Nymphing - going to the dark side

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Madeinuk
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:51 pm

Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Madeinuk » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:35 am

My last few outings have involved me suckily thrashing the water in vain with dries (using attractor patterns and terrestrials given no visible rises or hatch activity) and being spurned by almost every fish.

I have decided to try to become a better nymph fisherman.

I have done well in the past with highly visible patterns fished either downstream and across or upstream and across.

However, most of the live nymphs that I have seen are not conveniently colored in fluorescent day glow, silver or white shades.

Given that a dark and small nymph will not be as visible I have been wondering how others fish them.

Do you use dry with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

If all of the above then under which conditions do you use each?

Do you use indicators - if so, which kinds and when?

What leader lengths, tapers, tippet sizes work best for you?

PortMurrayAng
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:06 am

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by PortMurrayAng » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:45 am

I, too, recently concentrated on nymphing, particularly this winter. I had great success! I used a bobber. A small rubber ball they sell at Shannons. Some fly fisherman my refer to these at "strike indicators" but c'mon, its a bobber. I had two sizes. I usually fished tandem rig, with the heavier fly followed by an RS2 or WD40. Weight is essential - four medium or small lead free split shot. I have heard it said, "If you aren't fishing the bottom, you are not fishing."

The Musky in February was especially productive and I caught my biggest fish to date in Point Mountain.

Jaybird
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:23 am

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Jaybird » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:42 am

Lots of minutia to get into , and I'm sure others will chime in , everybody does it differently but I think when starting to get into nymphing confidence is key , don't worry about seeing the fly , just read the water get the nymphs down and keep the line tight .
This is a great time of year to fish a dry dropper . On a small stream a cdc&elk caddis and a small nymph or a wet ant tied 16in off the bend of the hook could keep you busy all day

barkeater
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:08 am

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by barkeater » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:40 am

High visibility vs. realistic nymphs is something that most fly fishermen have wondered about. I fish both and both work. I tie my own which is a good thing when you nymph as you want to be right on or just off the bottom and for me to lose over 1/2 dozen nymphs in a trip is fairly common. I often try to imitate whatever fly species is just about to show a hatch. You will get increased nymph activity for a few days to weeks before a hatch. I also have a few non species specific flies which I use heavily such as Frenchie's. I use weighted flies for my first or point fly and tie a non-weighted emerger off the hook bend. I have my own tuft and tail emerger pattern which I modify to cover whatever mayfly species I feel is active. For caddis I use patterns such as birds nest, green and black and bubble emerger patterns. My feeling about flash is that the more off color the water, the more flash I use for the nymph pattern. My emerger stays the same and I catch most on the emerger no matter what the turbidity of the water. Did I attract the fish with my flashy nymph and it then hit the emerger or does the flash not matter? I don't know but that is my approach. As to visibility of small dark colored flies, dark midge patterns 18-24 work great especially in winter. Also come the end of January, we see the little black stone around here which is entirely black and size 18. Just remember the smaller the size, the harder to keep the hook in the fish especially if you go barbless. I use an indicator. I like to fish water as far away from where I'm standing as possible as opposed to euro nymphing. I tell people that I like to fish (nymph and dry) from the next county and when fishing the Musky, I actually do. Lead, #4 or #1 to start depending on flow rate. I never sink a dry fly which I think is one of your questions. Finally the two biggest mistakes I see in observing people nymphing is that they do not have enough weight on to have their flies on the bottom and they don't understand what a "dead drift" is. If your indicator is skimming across the water you are not going to catch many fish. Working the "dead drift" with a slight swing at the end for an emerger hit is what you want to be doing. Make sure your indicator is floating down the stream at the same rate or slightly slower than the bubble line and that it is not moving across the current because of line drag. Surfing your fly through the water doesn't work.

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lightenup
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Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by lightenup » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:45 pm

Keep it simple until you regularly catch fish...lose the indicator, fish close to you, maybe just a leader length and keep the line tight. Jaybird is right. You will feel a take or see something odd, set the hook, even if you are unsure, sometimes it ends in the tree behind you, but sometimes its a fish, repetitiveness on this will teach you when. Use flies you know work and you have confidence in. Imagine the fly passing fish noses because it probably is, you will improve quickly.

Madeinuk
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:51 pm

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Madeinuk » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:52 pm

Madeinuk wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:35 am
My last few outings have involved me suckily thrashing the water in vain with dries (using attractor patterns and terrestrials given no visible rises or hatch activity) and being spurned by almost every fish.

