Our Top 3 Dry-Dropper Rigs for Small Streams
#1: Chubby Chernobyl (tan, size 8-14) + Egan’s Frenchie w/beadhead (size 18-22)
If this rig had a nickname, it would be “The Brook Trout Killer”. Not in the literal sense, obviously; but this has been the combo I’ve used for banner days on the blue lines. In both cold and warm weather, this particular variation of frenchie seems to be able to move trout consistently. During the late spring, summer, and early fall, the chubby will become just as much of a target for hungry trout looking for hoppers and stoneflies.
#2: Chubby Chernobyl (purple, size 8-14) + Rainbow Warrior (purple/pink/blue, size 16-20)
This classic rig is a jack-of-all-trades. It grabs the attention of just about everything in the creek - I’ve even had a crayfish latch on to a tiny rainbow warrior and refuse to let go! Ironically, the biggest fans of little rainbow warriors are wild rainbow trout. Following the rainbows, cutthroat also seem to enjoy them. So whether you’re fishing plunge pools in the southern Appalachians or alpine creeks in the Rockies, be sure to fill your box with these rainbow-flavored miracle flies.
#3: Stimulator (ginger/orange size 6-12) + CDC Pheasant Tail w/beadhead (size 16-18)
This combo can be a powerful slumpbuster. The stimulator is a little less intrusive than a large, foam Chubby Chernobyl and can grab the attention of trout looking for larger flying insects. Pheasant tails are a classic searcher pattern, but the CDC feathers make this variation an all-star. Combine the added movement with a clean drift and you’ll be able to entice even the pickiest of wild trout.