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!”
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.