Question about using flys in tandem

S

spmpdr

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So heres my question: The other day i was fishing, I was using a caddis sz14 and it was moving great on top of the water, I then decided to tie a cdc mayfly emerger sz16 as a trailer about 1.5ft behind the caddis fly, after i did that i didn't get another strike the rest of the night. Did i affect the way the caddis fly looked in the water? How it moved on the water? I couldnt tell a difference. Could i get some advice from you pros please ? thanks in advance!!!!!!
 
S

steelhead_slayer

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my guess is you were getting some drag from adding the emerger. try to be more cautious about diffrent current or try a smaller tippet. its hard to say without being there to see what was happening
 
Irishrover

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Steelhead_slayer is right. It's hard to say without being there. Anything you put on under your dry will have an effect no matter how small. I'm no pro for sure, just an old guy with a few hours behind a rod. Some folks do well with a dropper on their dry and it is a good way for some to fish. Myself, I prefer to not have the dropper on my dry. Dry fly fishing to me is kind of like hunting. I put effort into figuring out where the fish is going to be (or should be), then try to get the right fly on to entice the fish to strike. Once the fly is where I want it, I watch it like a hawk, waiting for that moment where you see movement in the water near the fly, then bang you see the take. Man what great fun! With a subsurface dropper I miss out on that. I believe you will catch more fish with the dropper and some very good fly fisherfolks do it, I just like working that top fly. If you do want to use that dropper seek calm water without confused currents. Some of that slower Crooked River Water, or on the down side of those biger bolders.

PS I like your Sheridian Anderson quote!
 
B

bigsteel

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try adding a blood knot about 7 feet up your leader and put your smaller fly up there and put your bigger fly at the bottom as your point fly.
 
F

FlyBum

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With fishing a dry/dropper (which I don't do a lot of, prefer just a dry) the dropper will tend to alter the presentation of the dry and either sink it or get a bad drift. So to counter this use some "floatant" to help hang the fly up on top and make some mends in the line so the head of the fly is pointing up stream. Plus, I like my tippet size on the dropper to be at least one size smaller than my leader to the dry. Again, this is just what I do and seems to work for me. :)
 
S

spmpdr

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Thanks for all the advice guys , I will try different size tippet on the dropper as well as floatant. My theory on this is the same as running nymphs in tandem double the bait,double the chance for strikes!!! I will try some diifferent methods to see if i like running a dropper or not. Another question: I have been trying to use my flys without a strike indicator, but i am struggling to see my fly moving downstream. Is this something that just comes over time or is there a trick to it? When i fish nymphs i just go by feel of the rod, but with flys i think that would be just a split second to late.
 
Irishrover

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You are asking good questions. Keep a keen eye on your dry fly, do not use a strike indicator with dry fly. The fly is your strike indicator. Try casting up stream and strip in line as the fly floats down toward you. Lets say you use a elk hair caddis, put some floatant on the fly and make sure those elk hairs are up. Get out in the river and cast up river back toward the cut bank and focus on the fly. Let the fly come down river to you. This will help you develope the "eye". Later watch the water see where the fish are rising, cast up river from the rise focus on the fly and watch the water at the same time, when you get in the zone be ready for the strike. Sometimes the problem with dry flies is that they get soaked and sink, then you can't see them (sometimes you get some good fish on those sunken flies). If you can not see your fly do a few false cast to dry the fly out or add some floatant. You are on the right path keep it up. Also get a copy of "In The Ring Of The Rise" by Vincent C. Marinaro. Halibuthitman recommended this book a while back. It is a technical book, but it will do wonders to improve a persons fishing skills. I picked one up at Amozon used and it was cheap.
 
S

steelhead_slayer

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if you can tie flies. you can add a little bit of brite color to the top of the fly. you can also use shorter tippet so you know about how far your fly should be out from your fly line, and watch for rises in that area. polarised glasses can help sometimes too.
 
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FlyBum

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Don't use indicators with dries :) I'll fish flies down to a 20 or 22 on the Owyhee and can't really see them just know the general vicinity and wait for a take and then set the hook. Another good tip, put the floatant on before the fly goes into the water and don't put on CDC unless it is made for CDC. The floatant will be able to do it's job better, just a dab will do applying to the wing and tail of the fly. Another "Old Skool" way is called Greasing the Line. You may have to ask your granddad about that one! LOL :)
 
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halibuthitman

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my guess is that the water was clear, and your tippet from your dry to your nymph was spooking the fish becouse it was too heavy. try flouro for your droppers as light of a line rating as your heart can take and mend addition slack above your fly to eliminate any drag the heavier set-up may have. I use black stimulators for strike indicators over beads, and floatant is a must, I have never had it effect my catch rate, its pretty damn sweet when a steelhead decides to swipe that floater and run but usally the bead or lower fly always fishes better. if you were in a hatch and it was producing you probably should have just accepted the catch you were getting instead of trying for more and messing up a working proposition.
 
