Outdoors Recreation

Fly Fishing for Trout with the Dry-Dropper Rig

By Allison Taylor

Many people get excited about the cooler fall temperatures. And, of course, the spectacular changing leaves always lure both locals and tourists out to enjoy the colorful displays of nature. As the temperatures continue their decline, October can offer some of the best trout fishing of the year on both wild and hatchery-supported streams throughout Western North Carolina.

Dry fly fishing can be particularly good in October, as the aquatic insect hatches become a more regular occurrence. Ryan Waldrep, the outfitter manager and guide for DB Bar D Outfitters based in Mills River, is passionate about sharing his love of fishing. “A popular tactic of fly fishing is indicator nothing, with either a bobber or yarn strike indicator,” says Waldrep. “This type of fishing is all sub-surface, and works well for deeper pools.”

Another way to indicator nymph is to use what’s called a dry-dropper rig, which is still indicator nymphing but with a bit of a twist. “Your indicator on a dry-dropper rig is, as you can probably guess, a larger and high floating dry fly,” says Waldrep. This helps the person fishing cover two different sections of the water column where trout feed: the surface and near the bottom of the stream. Fishing a dry fly as an indicator allows one to catch a fish on the surface, as well as having the insurance of a nymph hanging below it.

A few dry flies that work well as indicators are Chubby Chernobyls, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis in larger sizes and large Parachute Adams. “Attaching your dropper fly to your dry fly is as simple as tying a piece of tippet at the desired length to the bend of the hook on your dry fly, and then attaching your nymph to the other end,” says Waldrep. Fishing the dry dropper rig in water that is between 1 and 4 feet deep is most effective, but fishing it in deeper water can also produce fish. “Ditch the bobber and try out this super effective technique of trout fishing this fall,” Waldrep says.

DB Bar D Outfitters offers guided fishing and hunting trips, as well as fishing and hunting memberships that include the use of their member waters and hunting properties. Guided options include instruction, and are suitable for all skill levels. For more information, visit DBbarD.com.

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