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Old 11-10-09, 11:55 AM   #1
SlowStreamer
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Default 3 Fly Rig Tutorial

I originally posted about the 3 Fly Rig in a Bowman's fishing report .

I have had a lot of folks asking about the rig and not being able to find my post about it easily, so I am posting just he information on the rig here in the Gear and Equipment Forum.

For the full report with proven test results and comments on the rig check out the original post via the link to the Bowman's report.


I have fished with multiple flies before but I have usually tied one fly off the hook bend of the other. This works but I think rigging this way messes with drift of a SH and I hear folks missing hook ups cause of the tippet of the bend getting in the way. I wanted to try and learn something new and I have seen HouseFly and a few others use a rig like my sketch below very successfully.



My first challenge even before heading out was figuring out how to easily and quickly attach the 1st and 2nd fly off the tippet. While doing the research I came across the dropper loop.



I liked this and figured that I could tie two of these approx 18" apart and then tie a piece of tippet of them to attach the flies too. Then while still researching I came across this clip on an easier way to tie a dropper loop variation, and something the guy in the video said made me think.


If you watched the clip you heard him say that you can make the loop large and then tie fly off the loop or snip one leg of the loop and then use that as a tag end to tie the fly off of it. I liked the simplicity of tying the loop using his technique and in one shot I also had something to tie a fly onto that was almost right angle to the main tippet.

7/7/09 - Update after additional testing :

Just an FYI.... During one of my outings, I noticed that after I made the knot and clipped the loop to make the tag and then pulled on the tippet above and below the knot just to make sure it was secure it would pull out. It never happened to me before, but that day it happened several times when I tested the knot. It could have just been I was not holding my tongue right that day, but just wanted to let you know what I did to resolve so the knot does not fail on you at the most inopportune time.

So, what I started to do was instead of passing the tag loop through the knot loop once, I pass it through twice and then wet it real good as I tighten the knot and has not failed on me since.



The dropper flies do want to twist around the main tippet, but it was not bad and I was able to easily get them loose and free again without too much trouble. I think my tag ends were to long and the reason for them getting twisted up. I did change the dropper flies for like patterns cause the originals were decimated, and all I had to do was clip off the old and tie on the new to the same tag and get back to fishing.

I love this sport cause I am constantly learning something new or tying a different variation of a fly. So, I must ask, you have just seen how I fished a 3 fly rig. Is there a better way, how do you guys do it ?

Thanks and Tightlines !
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Last edited by SlowStreamer; 06-23-11 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 11-10-09, 12:15 PM   #2
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SS, I fish two and three fly rigs alot. As alot of you guys know i like to fish in fly fishing comps alot. Well those comps have some weird rules, like no loop to loop, continuous leaders, no strike indicators, 20" between each fly, ect. They almost force you to fish this three fly rig. It was invented as a grayling technique.


The polish have made great strides in this three fly rig. I weight my czech nymphs so i know that when i need to go deeper in X depth water i just go up .5 grams worth of czech nymph. They then lead there flies downstream to keep there line tight which will help with feeling takes. Basically what the polish do is put a heavy "point" (furthest fly from you) and fish with their rod tip around 2 feet off the top of the water. The flies need to be tunsten with lead wrap....heavy is key. You want your flies bouncing the bottom. The cast is more of a lob then a cast. You often work a grid 4 inches at a time. Take a step.....more casts.....step.....more casts.....ect. So you cover all the water in front of you. This technique isnt as good in water over 4 feet. Also, when fishing very shallow water it is beneficial to put you point fly in the middle. This drags all three flies into the water column and keeps them fishing. If you fished the standard way in shallow water the top fly would be out of the water. This can be done with czech nymphs (czech nymphing) or with woven tungsten head nymphs (polish nymphing). Often times i will tie a buggy size 14-16 pheasant tail as my point and use an attractor as my top dropper (rainbow warrior). The only real secret is to keep your line taught, your rod low, your arm extended and lead your flies downstream. Pick something on the water (bubbles) and try to track your flies at that speed. The hookset is a downstream j set. The drifts are pretty short in this technique but you can swing and "hang" your flies at the end of your drift if the fish arent keying in.

I czech nymph with a big black stonefly point fly and a fat buggy pheasant tail dropper quite a bit.

As a side note after trial and error i have found that a 4 inch dropper tag is just about right for length. Fish need to be able to suck in your bug without getting bumped by your line. Any shorter and you will have alot of refusals, any longer and you will be getting crushed by fish and not even know it.

There is alot of buzz going around about czech nymphing, french nymphing and all the techniques. None of them are ground breaking but they are effective tools for your ff toolbox.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:21 PM   #3
matchthehatch
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Default Have you tried a weight

Have you tried a weight for the 3rd fly? I was thinking about a rig like that but using a small bell weight in place of the 3rd fly. That would keep the flies in the water but prevent the hanging up the 3rd fly can cause. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-10-09, 11:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matchthehatch View Post
Have you tried a weight for the 3rd fly? I was thinking about a rig like that but using a small bell weight in place of the 3rd fly. That would keep the flies in the water but prevent the hanging up the 3rd fly can cause. Any thoughts?

Very good question. I can't remember if this was discussed on the full / original thread, but yes I have and it works great.

I put a knot at the end and then put split shot on and have midges or nymphs up on the other two locations. Then I just let the line sink and when I feel bottom keep the line taught, periodically lifting and letting it drift down river and settle again. Almost a variation on Czech nymphing. When you feel a tug set the hook.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:38 PM   #5
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czech nymphs are designed to ride hook point up. They really dont snag much. I like the idea of a dropper weight kinda like drop shotting in bass fishing. I get most of my fish on the point (heavy) fly so I would lean towards using a fly. Good ideas though. Might be a good lake technique.
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Old 11-11-09, 08:07 AM   #6
Robert Lee
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Default T-connection

Great tip SS!

One of my favorite ways to fish multiple fly rigs is to utilize the T-connection. The tag version as SS has showed also works good but I have found that they tend to twist up and not drift as natural especially in pocket water. For this reason, my confidence level goes down and as you all know, confidence is half of the battle.

The T - connection is simple and allows you to high stick pocket water and dead drift long runs with out fearing your tippet tag will wrap up. The key to this connection is to make sure that your fly at the connection is at a 90degree angle.

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