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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been looking into a way to actively fish 3 places in the water column at once. Not in a stream, but in still water. Mainly, it will allow me to assess where in the column the fish are as well as WHAT they're biting on.

There is a rig I've been reading about called the "Hopper-Copper-Dropper" rig. Essentially, you have a top hopper dry (in my case, probably a rubber legged grasshopper) followed in series by a heavy copper john, and then finished with a very small, light dropper nymph. This has the effect of putting a top-water offering, followed by a deep offering, followed by a less-deep, but still wet nymph trailing all of em.



>>Description Here<<


Now, it would seem that this could be effective, as long as one is careful when casting and has plenty of room to maneuver a long long leader.

Question: Has anyone tried this method? Did you have success? Is it effective, or is it a gimmick?

I'm intrigued at the idea of 3 completely different flies rockin' the water column at the same time, but I'm wondering if I should just stick with the straight hopper-dropper, with my grasshopper on top and a bead-head nymph 2 feet below, following along just above the mossy weedline at the lakebed.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Opry. The Hopper dropper has become one of the most popular set ups in flyfishing. You will find three flies is really annoying. Most guys setlle with just the hopper dropper. The dropper is usually a bead head. Just use lots of fly floatant on the hopper so the other flies dont drag it down to much.
 

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The hopper-copper-dropper setup is a fantastic way to catch a massive tangle...I prefer just just the hopper-dropper, but even then it will lead to the occasional cluster f***. It is very effective though...
 

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I fish three flys almost all the time! If you know how to cast and don't get crazy it's no problem.
 

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Used it a lot, but it's really meant for moving water. The heavy CJ is meant to pull down the nymph fast.

Better to water load it instead of casting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys... I'm nowhere NEAR a fly fisherman yet, but having landed 20-30 panfish on a dry so far makes me curious what's sitting below those guys.... Are the larger fish deeper in the column? Are there other species down there? Will bass go after that grasshopper?

All fun stuff I'm looking forward to learning.

I appreciate your responses.
 

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Most of the time the big fish will be at the bottom. However, they're also where the food is. Which can be from the bottom to the surface.

I'm talking about trout.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yea... That's what I found when fishing spots on Clear Creek... If I started my retrieve as soon as my spinner hit the pool, I would catch, but they would be smaller. If I let it sink to the bottom of the pool, I may catch fewer, but they would be significantly larger...

Pond fishing for species other than gills and cats is new to me, and I'll take all the advice I can get!!
 

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O

Fishing 3 flies is nothing new. Barr coined the phrase "Hopper, Copper, Dropper" in his own style. The flies you use really don't matter.

Any big dry up top, followed by the two droppers works.

However, you need to be a strong caster to do it correctly. You will need to open up the loop more to make sure it doesn't tangle. Also, don't go to low on the tippet. I don't go below 4x on this if its Hopper season.

Since you are moving back to the south, I'll tell you we fished a "brace" of flies pretty often. That is 3 or more. 5 is about as many as Ive done and that was on the swing.

Those bass you are wanting, arent going to actively search out those little nymphs. You may get a few, but if you want to target them, you need to get down and fish them off the bottom or structure. No different than spin fishing for them.

Crawfish patterns, Worm patterns, bunny leaches, Clouser minnows etc.

One of my favorite things is come summer when the bass are in shallows and you can throw top water for them.

Get your self some Sneaky Pete's (top water fly) and when you get back South, go and fish for those big ol bass. Cast. Make a PLOP. let it set at least a minute. Then slow popping retrieves. The takes are EXPLOSIVE
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cool. I'm not all that interested in bass as a target species, but it'd be nice to know they're available as a secondary target/bycatch.

The rubber legged grasshopper hopper could catch large shellcrackers and such, I'm imagining... I haven't found a good shellcracker spot here in Denver yet, but I know of two in town in Monterey.
 

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To eliminate some of the tangling you can tie the droppers on the hook bend like normal. Tying the dry on a tag end a foot long is a helicoptering nightmare. The longer the tag ends are the more it spins and tangles on all of the flies. I've used a similar rig (Provo bounce) nymphing with 2 or 3 flies and never run my tags over 6" and the shorter and stiffer the better. I caught 6 bass and some green sunnys thurs. on rubber leg stonefly pattern and a pile of others on the droppers below rigged the traditional way. Don't be afraid of putting on small leechs, buggers or damsel nymphs under your dry also. Just my two cents
 

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Usually you'll know if they're hitting on the surface so adding a hopper to your rig to find out just seems unnecessary. Either fish two or three flies under an indicator or just fish your surface fly.
 

