Hopper Dropper Fishing on Rock Creek in September

Fly Fishing in Early September

Setting out to fly fishing on my home waters of Rock Creek, my pal Dave and I hoped the smoky skies would act as a sort of cloud cover. Trout tend to feed more on the surface on overcast days.

We chose to fish in a spot several miles upstream from home, sandwiched between the Lolo and Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forests. There are no homes, just a dirt road slicing the wilderness.

Grasshoppers chirped and whirled, leaping away as we trudged through riparian grasses to the creek. My legs quickly became scratched and irritated from thorny wild roses and tinder-dry understory. We followed the path to the river made by deer, elk, and moose.

The Hopper Dropper Rig

If you are not familiar with a hopper-dropper rig, here are the basics. First, tie on a high floating grasshopper pattern of choice. Next, using an improved clinch knot, tie a 12-24″ piece of tippet material off the bend of the hook of the grasshopper fly. Next, choose a second fly and tie it onto the tippet material. The dropper, or second fly, can either be a nymph (wet) or another dry fly.

For my dropper, I used a sized 14 bead-head pheasant tail flashback. Dave used a dry ant pattern as his second fly.

Flies We Used

  • Grasshoppers

  • Ant Patterns

  • Purple Haze Parachute

  • Callibaetis Dry

  • Bead-head Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph

Early September

All in all, it was a great afternoon on the creek filled with fish and friendship.