Fishing the popper-dropper rig

You've heard of the hopper-dropper, but what about something with a bit more gusto?
Photo: Chris Hunt

We’ve all heard of the “hopper-dropper,” the ubiquitous, two-fly method for summer trout all over the world. But what about the “popper-dropper” for bass, panfish and other warmwater fish? Well, it’s a thing, and I can attest to its effectiveness.

A couple of years ago, while fishing in the Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas, I was introduced to the method, and I’ve used it a few times since in places like north Florida and even in eastern Idaho, where we have something of an unknown, but robust, population of smallmouths in the Snake River.

New fly fishing gear: September 2023

What's new on the water this month
Photo: Simms Fishing

The fall fishing season is upon us, and fly-fishing gear manufacturers are pushing out some new items worth a look.

From a stipper caddy to a new Scandi shooting head, a conscientiously constructed cold-weather wading jacket to a new rotary tying vise and a few items in between, here’s a quick look at some of the most promising new items for September.

Photo: Tim Schulz

When I stepped through the double entry doors under the small gable roof at the entrance to the Orvis Rod Factory last June, I expected to be greeted by old men with silver-gray beards, half-frame reading glasses, brass pocket watches, and full-length canvas shop aprons.

RIO introduces new Elite Scandi Launch

Has RIO built a better Scandi head?
Photo: Farbank Enterprises.

Perhaps more than any other subcategory of the fly fishing universe, the world of Spey and two-hand casting seems to be under constant evolution. Rod makers are consistently building not just improved but wholly new two-hand offerings and linemakers, at a similar clip, are developing new tapers, heads, tips, and line systems to help anglers make the most of their double-handed weapon of choice.

Death by any other name

A call to write and speak with humility
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

A friend recently sent me a link to this Outdoor Life article. He said he thought I’d find it interesting. I have strong suspicions he wanted to poke the bear. Regardless of his motive, I was both intrigued and irritated. The article sought to answer the burning question: When a wild animal we’ve hunted lays dead and reduced to our possession, did we “kill” the animal or “harvest” it?