Techniques for using 2 dry flies or 1 dry fly & 1 emerger

bigtasty114

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I really used the dry dropper system this summer and figured out a lot of it is finding a bouyant fly that can hold a nymph. Then you only have to focus on the drift of the dry fly, if it gets eaten, boom, easy as setting the hook just like regular dry fly fishing. If the dry fly stalls or goes under, boom, easy as setting the hook just like you would with an indicator. I crushed trout with this system this year and it is my favorite.

However, I still cannot figure out how to drift 2 dry flies together. For example, many times this summer I had tan caddis coming off (size 16) and tiny BWOs coming off (size 22). I could not even see my tiny BWO when I tried it as one fly, so I cut it off, tied on an X Caddis (5X tippet) and off the eye of the X Caddis I attached 12 inches of 6X tippet to the BWO (I only use barbless hooks so I cant tie off the bend). Anyway, casting them to my landing spot was pretty easy. However, getting both of them to drift naturally was impossible (at least it seemed that way). One fly would stop the other, drag, etc.

My question is, does anyone use 2 dry flies and have success? Any suggestions for getting them to float down the river in a somewhat natural way?

Also same question for 1 dry fly with an emerger attached (similar situation, but instead with a Barrs Emerger attached to my X Caddis.

Thanks for any input.
 

osseous

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I favor a down, or down and across presentation in that scenario. Tricos were a hatch i didn't look forward to until I began choosing to throw downstream with a larger dry and dropped Trico, and feed slack. Another benefit is that you can adjust the line your flies are on by raising your rod- then pop slack till they reach the target. A lot of times you end up on your knees to stay outa sight. I really enjoy this style when the fish are being selective. You just gotta come to terms with that hookset!....

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silver creek

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I really used the dry dropper system this summer and figured out a lot of it is finding a bouyant fly that can hold a nymph. Then you only have to focus on the drift of the dry fly, if it gets eaten, boom, easy as setting the hook just like regular dry fly fishing. If the dry fly stalls or goes under, boom, easy as setting the hook just like you would with an indicator. I crushed trout with this system this year and it is my favorite.

However, I still cannot figure out how to drift 2 dry flies together. For example, many times this summer I had tan caddis coming off (size 16) and tiny BWOs coming off (size 22). I could not even see my tiny BWO when I tried it as one fly, so I cut it off, tied on an X Caddis (5X tippet) and off the eye of the X Caddis I attached 12 inches of 6X tippet to the BWO (I only use barbless hooks so I cant tie off the bend). Anyway, casting them to my landing spot was pretty easy. However, getting both of them to drift naturally was impossible (at least it seemed that way). One fly would stop the other, drag, etc.

My question is, does anyone use 2 dry flies and have success? Any suggestions for getting them to float down the river in a somewhat natural way?

Also same question for 1 dry fly with an emerger attached (similar situation, but instead with a Barrs Emerger attached to my X Caddis.

Thanks for any input.

A double dry dropper is an excellent strategy when you see fish that are rising to surface flies, but there are multiple flies hatching so that you don’t know exactly what dry fly the fish are taking. Rather than trying each dry pattern separately, put on two dry flies.

When I see both caddisflies and mayflies on the water or two types of mayflies, I will tie the larger pattern first and then tie a section of tippet to the bend of the hook of the first fly. Then tie the smaller fly to the end of the dropper tippet.

This strategy can also be used whenever you cannot decide between two flies. For example there may be only a single hatch but you really can’t decide whether the fish are taking the dry or a late stage emerger. That is the time for the dry dropper with the second fly being a late stage emerger pattern.

Another time I use this strategy is when I see fish rising near the bank or under trees but there is no hatch. Situations such as this suggest terrestrials such as beetles and ants. It is just about impossible to see these bugs on the water. The thing to do is to use the double dry dropper with a front beetle pattern with a trailing ant pattern.

This is ant and beetle “hatch” occurs after the summer thunderstorms that we often get in Wisconsin. Look to the banks and under trees for ants and beetles washed into the river.

To solve your problem of drag between the two dries you need a longer section of tippet between the first dry and the dropper dry fly than you are using. You can also also use a puddle/pile type of cast so there is a lot of slack tippet between the top dry and the dropper dry.

Go to my post below.


Click on the link below and go down to "The Pile Cast."

 

proheli

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... My question is, does anyone use 2 dry flies and have success? Any suggestions for getting them to float down the river in a somewhat natural way?
In shallow water I do something like this all the time. Medium sized dry up front, small just-about-anything as a dropper behind - but instead of the word dropper, I'm going to use the word "follower" because how much can a fly sink when its only been in the water a few seconds, especially if the front fly is floating well. I do this with two unbeaded nymphs too. Just let them drift by a rock, pull them out and do it a few more times.

