Many thanks to the Capital District Fly Fishers for hosting me last night for Wet Flies 101. I treated myself to a pre-game meal at the Farmer Boy Diner — if you’re looking for a good quick bite in Albany, I’d recommend it. To kick off the festivities I tied a couple soft hackles, the Partridge and Light Cahill and the Squirrel and Ginger. Then the presentation (followed by a great Q&A session!) and off through the wind and rain and bluster back to CT.
Here’s the question of the night: do I like to use a soft hackle dropper off of a dry fly, or as the top dropper in a nymph rig? The answer is sometimes, and yes! I don’t do a lot wet-dropper-off-dry fishing — the exception would be on small streams where this setup is usually my default rig. Sometimes on the Farmington, I’ll fish a hopper dry or moist in the film as the top dropper on my team of three. And sometimes I’ll fish a wet-dry team for Housy smallmouth during the White Fly hatch. I almost always fish a soft hackle as the top dropper (tied on a 4″-6″tag) on my nymph rig — it’s a natural place in the water column for an emerger. Some days the fish choose that dropper to the exclusion of the nymph beneath it.
You never know what the small stream residents are going to want. Some days, they’re bashful, and won’t show on top. Others, they’re all in on the dry. Here’s a simple dry/wet rig. I’m unconcerned about the possibility of not hooking fish on the dry due to the leader material on the bend — the bigger fish will hook themselves handily, and the smaller ones I’d rather not touch, so they can bounce off the hook to their little heart’s content. Match your dropper leader to conditions and depth.
See you tonight in New Britain! 7pm, the world premier of The Little Things 3.0! Farmington Valley TU, Whinstone Tavern, Stanley Golf Course, New Britain, CT.