Standard Dry Dropper is the industry standard for a reason. Because it’s what you get when you simply add a nymph on behind the dry fly. Sometimes, that pairing is perfect, and with a good cast and even better mending skills, this standard setup catches trout all day long.
But other times, the addition of the nymph, without some planning and attention to detail, creates a situation where neither the dry nor the nymph is setup to fish very well. And we are stuck with hoping something will happen instead of making it happen.
Standard Dry Dropper is a useful style that solves a lot of problems. Especially if you surrender to the idea that the nymph is the primary fly being fished.
Aim to land both flies in one seam. Get the nymph upstream of the dry fly and drifting in line. Then keep the tension of the dry fly with good mending. Treat it like and indicator and never be satisfied with a dragging setup.
All of this sets up a lot better by staying as close as possible to the target, observing the differences in surface currents and staying active throughout the drift. Be willing to make changes. That’s the key to success.
In 2019, I published a full series on these Three Styles of Dry Dropper on the Troutbitten Website. You can find them here:
READ: Troutbitten | Three Styles of Dry Dropper
READ: Troutbitten | Three Styles of Dry Dropper -- Light Dry Dropper
READ: Troutbitten | Three Styles of Dry Dropper -- Standard Dry Dropper
READ: Troutbitten | Three Styles of Dry Dropper -- Tight Line Dry Dropper
This podcast series is an excellent companion for the article series.
Because “fishing dry dropper” can really mean a lot of things. And each of these styles has many moments when it's the clear winner.
So, the next time someone talks about dry dropper fishing, ask them what style -- because there's a lot of room for variety.