Nymph Fishing Basics for Trout


in today’s show we’re focusing on one of
the most critical techniques a fly fisher must master to be successful NIM
f—ing it is widely accepted that trope find 80 to 90 percent of their diet
below the surface though some of that is eating baitfish and other species the
bulk of the food is in vertebrates and other aquatic insects which they pick
off in the feeding lanes before we discuss insect activity we must
understand where fish hold in order to feed the anatomy of a stream is
generally very straightforward fish will gravitate to those locations that
provide the ideal security water temperature oxygen and food trout hold
in different parts of the stream based on the mechanics of moving water they
want to have all their basic survival requirements met with the least amount
of energy expended in most streams and rivers the primary location for finding
fish based on these needs are riffles runs pools pocket water and seems
dissecting each of these different fish locations would take more time than we
have in this program however of all the fish holding locations seams are
probably the most common and effective place to locate trout seams are usually
created by differing water speeds or by deflection of stream current off
structure such as boulders or log jams seams can be readily identified by
visible changes in water speed often phone lines will help you determine
where the seam is located in slower water fish will usually hold in slow
water adjacent to fast water because that allows them to have access to food
and still exert minimal energy to maintain their station for nymph fishers
this is the ideal place to start searching for fish with a nymph pattern
fish will lay where it’s almost a void it doesn’t take a whole lot of energy
for the fish to lay there so this is where I’m gonna place my fly along the
scene right along here I’m gonna try to dead drift it and follow along with the
rod tip it is important to keep the cash short
and lift the line off the water following along with the rod tip at the
same speed the indicator is traveling on the surface it’s as important to have a
drag free drift when fishing an imp similar to when fishing a dry fly micro
drag must be avoided if at all possible as this will impact your success ratio I
think I might put a little more weight on here I don’t think I’m quite making
it to the bottom fast enough now anything that moves that indicator
whether the indicator slows down sometimes you get lucky and it goes
under the surface sometimes it moves a little bit sideways and sometimes it’s
just a feeling you got set the hook it could be the rock on the bottom but it
could be the biggest fish in your life you never know until you set the hook oh that was a good hit I was a little
slow on that one moving water that has ideal conditions
for invertebrate insect life is also usually perfect for trout aquatic
insects such as main flies catice and stone flies all need clean well
oxygenated and generally cool water each of these insects has a differing
life cycle and means of emerging the nymphal stage of an invertebrate such as
a mayfly composes ninety-nine percent of their lifecycle as a nymph they are
rarely seen by trout as a high Bini stones or burrowed into the bottom to
avoid predation this is one reason why throat will readily take a nymph
tumbling in the current when a mayfly wants to emerge during a hatch this is
when trope really get turned on trout will lay in feeding lanes greedily
gobbling the emerging mayflies such as betas or Ison akia as they struggle in
the current to reach the surface it is the nymphal or pupil stage that flight
Fisher’s wish to imitate with her patterns and presentations trout derive
an enormous amount of their energy by readily feeding on nymphs as they
tumbled in the water current having a well stocked fly box – filled with
different nymph patterns is ideal popular name patterns which seem to work
everywhere include hares ears pheasant tails Prince nymphs bead head caddis any
mergers the key is not to exactly imitate the specific nymph but to
suggest both the silhouette size and coloration
thus a pattern such as a prince nymph is popular because it represents a number
of differing mayflies or smaller stonefly names while nymph fishing on
the North Platte River call and learn some valuable rigging options from Brett
at North Platte River Lodge the North Platte is renowned for its brute
strength and acrobatic jumps of its rainbow trail that’s a no question take a little head
shaking going on now you want to keep him balanced right here because if he
drops off this we’re running turn the left alright and
that fish is ripping all over the place these Fisher’s hottest you’ll find I
think there’s not many most people who come here and fish I have never felt
fish that worked like this this is this might be an 18 inch fish and he’s he’s
working you over which is great I heard the biggest wine is my arm sore
yeah it is food booze he’s using that current sure is airy rolled a little bit
and we’ll be lucky to squeeze 18 out of him yep and we’ll be lucky if that fish is 18
he’s a great fish but hi rod perfect we took that little PMD and this is a cut
bow he’s crossbreed he’s still full of it no that’s a nice fish he’s probably
18 19 you can see the cut on in there well done jump in there okay Brad I
think it’s real important that we describe a little bit how you got this
set up and Homer fishing over here but first let’s talk about the rig you’ve
got set up here basically we’ve got a short rig a fishing shallow water the
water we’re fishing is less than what we’re standing in so it’s it’s meaty or
less and there’s a couple pockets that are a little deeper so we don’t need a
lot of length so we’ve got a lightweight there’s a number four number six shot
there so very little weight but we don’t need it to get down we’re getting down
we’re hitting the bottom occasionally I like to put the first fly just a little
bit closer to the lead then the second flight is to the first fly and the
reason for that is take that first fly and it puts it right on the bottom with
this if the closer you put it to the lead closer it’s going to be at the
bottom this fly is gonna be a little bit further away so it’s going to have a
little more action because of the current stumbling a little more tumbling
and our rig is at this point it’s about 5 feet from indicator to lead using a
small indicator because we don’t need much because we don’t have much weight
so we’re 5 feet we could probably go shorter the shorter you go in this
situation when you’re in shallow water like this the more direct your strikes
going to be if you’ve got 10 feet a liter in your fish and 3 feet of water
that fish can eat it he can run 2 feet before your indicator
