Using two fly setup in saltwater

In the 1990's, I would occasionally use a two fly setup(krill pattern on front and 18" back a Ferguson Green and silver fly) when fishing for resident silvers in Puget Sound. It seemed like that most fish were caught on the trailing fly and that there were some problems with casteablity and leader tangling.

I am going to try the two fly setup again for SRC and silvers but with a different twist taken from the salmon trollers using flashers to attract the fish. For the front fly I am going to use a 2-2 1/2" epoxy pearl flashabou fly for maximum flash and a 2-2 1/2" olive/white clouser for the trailing fly. Hope that I don't get too frustrated casting it or getting leader tangles.

The fishing regulations state that you can use 2 hooks on 1 line in the saltwater so 2 flies on 1 line should be okay. Have others of you used a 2 fly setup in the saltwater and what are your experiences?
An exercise in frustration when I have tried doing something very similar to what you are doing. The front fly I tied off a drop loop and a short leader then the trailing fly tied to the end of the tippet. What helped me the most was using very hard and stiff leader and tippet material and heavier than normal. If I recall correctly I ended up with a 71/2 foot leader and about 12" tippet, using Mc Coys green for tippet and about 6 lb test, though it may have been 8lb test. At least with the stiffer leader and tippet it's easier to unravel the mess.

Eventually I gave up on the idea and went back to a single fly. It became too frustrating watching some cutts slashing the surface while I was undoing the mess! It seems to me that cutts are voracious feeders when in the mood and a single fly in the water is far better than two snarled together in a hopeless knot in my hands. This became apparent when one day a friend and I were trading casts from a boat into the shoreline. He was getting at least 8 casts to my one and catching fish. I was cleaning up a tangled mess! Finally I re set up with a single fly and got back in the game before all the action was over.



Active Member
try using a three way swivel, or if you can handle it, the lightest spreader you can find. I've had good luck with the three way. If you are fishing from either wading or drifting boat, try a popper and tie the trailer directly to the bend of the popper hook. Even something like a San Juan worm dangling from the popper can bring surprising results ;)

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I prefer a single, barbless fly, with a single point. I have seen some fish get hurt badly by multiple fly rigs. It just isnt worth the risk when there are wild fish around. Just my opinion and preference.