It may sound like bad form, but I'm also as likely to pick the follower by size and color and sparkle count as I am anything else. Here is the thing, when the flies are about to hit the little rush of water before they go by the rock, then how much of a look does the fish really get at it. The dry is probably being sucked under at that point too. In fact I know it is, especially when the dry is small, like 16 or smaller. To me its just two flies zipping by, so being entymologically correct is not always my first priority. As far as the two fly pulling on each other. in this case it's all happening in a rush, so I don't care too much. I'm just getting some yummy flies in front of a few fish.

In the pic below, I caught 3 fish right there in front of those steps, one at least 12" and fat, and all three were on a a nymph followed by another nymph. If the water is that shallow then I wouldn't use beadheads.

If I have a dry followed by an emerger, then I still have it less that a foot behind. i'll just stick to shallowER water, giving up the fish that might be deeper. If the fish are really 3-10' feet down, and if I really wanted to get down there I'd nymph.
 

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flav

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There's no reason you can't tie a dropper off a barbless hook. I've been doing it for years, and have never had the dropper come off the front fly. Tie a nice tight knot and it won't come off.

I'm not much of a dry dropper guy, but occasionally I fish a smaller emergers behind a bigger dry, mainly so I can see the dry and get some good idea of where my emerger is. I've always had trouble getting a good drift with the two flies, the short dropper often causes drag on both flies. I now use a loop knot on both flies, this has helped some of the drag issues, but not all of them. I guess I could use a longer dropper like silver suggested, but I like too keep my droppers short so my flies are close together. I keep my casts short, and my drifts short too, so drag has less of a chance to occur.
 

el jefe

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If you tie on both dry flies with a non-slip mono loop, you will get more independence of action between the two flies, and buy yourself a little bit longer drag-free drift. I would still tie the dropper to the upper fly with a clinch knot to the bend, but at least you get some more natural movement with the non-slip mono loop on the two flies.
 

old timer

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Droppers are for those who can't make up their mind.

Just kidding. Personally, I never use a dropper. I like to keep all my focus on the one dry i'm fishing.
 

100954

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You can attach a dropper to a barbless hook. I have the best luck with 10 - 12’. I carry a plastic cup of stubby chubbys to use as a point fly & tie small (18-20) dry flys off the bend. The stubby is easy to see and always lands upright.
 

trev

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traditioally the dropper is the fly nearest the fly line/rod; the follower is called the point fly. It is on the point of the leader and the first fly is dropped of the leader.
 

el jefe

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traditioally the dropper is the fly nearest the fly line/rod; the follower is called the point fly. It is on the point of the leader and the first fly is dropped of the leader.
Here's where it gets confusing to me. I have always called the fly tied off of the bend the dropper. It is "dropped" off of the fly above it. There is nothing about the first fly that says it is "dropped." Think of the hopper/dropper setup, for example. But then comes Euro chucking, and the bottom fly is the point and the upper fly is the dropper; however, it is tied off to the side of the main line. Thus it is "dropped" off the leader.

And don't get me started on "drop" shot nymphing...
 

osseous

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Point fly is tied to the end of the leader- Dropper is any additional fly, regardless of where/how you attach it.

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trev

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Here's where it gets confusing to me. I have always called the fly tied off of the bend the dropper. It is "dropped" off of the fly above it. There is nothing about the first fly that says it is "dropped." Think of the hopper/dropper setup, for example. But then comes Euro chucking, and the bottom fly is the point and the upper fly is the dropper; however, it is tied off to the side of the main line. Thus it is "dropped" off the leader.

And don't get me started on "drop" shot nymphing...
Europeans were fishing two or three or more flies before they came to America as colonists. Our angling terminology and indeed all our language started over there. Droppers drop or hang off the line/leader, the dropper in the hopper-dropper is the dropped-hopper. Least that's the way it was in the books I read long ago. I think the reversal in popular talk happened with the internet, but I'm not sure of that. The tying to the bend rather than tying in a dropper-lead to hold the dropped-hopper would have made such reversal of terms seem reasonable perhaps, I don't recall reading of that bend of hook tie-in before the mid-late '80s, or later, it wasn't something of interest to myself as I had been using droppers since I started fishing with worms as kid, and the bend of hook is more complicated to me.
The dropped shot is another bait technique I learned in the '50s, adapting it to worm imitations isn't much of a change.

