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Old style wet fly fishing - cast of three flies - need help!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:00 PM

Need help. Made my own wet fly leader with 2 tags tapered down to 4X, where Ill tie my third fly.
Fished it today, and caught 3 fish. Should have caught more, because I was spending too much time getting the two tag flies unwrapped from the main body of the leader...
Main body of leader is built with Maxima, along with the tags. Flies attached to the tags are with 4X fluorocarbon, are are about 5 inches long.
Seems as though the middle fly gets hung up the most...
Any way I can reduce the hang ups/twisting around the main leader? The flies swam fine and werent twisting in the current.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

#2 chugbug27

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:27 PM

I can't do it and Lord knows I've tried, but Allen McGee's latest soft hackle book has a lot of in depth discussion (in addition to having a lot of cool creative ties).
cb27

#3 tjm

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:13 PM

Use stiff nylon and keep the drop&fly @3-4".

Maxima Chameleon is stiffer than Maxima UltraGreen but there may be a stiffer material out there, the guys that I watched fish drops used Ande saltwater mono.  20# iirc, but that was over 30 years gone by. The thing they impressed on me that I was doing wrong was (1) using too long of drops and (2) using too soft of nylon

The idea was that a short stiff drop at 90* angle just won't wrap around the main leader. I only used the short stiff drops a few times after that, because I moved where regulations barred multiple flies.



#4 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 07:58 PM

Tjm
Ive used the Chameleon for my whole leader. Are you saying that I need to use the same for a 3-4 inch dropper?
Ive got all sizes of Maxima available to me - from 25 lb test all the way down to 8x
If so, which size for flies sized 12 through 16?

I used fluorocarbon in 4X- figuring that itd be harder for the fish to see... I had it around 5 inches. If I use the Chameleon in a larger size, wont that be somewhat visible to the fish and possibly spook/put them down?
Lastly, my droppers are made as dropper loops in the leader itself, spaced properly. When attaching my fly, Should I use a loop to loop connector (I did this already), or should I just tie it to the dropper loop at the already aforementioned 3-4 inches.
Thanks!

#5 tjm

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:00 PM

The way those guys showed me was to tie a blood knot leaving the tag long enough to attach the fly on one tag and sniping it close on the other; so yes same stiff material as the heavy side of the knot as the dropper. 

i asked about the size and visibility of the droppers myself and they assured me that as long as the fly was bigger that the knot that fish would hit it. Typically these were large winged wet flies.

As i said after being taught how, I never got to practice it much, I got it to work a few times. But, give it a shot this way. at the 3x-4x knot leave a long tag of 3x that will be your dropper, then a foot or two down tie a 4x-4x blood splice and leave one tag long enough to be your dropper then let the 3rd fly be at the 4x end. (or go a size smaller to suit fly size)

when tying the flies to the droppers keep the overall drop ~4": much longer lets the length overcome the stiffness and a tangle happens. Using the tag of the blood knot means the dropper is at right  angles to the leader which kicks that fly away from the leader.

 

As an illustration of droppers and how they can work, I watched some  Asians hand casting for carp, line and all droppers looked like 40-50# mono and hooks were size and similar to single egg hooks, each dropper was about 2" long and 6" apart baited with a single piece of whole corn. Maybe 4' of line had droppers. As I fished nearby they pulled that rig in with as many as three carp on at one time, fish in the 7-8# range by guess. It got me how huge the line looked and yet those super intelligent carp were fooled.



#6 tjm

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:50 PM

I did a short search and here are a couple other versions of how it's done: http://globalflyfish...re-than-one-fly

https://www.flyfishi...g-fly-cast.html

 

There is also a method I read about once of tying a clinch knot around the join knot so that you get a right angle drop. I've never tied that dropper loop knot but when I searched it it appears that the loop is to be passed through the eye of the hook and then the hook passed through the loop, so that the fly is attached directly.

 

Any way it's done, is is difficult to cast and imo, wants a stout heavy line and rod. I was using a 9wt 8' glass rod at the time I experimented with this and it did two better than three. 



#7 redietz

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:17 AM


Any way it's done, is is difficult to cast and imo, wants a stout heavy line and rod. I was using a 9wt 8' glass rod at the time I experimented with this and it did two better than three. 

I don't find that to be the case at all, and I fish teams of wet flies 80% of the time.  Just this afternoon, I fished a team of wets on a 4 weight, caught more than 20 trout and didn't tangle once, nor did I have any problem casting 30-40 feet.

 

Here's some ideas if you're having a problem.  I use them all from time to time:

 

1) Consider losing the middle dropper.  In state where I currently live, more than two flies is illegal, so I"m forced into it, but one of the British writer (it might have been John Goodard) reviewed his log from the forties through the 00's and found that his ration of fish was 60% on the point fly, 30% on the top dropper and 10% on the middle.  I find those numbers to be very similar to my experience.

 

2) As suggested above, use the tag end of a blood knot as the dropper.  There are two advantages to using a blood knot here rather than a surgeon's knot,  First, the tag protrudes at right angles, and secondly you can tie on the top dropper before even tying the blood knot. (In fact, I find it easier to tie a blood knot when there's a fly attached to the end you wrap first than without.) The dropper may twist around the standing leader from time to time, but if it bothers you, just grab the leader from above the dropper in one hand, below it in the other, and twist.  It probably doesn't affect hookup rate either, it just looks classier with the drop hanging down.

