Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nymph or Not?

Nymphing is not my specialty...but I do love to attempt it, especially when sight fishing. If you get out on the Breeches on a nice day down near the Run, by Allenberry, or on some of the spots where it really widens and the water shallows you will have a great chance at being able to sight fish (especially if it hasn't rained in quite a bit). On those days, I used to love fishing below the Run, not only because my fish count went up, but because as you walk by the Run, you would see about 10 guys over the age of 60 all nymphing the shallow parts of the run. The best part is that every time I would go, it would be the same guys going after those same fish! There were 2-3 huge 'Bows and Browns, I mean like 22"+ that would cruise the Run and these guys just wanted to be able to tell a story about how they held one of them just once in their lives off of some old nymph they tied ages ago. I'm not sure but I feel as if very few of these men have actually caught one of those fish (who they probably have silly names for like Bubba or something). I, for one, have hit one of the big 'Bows in the mouth with just about every nymph in my fly such luck as to bring it in. I did false hook one of the Browns which was about 19" and was able to bring him in but a false hook isn't something to really be proud of, it's really just luck.

So, I for one, do not prefer nymphs mainly because I don't feel as if I know enough about nymphing and honestly, I'd prefer to watch a trout swim into sight to sip down a nice dry. In order to nymph you need to know a few techniques. The first method is called the tight-line technique, where really none of your fly line is touching the water, just your tippet and nymph (most of the time this requires being able to see the fish your presenting to). This technique requires a fly that will sink, one with weight (like a bead-head, a drop shot on your line, or one with lead wire). The second is commonly called the floating technique, this is similar to dry fly fishing, where your trying to imitate a nymph that has been jarred loose from its place on the bottom and somehow got air trapped on it keeping it on the surface (easy target). Both depend on conditions and preference. A third, less commonly used technique is the tandem flies, one dry, one wet (nymph or pupa). They are usually both of the same species imitating a hatched fly and unhatched.

In order to present your fly, like most fly presentations, you want to drift your fly down to the fish. Nymphs don't usually swim upstream, they more commonly crawl, very slowly (but most of the time, they drift). For tight-line, you want your line to remain "tight" so that you feel the bite immediately and can set the hook. For all techniques, you want to drift in areas fish most commonly hang out such as behind rocks, fallen trees, or other obstacles that break the speed of the water (trout don't like expending energy when they don't need to, they'd rather be lazy and let the food come to them).

One last thing that goes along with nymphing is the use of indicators. Some say its cheating like using a bobber but others swear nymphing would be impossible without them. I'm neutral, I have both used and not used indicators and had the same result of catching a fish.

Hope this has helped for those of you (of which I know there are sooo many) that are on the fence of whether to nymph or not...

Tight Lines...Morgan

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