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Trouts Journal

Five Rigs You Need to Know to Fly Fish for Trout

Brandon Rodriguez / Sep 9, 2021

On the surface, fly fishing can seem very complicated and, I completely understand why. It is a lot to digest upfront, understanding what flies to use, different leader/tippet variations, and understanding what makes a good fly rod can all become very confusing very quickly. However, if you take a step back and look at the sport in pieces, it starts to make sense. A perfect place to start with this is with rigging. Today we will be going over five specific fly rigs that will not only keep you enjoying your time on the water but, ultimately becoming a more self-sufficient angler. These are five specific staff favorite fly rigs we throw day in and day out here in Colorado. They are tried and true here in the centennial state and are a perfect starting place for a beginner or for the seasoned angler when they arrive at a new stretch of water. If you are interested in learning more about fly fishing or just need a refresher on a certain knot head over to our Education tab to take a deeper diver. However, for now, let us dive into the five rigs you need to know to fly fish for trout.


The Basic

The most simplistic out of all the rigs on the list, The Basic tends to be more of an idea than a rig at the end of the day. However, in practice, this is a one-fly rig that is more popular during the summer months or when you know exactly what the fish are keying into at that moment. Although a little limiting in the sense that you only are throwing one fly, The Basic can be the most rewarding out of all of them. Whether you are committing to using only one fly throughout the day (Nymph or Dry Fly) or a dedicated dry fly purist, The Basic will come in hand more times than not.

Single Dry Fly

A rig for those early summer mornings and long summer nights either from a drift boat or wading along the banks the single dry fly rig is straightforward and simple in design. This rig can be used in a variety of locations and is the foundation of fly fishing. This rig was designed for delicate presentation and aggressive strikes. Make sure to log this one to memory the next time the weather warms up or the bugs start hatching. If you are looking for more information on this set up check out the video we made going over this specific rig, down below.

The Double Dry Fly

In a lot of ways, the Double Dry Fly rig is the big brother to the Single Dry Fly rig mentioned above. This is a great setup when you know there are rising fish but are unsure what they are eating. This rig can produce some amazing eats especially when cast tight to the banks. This rig is also valuable when you are wanting to cover water efficiently. You are able to see what lines and pockets fish are holding in and where the eager risers are laying in the section of water you are in.

Multi Nymph / Indicator

This rig is a bump in complexity when compared to the previous rigs above. However, simply put this rig is downright deadly in just about any piece of water you may come across. This rig is especially critical when you come across highly pressured rivers that see a lot of other anglers. If you are wanting a "secret" to catching more fish, this is it. Although you do not get the visual pleasure of watching a fly slap at your dry fly, the depth you can get to with this rig allows you the opportunity to land the larger fish in the river. Since this rig may be a tad bit complicated to just understand by an image we have attached a video down below covering how to set up a classic nymph rig which is the foundation of the Multi-Indicator.

Streamer Leader

There is so much to say about streamers. The bite they produce is one of the most exhilarating and honestly a good streamer eats beats a sharked hopper eats any day. However, rigging this system properly takes a bit of practice and a lot of personal preference in order to get in dialed into your liking, especially when it comes to leader size.

Hopper Dropper

You know what they say, you gotta save the best for last. The hopper dropper is arguably the most famous fly fishing rig there is and if there were any rig to know inside and out this is the one. This rig provides the best of both worlds when it comes to topwater eats and subsurface nibbles. Since your dropper can double as an indicator this rig alone can be fished throughout your entire day on the water. If you happen to be new to the fly fishing world you will quickly become acquainted with this rig inside and outside of Colorado. If you are looking for more information on this rig head over to the video linked below to see how to put this rig together.

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