Two Buggers?

Smalma

Active Member
I too fish two flies quite a bit and my approach is a hybrid of those presented here. For a dry fly and a dropper nymph on rivers I attach the drop to the bend of the dry fly. This is the simplest way to connect the two flies. For subsurface presentations of multiple flies under indicators (nymphs in river, chironomids, leeches etc. in lakes) of multiple flies for trolling or casting and retrieving for decades I have used the knot tag for the dropper.

My rationale for the different approach is that tying the dropper to the hook of the upper fly tends to dampen the subtle movement of that fly. Many anglers use a non-slip knots to attach their subsurface flies to increase that subtle movement that in theory at least increase the chance of a positive reaction from the fish (a take!). For the dry fly/dropper situation where the goal typically is to achieve a drag free drift the issue of those subtle movement is less of an issue.

The pain of the using the knot tag for the dropper is if you are a fly changer (on recent trip I tried 17 different flies) that tag get short pretty fast requiring re-tying the leader knot; taking time and shortening the leader. For the last year or so I have experimented with a variation of the method suggested by MGTom. I tie the fly to a piece of tippet material with a loop and then tie that tippet material above the leader knot with a trielene knot and slide that knot down to the leader knot. After a year of experimentation that is now my preferred approach.

Curt
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
WFF Supporter
A good way to rig two flies. Starts at the 41:14 minute mark-

Well crap, I learned something I might try. Phil’s a good guy, he won’t rub it in too much the next time I see him. I was a bit surprised though that he dint mention tying off to the eye of the top hook. That method eliminates a lot of issues.
 

Bobber Bob

Active Member
I fish various small flies behind the bugger. Sometimes they catch all the fish, sometimes all I catch is something that swiped at the bugger, and got snagged by the trailing fly. You do get some good fights off tail snagged fish.....
...I guess a catch is a catch?
 

Wayne Kohan

fish-ician
So I was able to get out and fish yesterday for a couple hours, I hit up Hosmer as my wife and I got out of town for a few days. So having watched Phil’s video above, I used the perfection loop method to attach my top fly. I have to say I like some parts of it, but I found that the upper fly tended to wrap around the leader. A lot. Frustratingly. I’m thinking for that method to work better, you need to keep the dropper short and use stiffer tippet material. I used 4 pound fluoro and it was a mess.

BTW, this was my first time on Hosmer. I had my float tube. I never made it up to the larger portion of the lake as it is a long way to kick. Fishing was decent, lots of fish rising, as I was leaving of course, but caught a couple fatties. I was told that there are cutties and brookies, but all I got were rainbows.
 

Peach

Peach
I have been experimenting with Tippet Rings and Micro Swivels this year for three reasons:

1- Save your leaders & $$$ - as you clip away your tippet - you just add more tippet to the tippet ring or swivel.

2 - But the main reason why I did it was to easily add a dropper to the Tippet Ring or Micro Swivels. I have a unfounded concern that a fly tied to the shank of the hook interferes with the presentation, fears of interfering with hooking of the fish, and slipping off the hook. I tried tying off at the eye of the first fly, which works better IMHO than the shank, but I still believed it interfered with the presentation.

So I first tried Tippet Ring - but had a lot of twisting and tangling of the dropper to the main line/leader. So I made the switch over to Micro Swivels which it helped a little more but still having some problems of twisting and tangling onto the leader. But I did notice that which ring on the swivel you tied your tippet to seems to make a difference. Tie it to the "top" ring and then twisting seemed to improve, but I need to experiment a bit more.

3- Less likely to lose two flies when you snag the top fly or if the fish takes the top fly and snaps you off.

Even when using that tippet ring or micro swivels that once you catch a fish or two on the bottom fly that jumps often - seems to tangle your dropper line up pretty good as well.

I will continue to experiment a bit more - but I am starting to think the way of Denny Rickards. Like him or not - he doesn't fish two flies and his reason makes sense to me in that you avoid all of the potential tangles and as he calls out - different types of flies demand different types of presentations. When you have two flies tied on - which presentation are you going to use?

For years and years I have only fished one fly. It has just been recently that I have been experimenting with two - and I find myself more frustrated fishing the two (tangles) and not as focused on my presentation as I am with one. But I am also more of a cast and strip fisherman than I am an indicator/chromonid fisherman., which in that case two flies make more sense.