There is nothing about the first fly that says it is "dropped."
Draw a line across a piece of paper representing the leader, make one end the rod end and draw fly or hook or fish at the other end, then at two or three places between the ends draw a picture of a knot with a 3" leader vertically down from the leader and attach a fly to each short lead, don't all those short leads with flies on them appear to hang or drop off of the leader?

=====-----------------\---------\------------0~
Rod^ ...................................... *.................*
...............................dropper#1^ drpr#2^ .................^^ point fly with fish
 
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old timer

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Don't mix up the European version and our hopper-dropper. The hopper floats and the dropper hangs off it.

We also have the hopper-copper-dropper. The hopper floats, the copper john drops from the hopper, and the dropper drops from the copper john.
 

osseous

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Point fly is tied to the end of the leader. Any additional segment of tippet, regardless of where = a dropper.

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el jefe

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Europeans were fishing two or three or more flies before they came to America as colonists. Our angling terminology and indeed all our language started over there. Droppers drop or hang off the line/leader, the dropper in the hopper-dropper is the dropped-hopper. Least that's the way it was in the books I read long ago. I think the reversal in popular talk happened with the internet, but I'm not sure of that. The tying to the bend rather than tying in a dropper-lead to hold the dropped-hopper would have made such reversal of terms seem reasonable perhaps, I don't recall reading of that bend of hook tie-in before the mid-late '80s, or later, it wasn't something of interest to myself as I had been using droppers since I started fishing with worms as kid, and the bend of hook is more complicated to me.
The dropped shot is another bait technique I learned in the '50s, adapting it to worm imitations isn't much of a change.


Draw a line across a piece of paper representing the leader, make one end the rod end and draw fly or hook or fish at the other end, then at two or three places between the ends draw a picture of a knot with a 3" leader vertically down from the leader and attach a fly to each short lead, don't all those short leads with flies on them appear to hang or drop off of the leader?

=====-----------------\---------\------------0~
Rod^ ...................................... *.................*
...............................dropper#1^ drpr#2^ .................^^ point fly with fish
Actually, I think I agree with you there, and that's what I was trying to say above, thought not so clearly. With the Euro chuckers, I see the flies that are tied off of the blood or surgeon's knots or tippet rings as "droppers". For me, the distinction is that those flies are not in-line with the leader, but are dropped off of it, which is what I think you are diagramming and describing above. So the point fly in a Euro type setup is the only fly in-line with the leader, the others dropped off of the leader.

Conversely, with a typical dry/dropper or indi/double-nymph rig, all of the flies are in-line with the leader, and all of the other flies are dropped off the fly closest to the rod tip, so in the hopper/dropper case, for instance, I think of the sub-surface fly as the dropper. Maybe the terminology comes down to whether the flies are all in-line or not?
 

proheli

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Europeans were fishing two or three or more flies before they came to America as colonists. Our angling terminology and indeed all our language started over there. Droppers drop or hang off the line/leader, the dropper in the hopper-dropper is the dropped-hopper. Least that's the way it was in the books I read long ago. I think the reversal in popular talk happened with the internet, but I'm not sure of that. The tying to the bend rather than tying in a dropper-lead to hold the dropped-hopper would have made such reversal of terms seem reasonable perhaps, I don't recall reading of that bend of hook tie-in before the mid-late '80s, or later, it wasn't something of interest to myself as I had been using droppers since I started fishing with worms as kid, and the bend of hook is more complicated to me.
The dropped shot is another bait technique I learned in the '50s, adapting it to worm imitations isn't much of a change.


Draw a line across a piece of paper representing the leader, make one end the rod end and draw fly or hook or fish at the other end, then at two or three places between the ends draw a picture of a knot with a 3" leader vertically down from the leader and attach a fly to each short lead, don't all those short leads with flies on them appear to hang or drop off of the leader?

=====-----------------\---------\------------0~
Rod^ ...................................... *.................*
...............................dropper#1^ drpr#2^ .................^^ point fly with fish
Trev, I have no doubt that you are historically correct, and Euro-term multiple-flies correct. You clearly understand the situation, but I don't know if that many others do. I think in this case the old terminology is going to give way to the modern practicality. For most, "Dry - dropper" says it all in just the name itself. You're floating "dry" is followed by a "dropper" that is dropped off the back of the hook and also dropping below the water. That's a double whammy and even a novice gets the full picture immediately in his mind. It's hard to go against the momentum generated from that kind of practicality.

I think you are fighting an uphill battle. :)
 
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