Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?
Fishing nymphs without a bobber isn't some mystic thing. The first fish I ever caught on a hares ear nymph was caught the way you describe as well as the last one I caught. I think it's a matter of how you learn but in defense of those who learn to use the flies without suspending them from a float, these people can easily turn to the float and still be effective. For those who did not learn the dead drift technique and how to detect the taking of the fly, showing up at the stream without the floats may not lead to a productive day.
I will not say that the use of a float to aid in detection a hit is wrong. I will say that to learn the old ways of nymph fishing is simply a matter of having learned to walk before running. Being skilled in the methods that stood as the foundation of this style of fishing lends to a person being well rounded in their knowledge and abilities. For that reason were I to teach someone to use nymphs, that person would be foregoing the floats while learning.