Tuesday Tip - Drowned Terrestrials – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tuesday Tip - Drowned Terrestrials

Fishing with drowned hoppers and other terrestrials is an effective way to catch trout this time of year. Hoppers, ants and beetles often get pulled down below the surface where they become an easy meal for trout. A trout that may be wary of taking a dry off the surface can be much more willing to eat terrestrials down below the surface. When feeding below the surface they don’t need to be as cautious of predatory birds or fly anglers alike. Many anglers figure out by accident that drowned hoppers work, and it usually happens when fishing with a nymph dropper that is dragging the hopper below the surface.

There are a few different ways to fish drowned terrestrials. One way is to fish a drowned hopper pattern such as a Takahashi Drowned Hopper or a Gould’s Half Down Hopper. You can get the same effect by fishing hoppers made with natural materials without using any floatant so that they become waterlogged. Hoppers that are tied with deer hair for a head such as a Dave’s Hopper are a good one to use for this purpose. To soak the fly quickly you can hold it under water while pinching the deer hair head. Another effective technique is to just run a hopper like a nymph rig with split shop and a strike indicator. There are some guys who even choose to fish hoppers with a sinking line to get them down deep along cut-banks.

Try fishing drowned terrestrials the next time you find the dry fly bite is slow. Also, don’t overlook using ants or beetles because there are lots of them both above and below the water, as well.