So, you think you have the basic techniques down, and you’re catching a lot of trout using Tight Line techniques. But your fish all seem to be on the small side. You know there are much larger fish in this river, but they don’t seem interested. Why is it that beginners usually catch small fish? Well, unfortunately, it’s not just a matter time before you consistently hook into big trout. You must step up your game. Think and fish differently.
Understanding these 9 Tips will help you advance to the next level and catch larger trout:
MONO RIG vs EURO NYMPH: What’s the difference- Which is better?
Both the mono Rig and ESN (Euro Style Nymphing) fall under the umbrella of Tight Line Nymphing. Both utilize long leaders suspended above the water’s surface for a better dead drift, with less drag than a floating line set up- Often referred to as “High Sticking.” But what’s the difference between the two systems, and which is better?
Combat the Wind with the Two P's - POSITION and POWER
This time of year is the most unpredictable but you can bet that the wind will come into play at some point in the day. Whether it’s a light breeze or strong gusts, you need different tactics when the wind shows up.
Wet Fly Swing Podcast show #415 with Dave Stewart. A couple of years ago I would never have imagined that I’d be a guest on the second largest fly fishing podcast in the country - The Wet Fly Swing with Dave Stewart. I’m just a guy out fishing a lot on the Truckee River. But here’s the story of how it all came to be.
Netting trout is a skill in and of itself. It’s something that takes a lot of practice to get good at and only experience makes you better. It’s not something you can really practice in your backyard like casting and knot tying- it’s something you must do in the water and it’s something you must think about even before your net is drawn. In some cases, even before you make your first cast.
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.