A low-water drop shot nymph rig with sighter

I recently mentioned that in these low, clear water conditions I had temporarily ditched my beloved indicator nymphing for a straight line drop-shot approach. I had many questions about the method, but also about the rig, which is presented below. The template is the same as the one I use in higher water; I’ve simply swapped out some materials to create a leader system that makes strike detection easier and uses thinner diameter nylon.

So, what’s changed?

— The top of the butt section is now Hi-Vis Gold Stren. You can of course use whatever color you like, or even a different material (like Dacron). The yellow jumps out to my eyes, though, and we can all agree that it’s important to be able to see your sighter.

— The bottom of the butt section is P-Line Floroclear (it’s fluorocarbon coated material). I’ve been using P-Line for years in my steelhead leaders. It’s strong as hell and has a thin diameter. Good stuff. I use it on my indicator drop-shot rigs, too.

— I sometimes use 5x instead of 4 lb.  Maxima Ultragreen for the top dropper. It’s strictly a diameter choice I leave up to the angler.

— The drop shot tag goes down a size to 6x. This is to a) insure the weakest link breaks on a shot snag, and b) I typically use smaller patterns for the point fly in the winter, and the 6x is easier to squeeze through the eye of a 16 or 18 hook.

— I’m using round BB shot, no wings. Hopefully that means less bottom hangups.

For your leader constructing pleasure.

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Here’s a pdf: lowwaterdropshotnymphrig

Farmington River Mini Report 7/29/15: If only the fishing were this hot

You know it’s hot when you’re standing up to your waist in sixty-degree water and there’s sweat streaming down your face — and it’s only 10am.

I fished from 9am to 1pm today. My focus was on prospecting for bigger trout by nymphing the fast water. No bigguns’, but I did get into an assortment of lovely wild browns, one in the mid teens. I used the drop shot rig under a yarn indicator, with a size 14 olive Iron Lotus on the bottom and a size 16 soft-hackled Pheasant Tail as the top dropper. I adjusted between one and two BB shot, depending on the depth of the water and the speed of the current.

Now that is one impressive tail. Full adipose, nice little kype — this buck is a surely a wild thang. Taken on the SHPT. Why I like indicator nymphing: the indicator never went under with this guy. It was the slightest of takes, almost imperceptible. The indicator just suddenly slowed and twitched. Remember, it doesn’t cost anything to set the hook.

Wild Farmy Brown 7/29/15

Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the full sun. Maybe it was the lack of hatch activity. But I blanked in three runs today that I was certain held fish. The other three I hit all produced. Go figure — I did better outside of the permanent TMA. The river was surprisingly busy for a mid-weekday.

If you are heading out in this heat, please don’t forget to hydrate. And while the water is still plenty cold, let’s do our best to get those fish in and released quickly.

A jewel of a mid-summer Farmington brown. I can’t decide what I like better: the halos around the spots, the golden belly, or the parr mark remnants.

Wild Farmy Brown 2 7/29/15