S

spmpdr

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You are asking good questions. Keep a keen eye on your dry fly, do not use a strike indicator with dry fly. The fly is your strike indicator. Try casting up stream and strip in line as the fly floats down toward you. Lets say you use a elk hair caddis, put some floatant on the fly and make sure those elk hairs are up. Get out in the river and cast up river back toward the cut bank and focus on the fly. Let the fly come down river to you. This will help you develope the "eye". Later watch the water see where the fish are rising, cast up river from the rise focus on the fly and watch the water at the same time, when you get in the zone be ready for the strike. Sometimes the problem with dry flies is that they get soaked and sink, then you can't see them (sometimes you get some good fish on those sunken flies). If you can not see your fly do a few false cast to dry the fly out or add some floatant. You are on the right path keep it up. Also get a copy of "In The Ring Of The Rise" by Vincent C. Marinaro. Halibuthitman recommended this book a while back. It is a technical book, but it will do wonders to improve a persons fishing skills. I picked one up at Amozon used and it was cheap.

Thanks for the tips , i will put them to practice and check out the book you recommended
 
S

spmpdr

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if you can tie flies. you can add a little bit of brite color to the top of the fly. you can also use shorter tippet so you know about how far your fly should be out from your fly line, and watch for rises in that area. polarised glasses can help sometimes too.

Good idea ill have to remember that when i do start tying!!!
 
S

spmpdr

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my guess is that the water was clear, and your tippet from your dry to your nymph was spooking the fish becouse it was too heavy. try flouro for your droppers as light of a line rating as your heart can take and mend addition slack above your fly to eliminate any drag the heavier set-up may have. I use black stimulators for strike indicators over beads, and floatant is a must, I have never had it effect my catch rate, its pretty damn sweet when a steelhead decides to swipe that floater and run but usally the bead or lower fly always fishes better. if you were in a hatch and it was producing you probably should have just accepted the catch you were getting instead of trying for more and messing up a working proposition.

I wasn't in any kind of hatch that i saw but i did get a few strikes before i added the dropper . I guess i was just kind of feeling it out . It was my first time using a dropper, your theory on the dropper line could be correct as i was using 4lb maxima ulta green due to lack of tippet on hand . I usaully use rio flourocarbon 3 wt so next time ill try that . thanks for helping a rookie lol
 
S

spmpdr

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Don't use indicators with dries :) I'll fish flies down to a 20 or 22 on the Owyhee and can't really see them just know the general vicinity and wait for a take and then set the hook. Another good tip, put the floatant on before the fly goes into the water and don't put on CDC unless it is made for CDC. The floatant will be able to do it's job better, just a dab will do applying to the wing and tail of the fly. Another "Old Skool" way is called Greasing the Line. You may have to ask your granddad about that one! LOL :)

Thanks for the advice , i just look for the general vicinity as well. i do use floatant as needed.
 
S

steelhead_slayer

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my guess is that the water was clear, and your tippet from your dry to your nymph was spooking the fish becouse it was too heavy. try flouro for your droppers as light of a line rating as your heart can take and mend addition slack above your fly to eliminate any drag the heavier set-up may have. I use black stimulators for strike indicators over beads, and floatant is a must, I have never had it effect my catch rate, its pretty damn sweet when a steelhead decides to swipe that floater and run but usally the bead or lower fly always fishes better. if you were in a hatch and it was producing you probably should have just accepted the catch you were getting instead of trying for more and messing up a working proposition.

i'll have to try using a dry for my indicator when fishing steelies. just for that slight chance one might raise.
 
T

Trout

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I'll put my 2cents in and my first post.

I agree with a couple of others in that I don't (or haven't) fished dries with a dropper. For me just getting a dry to present half way decently and keep it looking natural are a big enough challenge without adding some more junk to it. I also feel that even in a river trout have a bit more time to eyeball a dry fly so things need to look good. Where
as in nymphing along the bottom (with all the other debris rolling along) a tied on dropper is less of an issue in many ways.

I think droppers for nymphing are great - but that two-fer deal may not work every where. That said - on a slow day I'm game for trying anything.
 
G

GungasUncle

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I'm a dry & dropper junkie - it's how I start out fishing most of the time, and usually what I end up sticking with. For starters - for my dry fly, I like to use something that floats really well, and add just a touch of additional floatant. Humpies, elk/deer hair caddis patterns, stimulators, sofa pillows, heavy hackled parachute flies, or flies with polypropylene wings are good. Then I go with a dropper at least 1 size smaller, two if I'm going with a bead head dropper fly - and I down size my tippet at least one size smaller. The thinner the dropper tippet, the less resistance it creates in the water, and the easier your nymph/wet will sink. Even 6 and 7x tippet can be hard to break - just wait till you snag a tree with that dropper fly...