One last point is that I did see a friend of mine lose a very, very nice fish when we was fishing two flies, caught the fish on the top fly but the bottom fly got snagged on the weeds after a long fight. I won't ever forget his disappointment.

Peach
 

Peach

Peach
So I was able to get out and fish yesterday for a couple hours, I hit up Hosmer as my wife and I got out of town for a few days. So having watched Phil’s video above, I used the perfection loop method to attach my top fly. I have to say I like some parts of it, but I found that the upper fly tended to wrap around the leader. A lot. Frustratingly. I’m thinking for that method to work better, you need to keep the dropper short and use stiffer tippet material. I used 4 pound fluoro and it was a mess.

BTW, this was my first time on Hosmer. I had my float tube. I never made it up to the larger portion of the lake as it is a long way to kick. Fishing was decent, lots of fish rising, as I was leaving of course, but caught a couple fatties. I was told that there are cutties and brookies, but all I got were rainbows.
You made the right choice to stay in the South Pool at Hosmer. Upper end would have been a long paddle with a float tube and the upper end would have been pretty cold - most of the fish migrate down to the South Pool by this time of the year. Yes there are Cutties and Brookies in Hosmer. I caught more Cutties in Hosmer than anything else - but they are fairly disappointing in terms of fight- The Bows and Brookies are the prized fish in Hosmer.

With you going this late in the year I am sure you missed the Kayak and SUP Hatch. In the summer it is overwhelming to the point it makes it tough to fish there. The boat launch is a cluster and sometimes you have to park all the way out to the road there are so many cars there. When I fish it in the Spring or Summer - I am at the lake at the crack of dawn to avoid the SUP hatch and get a good 2-3 hours of fishing before the swarm starts arriving by 10:00 AM. I am off the lake by noon - but have to deal with the cluster at the launch when leaving.

Peach
 

Haggis57

Active Member
I do the majority of my creek/river and stillwater fishing with two flies. I've been using tippet rings for both creek/river and stillwater fishing for 3 years for the reasons Peach mentioned above and I tie both flies off the tippet rings. I just bought micro swivels to try next Spring.

For stillwater fishing, I most often fish a nymph, Spratley or wet fly from the short dropper and Woolly Bugger or leech from the longer tippet. With respect to the OP's original question, I'll certainly fish two buggers (or two nymphs for that matter) of different size & colors when trying to figure out what works.

Tangles are unfortunately part of using two flies. Gusty days definitely increase the tangles for me and this is when I'm most likely to revert back to a single fly. Suggestions I've picked up from various sources are:
  • minimize false casting
  • keep open loops
  • increase use of roll cast
  • check line for tangles often - the line will Never untangle itself
I've had fewer tangles using heavier, stiffer tippet for the short dropper. I seldom use anything smaller than 3x nylon tippet for the short dropper. My experience is that fluoro will definitely tangle more than nylon.

This fall I started to use the half-hitch knot method above the tippet ring for the short dropper, as others have mentioned. That, in conjunction with the stiffer 3x tippet, definitely resulted in few tangles for me, both on for creek and stillwater fishing. Next Spring I'm going to try looping the short dropper onto the line above the tippet as MGTom suggested.

Ken
 

surfnfish

Kicked
great video...his tips have certainly helped my success at Crane Prairie...now rig with 8' of straight 2x to tippet rings, 4' of 3x/4x fluoro, non-slip knot to the balanced leech patterns, which I prefer to fish solo..with Chroms still prefer cinch knots and hook bend to dropper eye for very few tangles.
This year at CP Rust outfished the other balanced leech colors, and had more takes on thinner dressed patterns than 'fluffier' ones.
With that said, couple days ago it was just dead, water 56, no one catching, barometer dropping a bit...nosed out into mid lake, tied on the biggest balanced leech I had, a Crowley tie in green and brown with an orange tungsten bead, and let the breeze just push me along, bobber following...after about 20 mins of sightseeing decided lunch at home sounded good, started to strip in, had my biggest Cranebow of the year just slam the leech and take off with it...got me into the backing before finally getting it alongside the boat to unpin it...made the drive home a whole lot cheerier
 

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