Tippets: Examining the Two-Fly Rig, Interview with Jim Teeny

  • A two-fly rig is often used as a technique to up your odds of success on the water. However,  “before automatically adding another fly to your leader, consider your reasons for doing so,” writes John Juracek. “If it’s only because you think it doubles your chances of success, proceed with caution. Multiple flies often hurt more than they help.” Via Hatch Magazine.
  • Jim Teeny “has been one of the most influential people in fly fishing over the last 60 years partly due to Jim’s contribution of sinking lines for fly fisherman around the world back in the 1970s,” writes Dave Stewart. Watch his interview with Teeny in this video on Wet Fly Swing.
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  • Henry K

    When I read the title of the article, I thought it was about nymphing with 2 flies and a strike indicator. Nope, it was about fishing a double dry fly rig, which I have on occasion. But I use it when the conditions do not allow me to see the actual target imitation I am using, say a spinner or small caddis at night. Then I will put on either a yarn indicator or a larger “indicator fly” that I am able to see at the junction of the leader to tippet, with the 3 ft tippet tied to the indicator fly and then to the target pattern. The indicator fly allows me to locate where I cast and to locate any rises that could be to my target pattern.

    I fished the Madison River with my friend Gary Borger in 2012 and he wrote about using a “Marker Fly” in his blog. Google “Gary Borger blog marker fly” and the link will show up. What I call an indicator fly, Gary calls a marker fly.

    A dry dropper rig is a common double fly rig. I believe that there is also tension drag between the two flies except that it is usually the dry dragging the nymph similar to the larger of the two dries dragging the smaller fly. I believe that surface drag is more visible to the fish because it cause disruption of the water surface (slip stream), so the problem is not that there is less drag with a dry dropper; it is that with a double dry, surface drag is more detectable than underwater drag.

    Similarly it is common to fish a strike indicator with a double nymph rig. In this situation, there is ALWAYS drag if we are to detect the strike. There must be tension between the indicator and that nymphs for a strike to register, and since the indicator is on the faster surface current, it is dragging the nymphs downstream. The fact that this system still catches a lot of fish, suggests to me that under water drag is less obvious to the fish.

    I do agree that a double dry fly rig is not the way to fish to specific rising fish. As Jim Teeny indicates, it is better to use imitative pattern and to specifically target a specific fish with that pattern. This single fly method is also a good way to practice casting accuracy while you fish, something a double dry fly rig does not lend itself to.