Fishing the Nymph II

by Fly Fisherman

Some of the maneuvers in nymph fishing are very similar to the fishing of the standard wet fly upstream but true nymph fishing is not “chuck and chance it” by any means but is a skilled exploration of the water, based on the scientific application of experience and knowledge of trout habits, aquatic feeding, aquatic insects and stream currents. Fishing nymphs, skillfully, will result in more and larger fish day after day than any of the other fly practices. This method takes fish when the other methods are practically dormant in action.

If you should be fishing a representative looking nymph fly during the trout’s nymphing activity you’ll have little difficulty inducing them to taste what you have to offer. Your major difficulty is in knowing just when they are mouthing the lure.
In fishing nymphs you are bound to make many fruitless hooking maneuvers when you think you’ve felt a touch. Nymph anglers try to develop the habit of watching the knot to which the leader is affixed to the line. As this knot drifts toward you it should precede at an even tempo.

A pause in its travel indicates that the nymph has been halted for some reason. That reason might be that it was delayed by dragging itself around a rock, on the bottom, or it might be a trout. So you set the hook. Raise the rod easily, but swiftly. A tug with the left hand is advisable, too, if there seems to be more slack than the rod tip can straighten rapidly. I have heard of other nymph fly anglers casting their lure into a large pocket, which would supposedly hold good trout, determining or guessing when the fly had reached the feeding area, count three and set the hook. It sounds crazy but it works oftener than you would think.

If you are fishing a stream in an area where small birds abound you will notice, sometimes, that they seem to be gathering and holding fairly close to the stream. They have ascertained, by observation or through the bird’s grapevine, that the nymph life is becoming restive on the stream bed and they seem to know instinctively that it won’t be too long before an emergence is going to take place. They relish duns that leave the water and clumsily fly to bushes and grass at the stream’s edge. This signal of nymph activity is your signal to go down after your feeding trout.

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