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Old 06-15-2010, 12:29 PM
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Default Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

I've fished for a long time and the vast majority has been with one fly at a time. I've fished with a wet or nymph dropper a very few times.

Those of you here that do it a lot:

Why do it this way, just a way to try 2 things at once or is there more to it?
How do you usually rig it?
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

cketh--

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.
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Last edited by peregrines; 06-15-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

my catch rate has gone up dramatically by fishing two nymphs at once. I usually put 12 - 18" in between them and I'll usually fish an attractor pattern behind a heavy nymph (HE, PT or Stone in size 6 - 10). I like to experemint so will tie on two nymphs sometimes just to see which one gets the majority of the hits eg one with flash the other without.

I think it makes a "parade" of food and increases the chances of a strike shearly by numbers drawing attention.

I like to cast three #20 griffiths gnats with 6" of 6X between them when the brookies are feeding in shallow riffles. I don't get to cast long before it tangles but at the right time, it only takes a couple casts to work. I'll tie these groups up at home and sleave them for ease of application onstream. Same with #18 para adams and other small patterns. I think the numbers get the attention better and more reason for the fish to rise for small offerings.

I just worked up a nice little catterpiller pattern that floats well and indicates great. I've gotten hits on it while both swinging/stripping and upstream spot casting a pair of nymps.

All in all, multi fly rigs allow me to search more quickly to find whats working and to present more options. In a hatch, not all trout are targetting dry, emerger or even the same bug so I can better cover what the trout are targetting overall by offering a little of each.

like mentioned though, multi fly rigs tangle if you don't keep you casting loops big and roundish. I stick to roll casting for the nymphs. I tie all my own fly's and enjoy doing it so it doesn't much matter if I loose some.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

The idea behind nymphing is that it allows you to FF when there is no active hatches on the surface. As Mark and JJ have outlined there are numerous methods to setting up a nymph rig with multiple flies, you will just have to experiment and figure out what works best for you. When fishing with multiple flies I either roll cast or use water loading, just toss out your line into the current and let the current drag the rig downstream as everything tightens up, then lift the rod a little to bring everything to the surface and then just flip it upstream to begin the next float. The idea here is that you are trying to float the rig right through a good looking current seam. The fish will normally hold in the softer water just off the current, but the current seam will bring insects floating by and the fish will sit there waiting and snatch the food items as they float by. You will want to have your rig setup so the distance from the indicator is 1 1/2 to 2 times the water depth as a starting point. There are lots of how-to videos on Fly Fishing with Nymphs on You Tube that you might want to watch to learn some of the techniques that work for other people. Here are just a few:





Take a look at this thread on the Bighorn River and you will see why I like to nymph fish, most of these were caught using San Juan Worms:
May 17th on the Bighorn

All of these fish were caught on the North Platte River, WY on nymphs:
SE Wyoming Fishing

All of these fish were caught using nymphs on the Green River, UT below Flaming Gorge: WY Fly Fishing

Larry
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

I rarely fish one fly anymore. It took 2 years of practice and frustrations dealing with them but it works. As said above your catch rate goes up.

The other thing that happens when you start using 2 fly's successfully, you add a new and very large dimension to the experience. Besides the normal things like drift, debth or swing.. You now have combo's and that is a lot of focused fun... Think about it.. you see a hatch or a flash of trout below.. do you want a midge/midge, or red zebra with hairs ear, or Flash Back hairs ear with midge or attractor with globall or, or, or, or... I find the hours spinning away as I continue to try multiple combo's. Even with streamers a wollybugger with crackleback... I can type a page of the combo's I use from time to time.

A guide introduced me to what Peregrines said with two Dry's and I fished a 20' run where the Griffets #18 was 40% and a #22 Trico was 60% of the takes. I got 8 nice fish in that run in about 16 cast's. Now if I only used one or the other what was my take. And, the #22 Trico was indicated by the Griffets

Again I am a fan. I wasn't at first and I forced myself to try 30 minutes a day then 1 hour and up... It gets a lot funner when your loops and roll casts work without tangles. Be prepared to loose 2 to 3 times more fly's.. If you are not in the "ZONE" you can loose 4 fly's in 2 cast in tree's and brush. That will blow about 40 minutes in rigging....

Good luck and have fun..
Crittergetter..


PS... 2 bluegills on 2 little jig's is fun... especially with 2 or 3 weight rod.

Last edited by crittergetter; 06-20-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Droppers, 2-fly rigs: how and why?

My favorite 2 fly combo is known as the hopper/dropper...It kinda feels like cheating but it's good for identifying what the fish are doing. Use a hopper or stimulator as the floating fly and either a prince nymph or small emerging nymph as the dropper. It is particularly good at keeping an emerger at the right depth as there is only 14-18" of line to worry about trailing the floating fly on the surface.
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