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Three Fly Rig for Still Water

Lake fly fishing, or these days stillwater fly fishing, can prove difficult for those that spend their time on rivers. Without the varying currents it might be also seem slow and uninteresting, but the fact is lake fly fishing can increase your fly fishing enjoyment, by adding new ways to pursue your fly fishing passion.

By using a two or even three fly set up, it can add to your lake success, and add to your fishing skill. One of the skills to be improved is casting an ultra-long leader. For the uninitiated this will require some casting time. You can practice at home or a nearby park, to adjust your movements before hitting the water. One of the advantages of lake fishing; you can almost always find a spot where back casting is possible without obstruction. For a three fly set up a 20’ leader is optimum but practicing with a 12’ leader and moving up in stages as your skill allows will lessen your frustration.
 
When you feel you are ready to try nymphing a three fly set up, rig the flies as follow; (some prefer fluorocarbon in lakes.) You can tie 10’ of flouro after your fly line; then tie another 5’ section to the end of that leader using a blood knot. From one of the blood knot tags tie a fly about 4” away from the leader. Longer tags will result in increased tangling; shorter tags will result in less realistic movement. Repeat this process 5’ lower, and then add a third fly at the end of that piece. That puts your flies at 20 feet, 15 feet, and 10 feet from the end of your fly line. The point fly (on the end) should be the heaviest of the three and lighten up as you go.

For casting the extra leader, lift up off the water with a tad more oomph; apply a little jerk to get that last fly off the water with enough momentum to carry it all the way back. At the backcast make sure everything has had just the right amount of time to straighten all the way out before bring them forward.

Use a floating line and apply Gink or Mucilin to the first 5’ to keep it on top of the water; so it won’t spook the fish. It also acts as a strike indicator; in lakes strikes can be subtle.

One last tip is to at all times keep your stripping hand in contact with the taut line, never let your line go slack, as you will miss strikes. Master a figure 8 retrieve or hand twist retrieve, keep it slow to start. You can vary speeds until you find one that works. Keep your rod tip down parallel to the water, focus on the end of the line and set the hook on any twitch by flicking the rod to the side. Chances are it was nothing; chances are there will be a lot of nothings; but you will miss that strike without this constant attention. Stillness is of importance during stripping, if you move your rod tip you will definitely miss strikes.