Call it a double, a doubleruski, two at a time or a 2 timer. Whatever you call it, catching two fish at once is a rare but fun occurrence.
Since learning Euro-style nymphing my doubleruski’s have more than quadrupled. Read the Euro Nymphing article in the current (Gear Guide 2012) issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine to learn more about Euro-style techniques. Doubles can of course happen while indicator nymphing or bounce nymphing but with these techniques most anglers keep their flies too close together to see doubles very often. Doubles are also possible while using a dry and a dropper although this type is extremely rare. Fishing a 2 or 3 fly rig on a lake or tandem streamers in a river can also produce doubles.
I’ve noticed doubles become much more frequent when fishing a 2 or 3 fly rig where the flies are spaced at least 20 inches apart. While fishing rivers I generally use a 2 fly rig with spacing around 24 to 30 inches apart. This allows both flies to present to different fish holding near each other. In lakes I increase the distance to 4 to 5 feet between flies. Also of note, using droppers (tag ends of triple surgeons knots) rather than attaching the second fly and tippet to the eye or bend of the first fly significantly increases the chances of “seeing double”.
Hooking a double is one thing, landing both fish is an entirely different challenge, although it is quite a fun challenge ;). Usually to land the double at least one of the fish has to be smaller than 12 inches or you have to be using heavy tippet. Occasionally 2 nice sized fish are taken on fine tippet.
I once witnessed a landed triple. On a stocked lake in Scotland, Josh Stevens of Fly Fishing Team USA landed three Trout at once. As I recall, Josh hadn’t touched a fish in this lake and was struggling to find some confidence flies but rather than give up, Josh persevered and was rewarded with an amazing triple catch! I wish I had a picture of the triple but I don’t so you’ll have to settle for a few shots of doubles.
Lengthen the distance between your flies, utilize droppers and go land a few doubles!