 

3) On windy days, I sometimes use a "New Zealand" rig - that is, tie on the top fly, tie a length of tippet to the bend, and tie the point fly to it. (In other words, exactly the way you'd rig a dry/dropper tandem.)  Again, it doesn't look as classy, but it probably doesn't affect the hookup rate at all.

 

4) Consider using a tippet ring, and attach both flies to it with appropriate lengths of tippet.  It makes changing the top dropper a lot easier.  In addition, you can pre-rig a few of these in the comfort of your home; it saves a tying a few knots with freezing fingers in cold weather or in fading light.

 

5) Adjust the length of leader between flies,  There seems to be what the opposite of a "sweet spot" is where tangles are more likely, often this is between 12 and 18 inches.  Either shorten or lengthen that distance, and frequently tangles just go away.

 

6) In a pinch, don't use a dropper knot, just use a slip knot, and attach a short piece of tippet with either a loop to loop connect, or just tie it directly with a clinch knot.

 

7) When casting, open up your loop.  If you're planning on fishing downstream, use the slowest rod you own (that will still cast in whatever wind there is.) Not only will you be less likely to tangle, you'll hook more fish than with a stiffer rod.

 

Another hint you've probably thought of (that has nothing to with tangles) is to use finer tippet to the point fly than to the dropper(s).  That way, if you snag something, you might get off with losing only one fly rather than two.

 

Experiment and find out what works for you.  People have been fishing like this for literally thousands of years; it's really not that hard.


Bob


#8 tjm

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 03:32 AM

 

I don't find that to be the case at all, and I fish teams of wet flies 80% of the time.  Just this afternoon, I fished a team of wets on a 4 weight, caught more than 20 trout and didn't tangle once, nor did I have any problem casting 30-40 feet.

No doubt a skill level thing, to me a 4wt would be a handicap on a calm day, regardless of fly, I think.



#9 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 08:50 AM

Hey - I certainly do appreciate all of the provided input here.  What a wealth of information and experience! 

 

I've used the New Zealand for a number of years (usually a streamer first, then a wet at the dropper end), but wanted to give a "Cast of three" wet's a shot.

 

Just to confirm, the dropper loop that I created in my leader is here: https://www.netknots...ts/dropper-loop

 

I did this based on some prior readings, and the moniker of "Dropper Knot" seemed to be the right way to go to start the process. The dropper knots are 17 inches apart (between the point fly and the middle fly), and create a 90 degree angle to the leader itself, therefore I would assume this would get the job done.

 

Without having to re-create another leader as thankfully mentioned above, it seems as though (without trying yet) that a shorter use of Maxima (2x or 3x tied at 3 to 4 inches) tied on to these loops would work to limit tangles/twists, however I'm always overly cautious on my rigs being "seen," and with this set up, I would believe that this would be the case.....however....in reading the successes of some of the "old time" wet fly fishers of yesteryear (as well as a 20 fish day as posted above), they were using "gut or horsehair," which is like throwing braided yellow rope into the river in today's standards, and yet they were having success - and a times, excellent success!

 

The rivers I fish in up here in New Hampshire and Maine consist of tannin stained water to gin clear freestone, and as of late, the river I've been fishing is the tannin stained one, therefore "perfect" for the Chameleon, yet when I would get into the gin clear, I'd be curious to know how it would perform.  When I nymph in the gin clear, Fluoro is the only way to go.

 

Thanks to "all" for their posts and comments thus far!



#10 redietz

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:36 PM


..., however I'm always overly cautious on my rigs being "seen,"

From everything I've observed and read, fish can always see your leader, no matter what composition or how fine. They just choose to ignore it.  The only advantage to using fine leaders is to help eliminate drag; the only advantage to using flouro is that it sinks. eliminating a shadow, which under some circumstances will spook fish (and will help get a fly down.)

 

(Horse hair is actually pretty fine.  Back in the day they often used a single strand to the fly, which is probably about the same as 4 or 5x.)

 

Nothing wrong with a dropper loop.


Bob


#11 tjm

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 04:22 PM

I agree that the leader is always seen, I don't think fish know what it is or are particularly afraid of a leader. I have seen lines and leaders actually touch a fish before the fish reacted. I think they are programed to eat food like objects and leaders don't look like food. Yes, some days and some places the shadow can scare fish, even the shadow of a song bird flitting around. 

 

 

Experiment and find out what works for you

Great advice, try it all. Every method out there has worked for some one or it wouldn't be out there.



#12 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

Thanks again all!



#13 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 02:37 PM

Thanks again all!

Follow up....  The shorter length (3-4 inches) of Maxima Chameleon 3X tippet off of the dropper loop worked!  Not one tangle!

 

Regards ~



#14 redietz

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:34 PM

Great!  Did you catch any fish?


Bob


#15 Northeast Brookie

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 04:32 PM

Had limited time, therefore only 1. He hit the lead/front fly, but that could have also been because it was a color matching the tan Caddis hatch that was on...
It was also a different river, more like a brook, but I was still able to test all
of this out to my satisfaction.