I have decided to try to become a better nymph fisherman.

I have done well in the past with highly visible patterns fished either downstream and across or upstream and across.

However, most of the live nymphs that I have seen are not conveniently colored in fluorescent day glow, silver or white shades.

Given that a dark and small nymph will not be as visible I have been wondering how others fish them.

Do you use dry with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

If all of the above then under which conditions do you use each?

Do you use indicators - if so, which kinds and when?

What leader lengths, tapers, tippet sizes work best for you?
I made a drastic typo, when I wrote:

Do you use dry with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

What I meant was:

Do you use dry fly line with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

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lightenup
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:35 pm

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by lightenup » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:56 pm

use a split shot..when nymphing, I rarely ever let the fly line touch the water..keep the rod tip high.

barkeater
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:08 am

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by barkeater » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:32 pm

Do you use dry fly line with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?
Place your split shot 6-12 inches above your point (first) fly. If tandem rig which I recommend, place your second non-weighted fly about 18 inches behind this. I use wf floating line. The less line you have on the water the better as fly line gives more drag than leader material. For this same reason and the fact that if I start to see rises I will switch to a dry, I do not use sinking line which will drag more than floating line. I should mention that I never use streamers (personal preference) . When fishing in close I may not have fly line or indicator on the water and I'm essentially euro nymphing but the next spot I want to hit may be 50 feet across the river so I keep the indicator on. You may have to do a lot of mending when fishing at a distance from where you are standing.

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njcatchrelease
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Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by njcatchrelease » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:01 pm

Madeinuk wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:52 pm
Madeinuk wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:35 am
My last few outings have involved me suckily thrashing the water in vain with dries (using attractor patterns and terrestrials given no visible rises or hatch activity) and being spurned by almost every fish.

I have decided to try to become a better nymph fisherman.

I have done well in the past with highly visible patterns fished either downstream and across or upstream and across.

However, most of the live nymphs that I have seen are not conveniently colored in fluorescent day glow, silver or white shades.

Given that a dark and small nymph will not be as visible I have been wondering how others fish them.

Do you use dry with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

If all of the above then under which conditions do you use each?

Do you use indicators - if so, which kinds and when?

What leader lengths, tapers, tippet sizes work best for you?
I made a drastic typo, when I wrote:

Do you use dry with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?

What I meant was:

Do you use dry fly line with a split shot on the leader, sink tip or dry with a sinking extension?
I like using bead head nymphs without a split shot whenever possible. I use a long leader with fluorocarbon tippet and that seems to let me get the nymph down deep enough. I do use a strike indicator on bigger deep pools but I take it off for smaller pools and runs.
Tight Lines

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lightenup
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Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by lightenup » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:14 pm

All great advice, but, in my opinion, if you are just learning to nymph, keep it simple, as you learn what a good drift and a bad drift are, and get a feel for the way the water moves, feel a strike and subtle takes, learning the process first That will create a good base to expand on. But, that's me, I find solace in the simplicity of catching fish on one fly, I will also use an indicator in large pools or on slow moving water..but the best is when you you feel the the take instead of watching a bobber bounce.😉

Jaybird
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:23 am

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Jaybird » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:55 am

Yes a floating line and like lightenup said keep as much fly line off the water as you can . YouTube is probably the best teacher . ...
Flies ... To start a simple scud is easy to tie and always present in the muskie or south branch .

Hatch_Magic
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:02 pm

Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Hatch_Magic » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:13 pm

I like to use a bead head with a darker colored pattern to match the actuals. The bead provides enough flash to get attention, and then hope the natural color/shape does the rest.

NJpatbee
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Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by NJpatbee » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:51 am

I became a bead head fan about 15 years ago and combining the short line technique with a bit of Czech nymphing technique keeping the fly moving has been deadly for me on NJ waters. Favorite bead head patterns include the copperhead (Cooper bead head with Copper wire ribbed hares ear), Copper John, and caddis pupa. No indicator and leading the nymph downstream in a Czech nymphing manner I have no problem detecting takes.

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Twism86
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Re: Nymphing - going to the dark side

Post by Twism86 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:57 pm

Where do trout do most of their feeding....? Underwater! Nymphing, it just makes sense ;)
"Stupidity is scary but genius can be frightening.
Genius built the atom bomb. Genius topples nations."

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