Archive for May 22nd, 2010


Fly Fishing: Nymphing Setups (Keep It Simple At First)

Darlene Klein-Dolby on the Metolius River (M. P-A)

The beginning fly fisher is quickly advised to not only fish the dry fly. Statistics are thrown out that 80-90% of a fish’s diet is comprised of subsurface fair (nymphs/emergers). All this is meant to increase your odds of a hookup. An additional area that effects success is the setup or rigging of the nymph(s). A little time to study the rigging possibilities and match them to the conditions before you are on the stream is time well spent.

A couple things to consider: Adjust your setup as needed. Assuming you won’t stand all day in one area while fishing, you will encounter different water depths, speeds, hatches…that will require you, or should require you, to adjust your rigging/setup. Changing distances between indicator and flies (fly); adding weight; changing fly patterns, shortening the casting distance, raising or high sticking, whatever is required to adjust to the changing conditions as you move about is often ignored as the angler stays with the same rig.

As a beginner, keep it simple. As you encounter other anglers you will see techniques different than what you are using or were told to use. Different setups, different flies, different presentations. That is good…more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. (Did anyone actually skin a cat?)

So, remember these observed new ways and try them. They may or may not be appropriate to the waters at hand, but tuck them away into the arsenal and remember how to rig them. An easy example is a two fly nymphing rig (sometimes 3 flies). I rarely use it for streams. Almost always on lakes. (Check the laws…I was comfortable fishing two fly rigs in B.C. until someone admonished me an educated me re B.C. laws on one fly only). Two flies theoretically ups the odds. But, for a beginner you want to learn to cast with a more open, lob cast  to allow for the turnover of fly, weight, indicator. Two flies can get tangled until you perfect a more open loop. Once that is done go to two flies and keep your cast shorter. Actually, go short more often. Don’t be tempted to be nymphing with 30′ of line out. Go shorter most often. And, as they say strike on any hesitation of line or if you use one, the indicator. Purist abhor nymphing let alone indicators…whatever…use an indicator/sighter of some sort. Experiment without an indicator too.

Nymphing is a lot more work than dry fly fishing…yet, it is a technique you must employ if you want to up your odds of an encounter. When the dry fly~emerger action commences know how to de-rig that nymph set up in a timely manner to get into the hatch.


Joan McCreery on the Metolius River


Fly Fishing: Super Hopper Dropper

Mikey Weir shows how to use his super hopper dropper set up to fish for trout. Learn how to connect and use the Hop-icator as well as other signature flies …”   The ideas are interesting: a sliding large fly that adjusts up and down the thicker part of the upper leader. The initial loop concept escapes my addled brain. But, the idea a big, bushy indicator fly (that can take fish too) supporting a smaller nymph/emerger is always a good reminder of an alternative to corkies, air resistant yarn rigs or the newer strike indicators that I normally use. I like Humpy’s for such a set up. I will have to watch this again to figure out this loop concept he is talking about. More Mikey at Burl

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May 2010

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