Fly Tying How-to: Tying a Dry / Dropper Rig

by | Apr 1, 2017 | Fly Tying, Tips | 0 comments

dry/dropper diagram

One of the most effective ways to fly fish for trout is to employ a dry dropper rig allowing you to fish to both surface feeders and sub-surface feeders, simultaneously. The dry fly covers the surface feeding fish, also acting as an edible strike indicator, and the bead head nymph fishes below the surface for the trout that aren’t willing to rise to the dry fly. This a very effective tactic for searching even when trout aren’t rising to a particular hatch.

How It Works

Simply tie your dry fly on with your knot of choice (i.e. improved clinch).

Duncan Loop Knot Diagram

Diagram of the Duncan Loop Knot.

  • Tie your nymph on to the bend of the hook.  The length is determined by the depth the nymph will fish.
  • I like using a Duncan Loop or half of a Uni-Knot for this as it allows me to tie the knot first and then slip it over the bend without the need for keeping tension to hold an improved clinch from slipping off the dry fly hook.
  • I typically like to use 12″ to 20″ of tippet for the dropper nymph depending on the depth of water you are fishing and what depth sub surface feeders are feeding at.
  • Using a No-Slip Mono to terminate to your nymph will increase it’s action.


For a list of suggested nymphs to use as droppers read Top 12 Nymph Flies for Catching Trout.

For more fly fishing tips, tactics, tricks and information on guided Montana fly fishing trips please visit


Related Post


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *