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Discussion Starter #1
I have always fished with 2 flies on most occasions, but have noticed that more people seem to be fishing with 3 flies. I understand the logic behind it, but it just seems like it would be a lot harder to fish. Plus once you catch a fish don't the remaining flies get caught up in the net? I guess I'm just looking to hear from people who have fished this way in the past and if they continue to fish with 3 flies.
 

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This summer I moved almost exclusively to the 3 fly rigin'. Everything you mentioned does hold true, but if I'm putting more fish in the net, I dont neccesarily mind losing a few flies to my net. My biggest reason for moving to the 3 fly setup is that, often times, there are three flies that I absolutely must have on my line. My lead fly is usually a larger attractor (san juan, scud, PT, hothead leech, prince, Rainbow warrior etc.) My secon fly in the tandom is usually an emerger of some sort or a sunken adult immitation (barrs, RS2, sunken trico, caddis emerger, or a blood midge). My final fly is usually a midge, or a midge emerger. I can say that on any day the tandom I'm about to mention will serve you well on just about any stretch of water in CO year round. Point fly: Rainbow Warrior18-20, Trailor: RS2: 20-22, dropper: black beauty 20-24. Obviously there is some give or take in patterns, but if I was given only three flies on any river...thats how I would go. Vary the length of tippet between flies depending on conditions. If your in swift water and or discolored water your going to want to keep you flies rather snug probably about 9"-13" of space between flies. If your in slow clear water, give yourself a little more separation 12-18". Another thing to keep in mind is that since your rig will be about a foot and a half longer and your final fly will be small and thus not sink very well....it is important to trim down on the spacing between your split shots and your point fly. Stay between 12-18 inches and make sure all your flies are getting down. If there is moss and your not cleaning your flies every other cast or so, you aren't in the hit zone.
 

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PD4,
Do you have any problems with foul hooking while you're playing a fish with the 3 fly rig? I seem to with two flies!
 

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Yea I do foul hook a fair amount of fish. I like to think they go for my first or second fly and miss but I pick em up with the trailor. Who knows though, I could be wrapping my line around fish not even feeding. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great advice PD4 and I think my next time out I'm going to give it a shot! Like you mention - the more flies you have in the water, the better your chances are for catching more fish.
 

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I use the three fly nymphing system alot these days. I was very hesitant at first and had alot of problems casting but I had the same problems with the two fly rig at first and overcame it. Do any of you ever use 2-3 dries? Or did I just give away a secret.
 

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A lot of times through the summer on the dream stream I will run two dries. I typically do this to allow my first more visible fly like a caddis to serve as a strike indicator for the trico I fish behind it in size 24.
 

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I stick mostly to a 2 fly rig when nymphing, mainly to deal with less rigging and also ease of landing fish....2 flies is bad enough when you net a fish, i would hate to have to try to unhook 3 flies from a net or deal with the problems of foul hooking fish with multiple flies. Yeah, theres not much difference, but enough to keep me from messing with 3 flies on my line. Im a two fly sort of guy....
 
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I fish w/2 flies mostly. I think I'd try 3 flies if it didn't take forever to rig the stuff. I've seen guys who tie each fly onto the barb of the one above and then others who leave a tag end off of the leader at the tippet connection and then others who tie in a loop and attach tippet to put the dropper out to the side about 4 inches. How do you guys do it, the fastest way preferably. Are there commercial gizmos that work for this. Time lost rigging is time lost fishing. Is this an afro haircut or is that a sombrero on his head? Just wondering. O0
 

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I tie around the bend of the hook. If you don't like tying multiple fly setups on the stream you can tie your nymphs together at home except for attaching them to your leader. Then I wrap them around this soft bodied fly box I have. Make sure to push the flies in to the box a little. Then when you get to the stream unwrap and tie to your leader.
 

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Windknot: I fish a lot of 2 and 3 fly setups nymphing and as dry/dropper combos.  The more hooks the better.

Best thing I have found is to rig them @ home w/ a knot in the hook bend.  There is also a system that Davy Wotton uses that I like where you leave a long (about 4-6") tag end on your tippet when tying a dbl surgeons knot that is used for your dropper and a weighted nymph or bugger as your bottom fly and weight.

Orvis has a great dropper rig box. They are backordered right not from the website, but your local shop may have one in stock.
 
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thanks for the info on the fly box, it will save me a lot of time and frustration, especially w/cold fingers. O0
 

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I tie to the bend of the hook for the dropper. Seems the easiest to me.

Cool fly box!.......got to get one of those...


Looks like an AFRO to me.! O0
 

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I actually tie my flies to the eye I have always thought the hook bend would possibley cost you fish if another fly is tied to it. Obviously most of you haven't found that to be an issue. I also am a 2 fly guy but I imagine floating a river in a drift boat 3 flies could be the way to go. Long drift and just another choice to give the fish. A little story I ran into the guy that invented the Yong Special years ago down on the San Juan and actually spent an afternoon talking and fishing with him. I can't remember this guys name but down there he is known as the shuffler. Not sure he's the one that gave the San Juan shuffle its official tag but he wasn't to well thought of down there. Anyways when i fished with him he fished with 7 flies on his line. Now he definately pulled some fish but i felt if you are throwing 7 flies you should be pulling some fish. So 3 doesnt seem that bad.



Fish
 

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7 flies! If he's not catching he's snagging.

One of my personal favorite multiple fly combos is at the Frying pan when they are releaseing more water. Tie on two mysis together. Thats right run your tippet through both eyes and tie on as usual.
 
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Thanks alot for those links to the articles. The pretie method of tying the dropper clinchknot is wonderful, why didn't I think of that? O0
 

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I can't confirm this, but I think game and fish only allows you to fish no more then four. Oherwise, it might as well be a snagging rig running through a run. So if you wanna cornhole a few fish, throw seven flies...but god forbid should a fish break off your lead fly.
 
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