even registers yeah critical that you have the right
length of your indicator this particular case I like five feet because it allows
that fly to settle down before the indicator does any drag because we’re
fishing almost straight up at this point when we turn out a little bit
it’ll be fine because it’s a little bit deeper out there it’s about three and a
half four feet deep the most popular rigging technique is known as the
two-to-one system basically for every one foot of depth you use two feet of
leader thus if you’re an infant in four feet of water your strike indicator or
leader length should be set at eight feet from your fly another critical
consideration for your nymph rig is to use weight to present your fly properly
again there are some excellent general guidelines to help anglers ideally you
want to use the minimal amount of weight to get your fly to the bottom usually
fish are holding in the bottom twenty percent of the water column in order to
effectively fish this area we need to add weight to the leader and/or fly
pattern to reach this area the rule of thumb is to add weight until you begin
to snag or regularly make contact with the bottom then you know that your
pattern is in the feedings over fish basically if you’re not losing flies to
snags then you’re probably not in the zone because you’re not deep enough it
takes constant experimentation and changes to your rig to find the best
system to accommodate both the water depth and the current speed in order to
present your fly properly in 2002 we met with Jeff blood who was
one of the top nymph fly fishers for steelhead in northern Pennsylvania Jeff
explain a little about why it is critical to constantly change a rig and
weight system for nymphal one of the most neglected principles of fishing by
fly fishermen as well as conventional tackle fishermen is to vary their weight
according to the fishing condition that you have and too much weight you’ll be
dragging on the bottom which does not give a natural presentation and actually
pulls the fly out of the fish’s zone and not enough weight will not get it down
into the zone fast enough or keep it in the zone so that you get the longest
drift and most of the really good fishermen are constantly changing their
weight according to the characteristics of the pool so I’ll start out fishing
with what my instincts tell me is the right amount of weight and if I’m not
catching fish most of the time I put more on rather than take it off of
course if it’s shallow water and I can see that then I will take it off but
most the time I add another piece on until I figure it out after time you
kind of develop an instinct where you can just look at the pool and say it
requires one BB shot or two BB shots or sometimes even more and if you don’t do
this you’re going to diminish your catch rate substantially simply because you’re
not into the fish and right there’s an example of
and you have it right now you should be able to catch a fish with the right
amount of weight on it that’s what we’ve got is a little three pound male maybe
they’re fun he’s a little bigger net it’s probably
more like pounds it’s a nice little meal fish can tell by the little bit of hook
in this jar right there anyway let’s put them back real gentle-like strike
indicators are loved by some and not by others it is truly a matter of personal
choice strike indicators are valuable tools because they easily help you
detect strikes which is particularly helpful to the new fly fisher who is
still learning there are wide variety of strike indicators available choices
should be made based on water depth clarity and speed plus the size of the
indicator is impacted by the overall weight of the rig you are using over
time and through experimentation you will discover the best strike indicator
options for the water you fish there are a number of techniques related
to rod position that will help you to properly present your nymph as well as
detect strikes most people are familiar with the terminology high-sticking which
is essentially the raising of your rod throughout the swing of the fly under
the water this helps lift the fly line off the water thus minimizing drag on
your fly it is critical that your rod tip followed the fly line and the
current through the drift this helps to mitigate the impact of the currents on
your presentation of equal importance is the need to closely watch your strike
indicator or fly line for any hesitations or unusual movements which
will transmit to you that a fish has picked up your offering very go fish on
this underwater footage of a rainbow trout inhaling then spitting on a piece
of debris clearly indicates why you must react quickly to any detected strikes
just a simple flick of your wrist will set the hook if indeed it was a
straight-a student experienced nymph fishers are constantly flicking their
wrist potentially setting the hook on any possible strikes with practice you
will learn to detect even the most minut indication of a pick up of your offering
by a fish mmm that was a fish positioning during
the drift is key to nymphal downstream nymph is generally not a good idea since
controlling the drift is problematic as well it is highly likely you will not
get a solid hook set from this position positioning yourself slightly below or
perpendicular to the fish is ideal for controlling the drift of your
presentation upstream presentations are very effective but it is imperative to
tightly control a drift of your fly line watch how this angular positions himself
to properly control the drift while situated below some fish holding water
he is constantly stripping in the line keeping tight contact with his nymph
while not impacting the speed nymph fishing is undoubtedly one of the most
effective means of catching big trout or other species anglers make the mistake
of believing nymph fishing is for only trout watch as I fight an enormous
Pacific salmon caught on a small nymph on a great lake tributary near Toronto
Ontario side pressure oil boy we’re passing a
lot of fish on the way down you must come out it this time of year folks this
is the best time of year to catch these big fish they there are a lot of fun
you’re catching many many big fish you’re not landing everyone as you’ve
seen with other fish with me I hope you enjoyed today’s show and
learn more about NIM fishing and why it’s so important to anglers for more
information about this show and our series please join us on the internet at www.nydisabilitylaw.com hurt it again
one small look folks we got a very large fish here we’ve got a thirty pound fish
here and again I’m holding it face-first into the current oh he’s ready to go
already very good I love it I love it look from the new fly Fisher television
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