East Prong of the Little River Journal:

Terrestrial Hopper/Beetle Rig
We have recently returned from the New England area and did not have time to
get this out prior to leaving. Prior to our departure at the end of July, we fished
the Little River after the water was back down to a fairly low level and
temperatures were again reaching the high sixties during the afternoon. For a
couple of days, late in the day, we had quite a bit of success using a small
beetle on a dropper rig. Now this is not a new method of fly fishing. It is in fact
fairly common. We are just reporting some results to you that may be beneficial.
We do not use a dropper rig for purposes of fishing two flies. I don't feel that two
flies is better than one. I will use a dropper rig if it benefits in other ways. In this
case,which was late in the day, it was impossible to see or keep track of a tiny
black beetle. A dropper rig helped accomplish this. We used a size 14 foam
hopper with an eighteen inch dropper to a size 18 beetle. We caught over six
fish in the late afternoon for two days in a row using this rig. All of the fish hit the
beetle. Not one hit the grasshopper.
We have used this rig in the past. More often we use the same rig with an ant as
the dropper fly. It usually provides similar results. At least four of five fish will
take the ant instead of the hopper.
I am not saying that a hopper is not effective. I am just implying that the dropper
rig is. If you haven't used a beetle before or if you have had little results doing
so, try the dropper rig. The difference may be that the trout prefer the wet fly
below the surface over the dry fly on the surface. They usually do.

Copyright 2007 James Marsh