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Usually you'll know if they're hitting on the surface so adding a hopper to your rig to find out just seems unnecessary. Either fish two or three flies under an indicator or just fish your surface fly.
Sorry Whomp but you'd be 100% wrong on that. Searching patterns like Stimulators Amy's ants, Turks Tarantulas etc are made to induce strikes. No hatch needed.

I fish with this set up regularly and it is highly effective with or without a hatch
 

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Even if they don't hit the hopper. It's acting as an indicator.
 

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Sorry Whomp but you'd be 100% wrong on that. Searching patterns like Stimulators Amy's ants, Turks Tarantulas etc are made to induce strikes. No hatch needed.

I fish with this set up regularly and it is highly effective with or without a hatch
I meant to say just fish two or three flies under an indicator or just fish your hopper dropper.

Either way, I didnt say anything about a hatch. I have also had success with patterns like that when there was no hatch and I love hopper droppers. A hopper-dropper-dropper just seems unnecessary somehow. What makes those patterns search patterns? Arent all flies meant to induce strikes? I guess I should have been more specific and asked him to clarify exactly what type of fishing hes talking about and when. There are obviously times when it's unnecessary to have a setup like that. So by your logic, you always have a big ass hopper on your rig just in case? Regardless of the time/conditions? I should have been more specific but im definitely not 100% wrong. If it's the dead of winter and you have a .00001% chance of getting bit on top, and adding a top fly increases your chances of snags and tangles by 5%(JUST AN EXAMPLE),an also impedes casting ability, would you really recommend adding one? Just my opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm just real new to fly fishing. I've been fishing small ponds lately with multiple species and I came across this rig on a search. Seems like it might be a good way to target multiple species without re-rigging.

Crappie deeper, sunfish and bass on top.

Again, its not something I came up with, just something I saw that seems like a way to entice more than one species to strike on any given cast... Especially now, when the small ponds are warming up.
 

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I meant to say just fish two or three flies under an indicator or just fish your hopper dropper.

Either way, I didnt say anything about a hatch. I have also had success with patterns like that when there was no hatch and I love hopper droppers. A hopper-dropper-dropper just seems unnecessary somehow. What makes those patterns search patterns? Arent all flies meant to induce strikes? I guess I should have been more specific and asked him to clarify exactly what type of fishing hes talking about and when. There are obviously times when it's unnecessary to have a setup like that. So by your logic, you always have a big ass hopper on your rig just in case? Regardless of the time/conditions? I should have been more specific but im definitely not 100% wrong. If it's the dead of winter and you have a .00001% chance of getting bit on top, and adding a top fly increases your chances of snags and tangles by 5%(JUST AN EXAMPLE),an also impedes casting ability, would you really recommend adding one? Just my opinion...
lol. now that is awesome!!. You got me. Dead of winter, nothing going on, I wouldn't fish a midge dropper dropper. I should have been more specific too. I fish a dry dropper a ton searching when nothing is going on. Dead of winter I snowboard so I dont really care what the fish eat.
 

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I meant to say just fish two or three flies under an indicator or just fish your hopper dropper.

Either way, I didnt say anything about a hatch. I have also had success with patterns like that when there was no hatch and I love hopper droppers. A hopper-dropper-dropper just seems unnecessary somehow. What makes those patterns search patterns? Arent all flies meant to induce strikes? I guess I should have been more specific and asked him to clarify exactly what type of fishing hes talking about and when. There are obviously times when it's unnecessary to have a setup like that. So by your logic, you always have a big ass hopper on your rig just in case? Regardless of the time/conditions? I should have been more specific but im definitely not 100% wrong. If it's the dead of winter and you have a .00001% chance of getting bit on top, and adding a top fly increases your chances of snags and tangles by 5%(JUST AN EXAMPLE),an also impedes casting ability, would you really recommend adding one? Just my opinion...
With the hopper-dropper-dropper or with a three nymph setup I will fish an attractor pattern as either my first dropper or first nymph with each setup. Usually this will be a bigger or brighter fly than the one(s) below. I really think that alot of the time the attractor pattern does exactly that it gets the fish's attention and then they eat the smaller or more natural fly. I believe this works because the fish is interested in the first fly and moves into feeding range and then is presented with a options to feed. Sometimes they just the attractor. I like larger or very bright and flashy nymphs for this.
 

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With the hopper-dropper-dropper or with a three nymph setup I will fish an attractor pattern as either my first dropper or first nymph with each setup. Usually this will be a bigger or brighter fly than the one(s) below. I really think that alot of the time the attractor pattern does exactly that it gets the fish's attention and then they eat the smaller or more natural fly. I believe this works because the fish is interested in the first fly and moves into feeding range and then is presented with a options to feed. Sometimes they just the attractor. I like larger or very bright and flashy nymphs for this.

A buffet for da fisheeezz!
 
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