In general, I tend to shy away from heavily weighted flies (or weighted flies in general) for my droppers. You can add some fly sink (the opposite of floatant) to help get the flies down if you need, or just spit in your hand and press the spit into the fly body so that it's already wet when it hits the water (this will let it sink faster, instead of sitting in the surface film until it soaks enough water up to sink)

I general use shorter casts than most, and watch the currents. Either cast as close to directly up stream as practical, or keep as much line off the water as you possibly can, to minimize how the surface currents play with your setup. Ideally, your dropper will hang almost straight down from your dry fly, but keep in mind that the current on the surface is not necessarily moving at the same speed as it is on the bottom, even through the same slot.

Also, how you attach the dropper plays a role. There's 3 basic ways to do it. Short droppers off your leader, tying the dropper to the bend of the hook of the dry fly, or tying the dropper to the eye of the dry fly.

For years and years I used the in-line method of tying to the hook bend - but I've changed up my game, and have been going eye-to-eye with my dropper flies. I think this gives a little bit better presentation. Some guys believe this also helps with not missing hook ups on the dry fly (some claim that tying to the hook bend prevents hooking fish with the dry - I've never noticed that problem). Whatever way you have confidence in, is how you should fish. Confidence is very important.

I will note - especially when fishing for panfish - dry & dropper (or popper & dropper) works GREAT, and the potential for double hook ups is neat. Happens quite a bit when fishing for schooling panfish, since they're so aggressive.

And think of it this way - you could be indicator nymphing with some gaudy colored hookless strike indicator, and only possibly catch fish with your nymph - or you can fish a highly visible, high floating dry fly as your strike indicator, and quite possibly get some nice dry fly catching going. Double your chances, double your fun.

And once you've gotten comfortable fishing 2 flies, you'll feel that urge to try 3 flies, which really isn't any more difficult than 2, except when it comes to deciding which flies to chose (a big dry fly like a grass hopper works great for this as the top fly, and I usually go with a natural, tame colored nymph and a wildly colored attractor wet fly - let the fish choose what they want to eat). You might also dabble in working "casts" of wet flies, swinging 3 wets through a run. That can be a hoot.
 
S

spmpdr

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I'm a dry & dropper junkie - it's how I start out fishing most of the time, and usually what I end up sticking with. For starters - for my dry fly, I like to use something that floats really well, and add just a touch of additional floatant. Humpies, elk/deer hair caddis patterns, stimulators, sofa pillows, heavy hackled parachute flies, or flies with polypropylene wings are good. Then I go with a dropper at least 1 size smaller, two if I'm going with a bead head dropper fly - and I down size my tippet at least one size smaller. The thinner the dropper tippet, the less resistance it creates in the water, and the easier your nymph/wet will sink. Even 6 and 7x tippet can be hard to break - just wait till you snag a tree with that dropper fly...

In general, I tend to shy away from heavily weighted flies (or weighted flies in general) for my droppers. You can add some fly sink (the opposite of floatant) to help get the flies down if you need, or just spit in your hand and press the spit into the fly body so that it's already wet when it hits the water (this will let it sink faster, instead of sitting in the surface film until it soaks enough water up to sink)

I general use shorter casts than most, and watch the currents. Either cast as close to directly up stream as practical, or keep as much line off the water as you possibly can, to minimize how the surface currents play with your setup. Ideally, your dropper will hang almost straight down from your dry fly, but keep in mind that the current on the surface is not necessarily moving at the same speed as it is on the bottom, even through the same slot.

Also, how you attach the dropper plays a role. There's 3 basic ways to do it. Short droppers off your leader, tying the dropper to the bend of the hook of the dry fly, or tying the dropper to the eye of the dry fly.

For years and years I used the in-line method of tying to the hook bend - but I've changed up my game, and have been going eye-to-eye with my dropper flies. I think this gives a little bit better presentation. Some guys believe this also helps with not missing hook ups on the dry fly (some claim that tying to the hook bend prevents hooking fish with the dry - I've never noticed that problem). Whatever way you have confidence in, is how you should fish. Confidence is very important.

I will note - especially when fishing for panfish - dry & dropper (or popper & dropper) works GREAT, and the potential for double hook ups is neat. Happens quite a bit when fishing for schooling panfish, since they're so aggressive.

And think of it this way - you could be indicator nymphing with some gaudy colored hookless strike indicator, and only possibly catch fish with your nymph - or you can fish a highly visible, high floating dry fly as your strike indicator, and quite possibly get some nice dry fly catching going. Double your chances, double your fun.

And once you've gotten comfortable fishing 2 flies, you'll feel that urge to try 3 flies, which really isn't any more difficult than 2, except when it comes to deciding which flies to chose (a big dry fly like a grass hopper works great for this as the top fly, and I usually go with a natural, tame colored nymph and a wildly colored attractor wet fly - let the fish choose what they want to eat). You might also dabble in working "casts" of wet flies, swinging 3 wets through a run. That can be a hoot.


Thanks so much for the tips and the insight of experience , i will try some of these different methods you've suggested. I never thought of just tying them eye to eye!!!lol
 

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