions with fly-pattern details, water flows, and bug hatches.

But to devout anglers, it all makes absolute sense.

We are now in a weather pattern during which bugs are mostly active early and late in a day. And, pressured fish seem adept at conserving their energy when there is no need to expend it. Trout are calorie capitalists.

In the morning, I saw quite a few midges and a smattering of caddis and mayflies. But no rises. Bug count seems way down this summer. One theory is that repeated high-water flows have scrubbed the benthic zone at our local waters. It makes sense. Bugs need a certain modicum of specific sentiment to flourish.

If that’s the case, nymphing will be the technique of choice as we wait for bug populations to rise again. They will of course, but it will take time.

Every summer presents its own challenges. Sometimes water is too high or too low for extended times. Sometimes weather is tumultuous. But that is the fun challenge of fly fishing: trying to figure out what will work and when.

Tightlining was productive for me in the early hours. But it was not lights out. There weren’t many fish in the quick water or they just didn’t like the flies that I was throwing.

As the sun rose and fish activity declined, I decided randomly to Euro dry-dropper some quiet, dark seams. The currents there are a bit tricky, but I thought fishing a dry-dropper with no line on the water might be OK. I put the nymph about 24″ below the dry.

A good number of fish were eager to eat. Nearly all of the fish took size 16 Sulphur Nymphs or “touch dub” Walt’s Worms (a tan, light-brown, and dark-brown mixture of rabbit with a slight hot spot). It was nice to the see the dry fly dunk down. The best fish taped at 17”. I didn’t locate many fish in fast water, but did find them at the slow, very deep edges, where they seemed to be languidly hanging out and eating bugs as they drifted by.

Lunch was Popeyes, which I think crushes KFC. Just delicious.

I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.


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8 thoughts on “More Euro Dry-Dropper Work

  1. I’m glad you had a productive day, Jo. And I’m with you when it comes to Popeyes, my favorite stopping place after a long day of fishing.

  2. Hi Jo,

    What’s your euro dry dropper setup like? I experimented this weekend with subbing in a dry dropper on my “standard” euro rig and couldn’t cast for spit.

    – Stephen

      1. Thanks, I’ve just got to practice this. Do you just replace your top nymph with a dry, on a tag system, or do you switch everything to in-line (tippet to dry, dropper off the shank of the dry)?

        1. Tag system. Some people have better luck using 20# Maxima as the butt end or using Euro fly line. I prefer the sensitivity of a micro-thin mono rig though and am willing to adapt to it. There is no perfect rig, which is why I bring my dry fly rod too for longer-distance dries.

          1. Good points. Mine is more of a “standard” mono rig. I’ll give it a fair shake trying to cast dry dropper on it. I would think the slightly heavier weight of the standard rig might make it easier to cast than a micro rig. That makes me think the problem is more the fiddler than the fiddle.*

            (But I’m leaning toward my current system of just “carry the dang non-Euro rod too.” Especially since I don’t hate carrying two rods on the water, and the regular rod can be switched to an indicator if I have to go big distance with a nymph.)

            *Since Bill doesn’t write for BF anymore, I’m puttin some homespun GA in here.

            1. Hahaha. Josh Miller has some good videos on Euro dry dropper and how he water loads. Sorry I cannot find it now. But he is a wealth of information.

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