So, you drank the kool-aid. You read all the hype on euro nymphing, bought tackle and hit the water. But you’re still not catching fish. What the heck? I can assure you that you’re not alone. In fact, That was me a few years ago. Back then, I didn’t know what I didn’t know; but now I do. So, I’m going to tell you what I was doing wrong and what I see everyone else doing wrong when they start to euro nymph.
It took me about 100 days on the water to figure this all out. For me, that’s only 6 months, for you it might be 10 or 20 years! Let’s fast track it so you can catch fish now.
I’m assume that you understand thebasics of trout fishingin moving water
Cast upstream of the fish and let the fly dead drift in front of it.
Don’t scare the fish- Always be stealthy when fishing.
Know where the fish are generally located in the given river.
When I started Euro nymphing, Contact nymphing, Czech nymphing, whatever you want to call it, I was confused as to what gear I would need and why it was different from what I already had. As I became familiar with the new techniques I realized why it required different gear. I’m going to share what I’ve learned so you can avoid some of the mistakes I made early on. I’ll save you some frustration and maybe even save you some money.
*Keep in mind that my advice is based solely on wade fishing in technical high sierra rivers and streams for trout- It doesn’t pertain to stillwater, drift boats, steelhead or other large fish. Just river trout. OK?
When people ask me what my favorite nymph fly is, I tell them I don’t have one. I’m not trying to hide anything, it’s just that I try not to pay special attention to those “confidence” flies- you know, flies that I caught my biggest fish on, or flies I used the day I fished my personal best. Choosing confidence flies are probably some dopamine triggered behavior, I suspect. They get fished most often and so they catch the most fish. But only fishing confidence flies can be holding you back. And when you are having a real tough day out there and the fish won’t even take your star players, you won’t know where to turn. You’ve been beat.
Here’s a better way to select the “best fly” in your box when your confident fly is screaming at you “Pick me!”
As much as innovating gear and adopting overseas techniques may represent the future of the sport in the Tahoe area, anglers need waters—and fish in them—to sustain the activity.
Trevor Fagerskog, a Roseville resident who moved from Truckee in late 2020, is current president of the nonprofit sporting group Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers and state chair of the California council of the nonprofit conservation group Trout Unlimited.
The latter group’s Truckee chapter focuses on habitat restoration in the Truckee River watershed. Fagerskog reasons that it’s not likely anyone is going to reverse the effects of climate change anytime soon, so they’re working to find natural areas that were modified by humans, then re-creating conditions that make the water more conducive to fish, even in a drought-threatened future.
The Stinger represents something of a rebirth for Sasaki, who, after a career spent designing protective gear for cycling and other action sports, moved with his wife from San Diego to their second home in Truckee in 2016 (he also started and sold a company that manufactured iPhone cases from exotic materials). Once settled in,<br>he didn’t want to do anything but “ride and fish” for a couple of years.<br><br>After 400 days of fishing, spread out over those two years, Sasaki realized that the only thing he truly wanted to do, work-wise, was improve every piece of fly-fishing gear he owned.<br><br>He started with the reel, aiming to create a device that improved his rod’s efficiency and allowed him to “fish longer and catch more” without adding to the shoulder and back strain common to the sport. Starting with a 3D-printed prototype, he took the design through 100 iterations, tweaking it so it would securely hold the line in place but also allow for the line’s fast and easy removal.
What I understand most about my father. My dad isn’t around anymore but his life, or what I know of it, definitely had a lasting influence on me; especially the fishing part.
He was born near Lodi, California, a grape farming town only a couple hours down the hill from Yosemite National Park. Yet we never went there as kids because he didn’t like crowds. For the same reason, we never went to Disneyland or San Francisco, etc. Instead my mom and the five of us kids packed up the Ford camper, sometimes with our aluminum boat on top, and ventured to the mountains or ocean. Looking back, I think money had a lot to do with his destination choices so I’m glad we didn’t have very much- I hate to think of how different my childhood experiences would have been.
I designed the Stinger reel to save weight. People ask “why,” so I wrote this because I realized that the answers are not so obvious, especially to those who have been fishing the same way for decades.
Lightweight and high performance are synonymous terms with regards to competitive sports equipment- the world I came from. Lightweight almost always improves performance because mass and inertia are your enemies when trying to increase quickness, accuracy and or maximize endurance. But what does high performance have to do with fly fishing? Lots.
By now most fly anglers in the US have heard of Euro-nymphing and likely even tried it. It’s not just a fad, it's a relatively new way to fish and it’s here to stay because, well, it just works. Will it ever replace indicator fishing or dry fly fishing?, no way. But it’s another tool in your bag and one that is just getting used more and more.
If you’re regularly hooking into river trout but your “landing rate” is dismal, you’re not alone. By the way, it took a lot of hard work and practice on your part to get where you are now so congratulations.
Assuming you’ve presented the correct fly, the fish takes your fly, and you’ve managed a good hookset, you’re still miles away from getting that lunker into your net. Inexperienced anglers are always bewildered when the fish is suddenly off their line. It still happens to me but far less.
As you've probably noticed in our videos, our dogs love to go fishing with us. While we anglers sometimes have our struggles and tough days, the dogs are having the time of their lives, and I’m happy to share that with you. But off-camera things are a bit trickier when taking your pups to the river - Here are things to consider if you plan to fish with your dog.
When fishing with your dog, or any time you take your dog outside the security of your home for that matter, you’re responsible for your dog’s safety and well being- So lower your expectations of catching fish by realizing that your time in the water fishing will be less than usual, your choices of fishing locations will be limited, and you’ll now have to redirect your focus and keep an eye out for what your fur buddy is doing.
First things first, I’m not a writer. People like me are why apps such as Grammarly exist- it’s a great tool by the way. My background is Industrial Design, far from the art of creative writing- and I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker. But I created this blog because I think my own fly fishing journey can help you on yours, whether you’re a novice fly angler or just new to Euro-nymphing. We’ll discuss techniques, fishing tactics, fly tying, gear and whatever else will help you advance your skills to better enjoy your time on the water. I don’t know it all, no one does, but I’ll discuss things I struggled with. Things I wish someone would have explained to me. I’d like this blog to be a road map to a better fly angling experience for you.