This bass fell for a bluegill spider trailing behind a popper

Double-fly rigs: How to use this simple, effective fly-fishing tactic


Large streamers like the Conehead Muddler (top left), Sculpzilla (middle left) or Autumn Splendour (lower left) make a good front fly in a tandem rig; the Wooly Bugger (right) makes a great second fly


Big trout tend to target big meals, but when the nights get cool and the leaves turn colour, they really go on a meat hunt. Fall is an excellent time to fish with streamers, and an even better time to throw two of them. My favourite rig for this features a beefy, garish and often weighted streamer as the front fly, followed by a smaller streamer. I typically put a big Sculpzilla, Conehead Muddler or Autumn Splendour fly on first, then slap on a Woolly Bugger behind it.

There are some dubious theories about the way this big-fly/small-fly arrangement affects trout psychology, but my reason for using it is purely practical. Simply, it casts better than a leader with two big flies or a small fly followed by a big one, which cast like wet socks and are prone to godawful tangles. I can’t verify the Newtonian physics behind this, but I’ve cut off enough wind-knotted leaders to know it happens.


The other key to chucking two streamers is to go with a stiffer 10-, 12- or even 15-pound leader. It’s more castable, and since the rig prompts reaction strikes, the fish won’t be leader shy. You can drift or swing a two-streamer rig, but it’s especially fun for banging the banks. I plonk it tight to the bank, give it a few big strips, then try the next spot—if I don’t get bit first.