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?
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.
Thanksgiving presented an unexpected fishing opportunity this year. Our plans for outdoor festivities with friends were upended by bitingly cold wind and a friend's positive covid test, which left me with a few free hours in the middle of Thanksgiving day to check out the river. Stepping out of my truck on a sunny sage brush flat, the wind sliced straight through my puffy and cotton t-shirt. Cursing the lack of forethought, I rummaged for another layer of clothing without luck. Feeling stupid and a little desperate, I exhumed a buff matted with dog hair and crumbs from under the driver’s seat. With a shake, on it went.
If you’re new to ESN (European Style Nymphing) fly fishing you probably have lots of questions regarding tippet line. There’s very little information out there because tippet setup is specific to types of water, fish, conditions, etc. Here’s how I rig my tippet and why.
First the basics. Tippet is the thin clear portion of the leader that attaches the fly. It’s thin to cut through the current and minimize drag, and clear to not spook the fish. In Euro-nymphing tippet takes much more abuse because it makes frequent contact with rocks and gravel down at the bottom, so fluorocarbon is used because it is more abrasion resistant than nylon. And because fluorocarbon it tougher I can use thinner tippet than Nylon.