Re: Fly rigging?
Some people find it strange, but I tie second and third flies off the eye, not the bend. I was getting plenty of rejections as the fish would come up and feel the tippet in the way. Off the eye seems to get this effect less. For double fly rigs sometimes just 5x to a dry with a long tag end left to tie the dropper. Two knots instead of three is better and more efficient IMO as the knots are the weak points.
I frequently step down tippet size from top to bottom, lots of snags around here. Better to lose one fly than all of them at once! I have not experimented much with extended dropper tags hanging off the main line. Just looks like a huge tangle waiting to happen. I generally just set the rig up linearly, and do pretty well.
Split shot or heavy beadheads will help you get to the right depth when nymphing difficult fish.