Several years ago whilst trying to learn herringbone, I saw a complicated diagram in a book on how to start a herringbone tube. It was a line of beads and you seemed to pick two up and pass through two, but after several attempts I gave up.
For years since, I've always started with a ladder stitch method until recently... my latest tube needed to have mirror image flared ends and so I needed to be able to work herringbone from both ends. A ladder stitch start is no good for this as the blocky end doesn't go away, so after a little bit of trial and error, I figured out how to start the tube. Would you believe it, it's that complicated start from years back and, finally, the penny has dropped on how to do without referring back to the book! Doh!!!
The moral of the story is, don't dismiss things straight away, go back (years later!) and have another go at it.
How to do it? - if you want a three stack herringbone tube, string 6 beads and go through no 1 again. Pick up 2 beads and pass through 2 and 3 of the first row. Pick up 2, go through 4 and 5, pick up 2, go through 6 and 1 again. After that, you're on normal herringbone. This way, you can unpick row 1 and work herringbone off that end as well, however, do be careful not to split your thread on the first round, otherwise you can't unpick.