By Chris Sweeney Submitted On July 21, 2009
Of all the different fly fishing techniques, nymph fishing is probably the most difficult. Because fly fishing nymphs are extremely small, both beginners and pros alike have a bit of trouble with this fishing technique. However, knowing how to use this technique is extremely important when trout fishing, as trout feed mostly on insects beneath the surface of the water.
A nymph is basically an insect that has not fully developed yet. You will notice that older, mature insects & flies skim along the surface of the water, whereas nymphs still live underwater.
So why is fishing with nymph fishing so challenging?
What a fly fisherman does when using fly fishing nymphs is try to imitate the immature insects that still live underwater. Therefore it is difficult and nearly impossible for the angler to see the fish going for the fly. But in dry fly fishing, the fly sits on the surface of the water and the angler can easily see when a fish bites.
Another challenging aspect of fishing with fly fishing nymphs is the fact that the nymph, being under the surface of the water, is more prone to bumping into rocks and trees, emulating a fish taking the hook. It is also more likely to snag your fly nymph on those rocks and trees.
In addition, using fly fishing nymphs become more of a three-dimensional game, rather than a two dimensional game in dry fishing. The angler must now have an accurate cast both front & back, left & right, and be able to accurately predict the depth at which the trout lie.
Lastly, trout are inclined to take in a nymph more subtly that a fly on the surface. They may not hit has hard, and therefore it may be hard for the angler to tell when he has hooked a trout.
As you can see from the above, fishing with fly fishing nymphs can be very challenging, and turns many people off to this technique. However, now that you have a better understanding of the difficulties involved in nymph fishing and with practice, the only problem you will have is catching too many fish (is that even really a problem?)
When fishing with fly fishing nymphs, you use basically the same equipment as when dry fishing. The only additional items I would recommend are small weights (to help your nymph sink a little better), strike indicators (to be able to tell when you’ve hooked that trout!), and a nice pair of fly fishing sunglasses (preferably polarized so that you would be able to see through the bright orange strike indicator and the glare in the water better).
There are many different methods of fishing with fly fishing nymphs, as much of the technique is about preference and style. In this article I will speak briefly of two different methods.
First there is the basic method of using fly fishing nymphs. It is the easiest for a beginner to use and is a great way to get started.
In short, you will cast straight across the river and let the current take your fly fishing nymph slowly downstream until it is right below you downstream. At this point, the nymph is being pulled by the current and wiggling to emulate a real nymph. You don’t necessarily need a strike indicator with this method because your line will be a little tighter as it is being pulled by the current, so it will be a lot easier to feel a trout taking your fly.
So, what’s wrong with this beginner method? Well, a number of things, actually. First, the only point this method is likely to draw any strikes is right at the point where your nymph begins to lift off from the depths of the river. This greatly narrows the scope of the effectiveness of this fly fishing method; since the vast majority of the float of the nymph is “wasted” (trout are unlikely to take a nymph that is careening at weird angles across a river).
The only downside to this method is that trout are much less likely to take a fly fishing nymph as it is roving across the river while tautly attached to a line.
The next technique I will discuss is the dead drift method. This method can be used three different ways: by quartering, by casting directly upstream, or from your boat.
By quartering, you can cast just as you would while dry fishing. Cast upstream and across the river, allowing your fly fishing nymph to “dead drift” for the maximum distance possible. Let some line out so the line is drag-free.
You can do this casting directly upstream as well, or even from your boat. Just make sure not to keep the line too taut, as it will not imitate a real nymph authentically.
All in all, fishing with fly fishing nymphs can be very challenging, yet very rewarding with persistence and practice. By spending some time to learn this technique, you will surely be able to maximize the amount of trout you catch and minimize those days where you go out and catch nothing.
If you’re serious about fishing using the fly fishing nymphs technique, you can check out my blog for more information here: [http://FishingWithFlyFishingNymphs.blogspot.com/].
Chris Sweeney writes on various topics, including many different types of fishing. To see his fly fishing nymphs blog, check out [http://FishingWithFlyFishingNymphs.blogspot.com/]
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