Multiple Fly Rigs
Many anglers have considerable difficulty in selecting which fly to use. Should it be a dry, an emerger, or nymph? They may look at the stream and see an occasional rise. Obviously fish are coming to the surface but it might be totally random. Now what! My suggestion is to use more than one fly or a tandem rig. I've met anglers that will use a brace of flies (more than two) to cover all parts of the water column. This is a very common practice in Europe, which can lay claim to some of the best fishermen in the world.
A few may find the task of tying on multiple flies time consuming but
it's well worth the effort. By fishing a multiple fly setup, you can locate
and key in on what the fish are feeding on in half the time.
The most common method is using a Dry/Dropper rig. This highly effective
rig provides the opportunity for the angler to dabble with nymph fishing
while still focusing on the dry fly. Dry/Dropper rigs most often exist
as a dry fly with a weighted or beadhead nymph tied 12" - 24"
below it, depending on the depth of the water being fished. The technique
allows the angler to anticipate the surface bite, while also prospecting
all of the water below. When fishing a dry fly with a subsurface fly below
it, it appeals to the trout's interest above and below the surface and
imitates two different stages of insect life. A favorite benefit of using
this type of setup is using the dry fly as a strike indicator. This is
a highly effective and simple technique. Keep in mind that a good dry
fly floatant will need to be applied to the top fly more frequently to
compensate for the added weight of the dropper (usually a beadhead).
A double dry fly setup can be very productive on days when trout are
keying in on the surface. When this occurs, adding another dry fly is
an efficient way for the angler to figure out what pattern the trout are
taking. A good use of this setup is when fishing a small and barely visible
pattern such as a midge or Griffith's Gnat. Although the smaller dry can
still not be seen, it gives the angler a close proximity by just keying
in on the primary top fly. Any surface action caused by a trout within
24" is usually a good indication that the trailing fly was just struck
at. This gives the trout a choice and the fisherman a better chance.
In deeper and faster moving waters fishing heavy double nymph rigs may
be the most effective technique. The most important factor when using
this type of rig is to use a splitshot heavy enough to keep the flies
down in front of the fish and moving at the same speed as the current.
This rig is effective in fishing deep runs and swift water.
I've got one last comment. When prospecting for trout in the summer months
always try the Dry/Dropper first. With this, you will cover more water
and more lies. The dry fly can be anything from a fat-bodied terrestrial
to natural you notice or suspect to be there. The dropper fly should be
tied to either the hook bend or the eye of the dry fly and should resemble
something that is available in the water you are fishing.