Southwestern Montana's Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

What time of year to use the Hopper and a Dropper

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Have you ever asked yourself the question, "What time of year is it best to use the Hopper and a Dropper?" You also might be asking "Why fish a Hopper and a dropper?" and "How do I rig up a Hopper and a Dropper?" Read on for more tips.


Fishing a hopper and a dropper is a very effective technique that we use a lot for fishing around Bozeman, Montana area rivers in August and the first part of September when terrestrials are present on the stream banks. We thoroughly enjoy fishing a single dry and twitching it around our area rivers around Bozeman, but after the trout have seen a few weeks of fake foam hoppers floating overhead, they tend to get a little gun shy.

If the trout are rising to your presentation, but not opening their mouths to eat, you need to get a little sneaky. Dropping off a nymph 14-30 inches off the back of your hopper may increase your hook up rate. What to drop off your hopper, depends on your area stream entomology. Here in the Bozeman area, in August, a caddis pupa, small attractor nymphs such as lighting bugs, work well. If using a big enough hopper, we will even drop off small stonefly nymphs or smaller wooly buggars. A lot of time I have found that if the trout are unsure about eating off the surface, they will take the offering below the surface without hesitation. You may need to dial in what they want below the surface, but once you do, this is a very effective technique.

Check out this video on how I rig my hopper-dropper rig.

Book Your Fly Fishing Trip Today!

Why Choose Us

Professional Guides
Licensed, trained, and experienced.
Enjoyable & Memorable
Satisfaction is our top priority.
All Inclusive
We'll provide everything you need.

Connect With Us

Contact Us

MT. Outfitter License #6813
Madison River SRP #60
BH2 SRP #87

Get Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest Montana fly fishing news and tips!