View Full Version : Drop-shot rig for deep nymphing?

Stana Claus
02-11-2012, 12:15 PM
I was doing a little light reading last night before bedtime and came across a suggestion to leave a 4" - 6" tag end when tying on your bottom nymph then adding your split shot to that tag. The theory is to bounce the shot off the bottom, but leave the fly swinging just above that to reduce hangups on bottom dwelling debris.

Anyway, that works out to essentially be the same drop-shot rig that bass fishers have been using for soft plastics and saltwater folks have used for bottom fishing for forever, and it's a very effective technique in both of those applications. My question is, has anyone here every tried it for dredging nymphs along the bottom for trout and, if so, how did it work out for you? I may just have to give it a try the next time I go out.

02-11-2012, 12:35 PM
this could be genius if the added weight does not inhibit the natural drift of the nymph.

one of those "why didnt I think of that" moments.....

Stana Claus
02-11-2012, 01:34 PM
If you are high-sticking and just letting the shot bounce along the bottom, I can't see where it would adversely affect your drift. Even with an indicator or dry/dropper rig, if you are set for the proper depth I would think it would work fine. The trick is, and what this rig may help achieve, is to get your fly all the way down to the bottom without hanging your fly up on snags as often. Oh, and I forgot to include in the original post that the author recommended tying a knot in the very end of the tag to keep the shot from sliding off.

02-11-2012, 01:52 PM
What is the shot size when fishing with this method?

02-11-2012, 02:04 PM
Works like a charm,don`t tie a knot in the end of the tag end,you want the split shot to slip off instead of breaking the fly off.

Stana Claus
02-11-2012, 03:23 PM
Good point, swamp. And I would think you would use the same amount of weight, or maybe even a little bit more, as you normally would to get the fly down to the bottom. Depends on the depth and speed of the water you're fishing.

joe a
02-12-2012, 11:09 AM
Works like a charm,don`t tie a knot in the end of the tag end,you want the split shot to slip off instead of breaking the fly off.

Use lighter tippet for the tag with the shot. It will break and the tags for the flies won't. I use this setup for multi fly rigs. I usually tie in two droppers using the bottom tag of a triple surgeon's as the tag to tie my fly to. The nice part about it is that you can change either fly without having to redo the whole rig.

AL trout bum
02-12-2012, 01:36 PM

Another source, I haven't tried it yet, but it makes sense!

02-12-2012, 06:31 PM
Oh Lord this brings back memories of my youth when my father hooked me up with an old fellow who would take me up to the Pocono Mtn's of north east PA once or twice a year to fish for trout in very clear water.

The streams were usually small with a tight canopy that made casting difficult... I of course being a kid wanted to cast and lost far too many flies to the trees but was grateful for the opportunity to go along.

His technique was to use shot on a tag from the blood knot ahead of his tippet... the shot was the old fashioned kind that crimpred on with pliars and fairly small... I'd guess no larger than 1/8 diameter and if he didn't think he was getting down enough he would keep crimping more on next to the others. Sometimes a second fly was attached after the shot.

We both fished "traditional wets" but he would wade out to about knee deep (which worked for me as only owned rubber soled hippers) and holding his rod tip high he would strip off line to allow his rig to drift downstream or use a horrible roll cast to pay out line. He would then lower his rod tip until it virtually touched the water allowing the rig to swing deep into the run. This was more or less "trolling" but we did catch fish.... I was sort of disappointed as it was not what I had in mind but at least I was sorta flyfishing.

He would try to work every part of the run before selecting a new spot to fish and he did catch fish which were virtually all freshly stocked.

Wiggling the rod tip a little bit helped entice strikes.. On many occassions the water was so clear that I could see the fish dart for his dancing wet flies if I stood on the bank below him. These were very stubborn stockers that would stack up like firewood in many places (easy to see them) and it would still take a while to enduce a strike.

It was not very glamourous. Perhaps this is why I like fishing BIG water instead of small "intimate" waters.

02-14-2012, 01:52 AM
I agree with Joe, it's a good set up for rigs with multiply flies. It does limit the length of your tippet, but I don't think that's as critical in nymph fishing as it is dry fly fishing.

02-16-2012, 03:45 PM
Hmm glad I read this post I think I will try that tomorrow I have always added shot right on the head of the nymph....still catches fish but I like this idea better....thanks for the post!