06-15-2010, 01:24 PM
Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?
I don't fish them as often as others, (and probably not as often as i should) but there are a couple of different situations
With a dry fly
-fishing a small nymph like a size 20 pheasant tail nymph tied to the bend of a dry fly with clinch knot on a short 6-12" length of tippet. This allows the nymph to be suspended just below the surface. Sometimes during hatches fish are feeding on the emerging nymphs rather than the duns. If you're not having much luck with dries during a hatch of Blue Wings Olives or Sulphurs (or PMDs if you're out West), adding a a Pheasant Tail Nymph about the same size as the duns on the water can sometimes do the trick.
With a large foam hopper or Stimulator
-again tying tippet directly to the bend and hanging something heavily weighted like a Bead Head Prince Nymph or Copper John. This is is a good way to fish fast water stretches in summer- the large fly can support heavy flies that will get some depth, and act as an indicator, but can also take fish occassionaly too. This is known as a "Hopper Dropper". Some folks, especially out West, fish a "Hopper Copper Dropper" which is 3 flies like a grass hopper, Copper John and a small nymph.
Tiny dry with a bigger dry- It can be really tough to see really small dries, especially in low light (early morning Tricos in August for example). Tying a small dry to a light piece of tippet, and tying that to the bend of a larger dry fly that you can see, might help detect fish. (Another option for fishing really small flies you can't see well is to strike anytime you see a rise near where you think your dry might be.)
Small Nymph trailing a heavily weighted fly- like a conehead, woolly bugger etc, again tippet with trailing nymph tied to the bend of the hook, this is essentially using the heavily weighted fly as a weight/splitshot, But it also may take fish occassionally and possibly get the attention of fish that then take the smaller nymph.
i don't have too much experience swinging "teams" of wet flies in fresh water, but they are typically fished with 1 or 2 flies from short pieces of tippet tied to loops in the leader as well as a fly on the "point" (end of leader). I'll swing 3 flies at once in SW occasionally for striped bass in current at outflows of tidal ponds etc using small imitations like shrimp, crabs, marine worm imitations or small baitfish. To fish these I hang them from the tag end of triple surgeons knots tied in the leader. This allows me to fish 3 different types of flies to try and figure out what fish are feeding on. (Stripers generally aren't very selective, but they can be in these situations).
Casting more than one fly does up the chances for tangles (and increases even more with longer and longer lengths of tippet between flies), or of losing multiple flies on underwater (or overhead) snags (using a lighter weight tippet on the trailing fly can increase the chances of getting at least one fly back)
Hopefully other folks will weigh in.
Last edited by peregrines; 06-15-2010 at 01:44 PM.