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Old 06-27-2012, 01:25 PM
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Default Nymphs in fast water

I've done most nymph fishing in slower water for browns. On a recent trip I tried fast water for bows. It was a real different experience. In the slower water I never use a strike indicator because I can see the line/leader move but in fast water there is just too much turbulence. I did catch one rainbow and is was a thrill as most places I've fished before are exclusively brown trout water. BUT- not sure I was doing it right. What do most of you do in fast/rapid type water? Strike indicator? Split shot? Split shot with beadhead or split shot with a standard nymph? If you aren't hanging up from time to time are you too high in the water column? One nymph or two?
I ask because I switched to dries and caught more fish but since nymphs are supposed to be the better choice- I think I wasn't doing it right.
I ought to describe the water a bit more- about 12" to 18" deep- stream about 30' wide, occassional deep holes the size of bathtubs- holes being about 8" plus deeper than regular stream bed. Rocks all over with several channels. 1-2' ledges or mini-falls about every 20-30 yards. I would look things over to figure out the main channel and where it constricted between some rocks- forming a fast channel maybe 10-20 feet long and I would cast to the top of that channel and have the nymph drift with the current 10-20 feet and then cast again. Not sure how deep the nymph got in that current. Someone told me it should be "bouncing along the bottom". How can you tell that? Was this a good strategy or should I have been working different water? Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

I was struggling with indicators in fast water on a recent trip to DC. It seemed that the water was so turbulent that the float would simply not float rendering it completely useless.

I then remembered reading something about tight line nymphing - I think some people call it czech nymphing. Basically, you put some rather heavy nymphs and mayne add a few pieces of shot to the line. The goal is to get the fly to the bottom almost instantly and maintain a tight line so you can feel every time that fly ticks the bottom or gets hit from a fish.

The trick to it was to keep the line directly under the rod tip and the line as tight as possible. It seemed to work quite well as a few browns, a chub, and a real small smallie fell for the trick.

It's definitely a very helpful method when fishing really fast water
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

I would tight line euro-nymph that type of water. First of all, you can get closer to the fish. Secondly, you can control the drift more easily by tight lining the flies into the feeding lies. Thirdly, with an indicator you set the drift for a single depth but the water you are describing has changing depth so much of the time, you are not at the right level.

With tight line nymphing the nymphs are always on the bottom.

Finally, what a floating strike indicator does is convert the pull of the fish to a visual cue by movement of the indicator that you react to with your strike. There is always a delay in your strike when you use an indicator. There will be slack line between the rod tip and the indicator that delays the strike and the direction of the pull may not be right to "set" the hook.

With tight line nymphing the rod tip is downstream and leading the flies. You feel the strike and so the line is already tight to the fly. The fish is facing upstream and your strike pulls the fly downstream into the fishes mouth and nearly always ends up with a hookup.

With an indicator, you can be pulling upstream for the strike if the indicator is downstream from you and this pulls the fly out of the fish's mouth. Or you may be pulling sideways out of the fish's mouth.

An alternate way to fish water 12 -18" deep and rough is with a dry & dropper combination.

Here is water that is typically fished by most fishers with a strike indicator but that I fish with tight line.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's a 20" brown from the section above hooked with tight line nymphing. The lack of hook scarring shows that it is not often hooked by the strike indicator fishers.

Click the image to open in full size.
madjoni, jaybo41, dean_mt and 3 others like this.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

Mr. Sticky does it again Good stuff Silver. I'm learning and confirming lots through your posts.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

The best way I've found to tell if I'm 'bouncing along the bottom' is by getting snagged every now and then. Not every other cast by any means, but occasionally.

I can't say I've ever tried the eruo-style nymphing, I'll have to check it out! Sounds like it works!
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

use wight and high stick. i high stick with an indicator. If I am able to get close to what I am fishing, I will have very little line out from the rod tip to the indicator. In the faster current I have a harder time seeing my indicator, or sometimes it will even get pulled under from the current. by having very little line from the tip to the indicator, I can actually hold my indicator just above the water line and see the strike, many times I will actually feel the strike as well. I love getting close and high sticking the **** out of the water, haha.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

Both methods work well in different situations, but there are some great advantages to tight line nymphing pointed out above.

I've moved almost strictly to tungsten putty for weight, though I still carry tung shot as well, especially if I'm taking people fishing.
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

Some folks will recognize the water in my first photo. It is one of the most heavily fished sections of a very famous river. When I arrived at the river at 11 AM, this is what the parking lot looks like. The one across the river looks the same.

Click the image to open in full size.

Almost everyone fishes with a strike indicator. Plus, this river draws fly fishers from around the world, so it sees some very good fly fishers. It also sees a lot of guides. So if you also fish with a strike indicator, you are essentially presenting your fly to the fish in a way that they have already seen hundreds of times.

The key to fishing this river is to either be the first person on the water or to fish the river differently.

When you see a parking lot like the one above, you know that the river will have a fly fisher in just about every spot. In this case, I waited until the fishermen returned to their cars for lunch and then I start fishing. Sometimes I ask a fly fisher if they mind if I fish the water they have already fished, and I slip in behind them. I can still catch fish because I know from my experience the locations they cannot present the fly adequately with a strike indicator technique

Here's just such a location. I could not find a open spot so I asked a guide if I could fish about 20 feet behind him and his clients. This is something I do when I get the OK, because guided fly fishers are usually beginners and leave fish behind. I took several trout from this location that was fished over by a guide and two clients about 10 minutes before I reached it.

Click the image to open in full size.





Here's another spot that is than 50 feet from another bridge on the same river. I took 3 fish but this spot was totally ignored by the fly fishers. Why?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

Sounds like the tight line nymphing is what I should have been doing. The amount of rocks and turbulence of the water does in many instances mean I could get fairly close to the fish, say 25'- is that too far? By 25' I mean from me to the suspected lie of the trout. I use a 8 1/2 or 9' rod depending on what I take that day.
So....
is this correct?
1. Cast maybe 6 feet upstream of where you suspect there is a trout. Use a beadhead (one or two?) plus enough weight to have the nymph bounce along the bottom. How far from the nymph do you usually add weight? One spot or several spots for the added weight?
2. Keep the rod held high and move the tip so that it leads the line/leader/fly downstream.
3. After the drift repeat.
How many times would you drift a spot- I'll usually do about 6 and if nothing is happening- move another few feet upstream.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Nymphs in fast water

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Here's another spot that is than 50 feet from another bridge on the same river. I took 3 fish but this spot was totally ignored by the fly fishers. Why?
Because they can't read water like you can! Nice work and beautiful brown. I am much more of an indicator fisherman when I nymph fish, and because of that I generally stick to the deeper, slower slots. And as you've so nicely pointed out, I pass a lot of fish.

That first post, I thought that water looked just like the river you then revealed. I have fished from that parking lot before with anglers working every pocket and hole. If you're going to fish the "famous" water, you definitely have to think creatively to out fish the masses.

Great post, Silver.

---------- Post added at 01:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:45 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Owl View Post
Sounds like the tight line nymphing is what I should have been doing. The amount of rocks and turbulence of the water does in many instances mean I could get fairly close to the fish, say 25'- is that too far? By 25' I mean from me to the suspected lie of the trout. I use a 8 1/2 or 9' rod depending on what I take that day.
So....
is this correct?
1. Cast maybe 6 feet upstream of where you suspect there is a trout. Use a beadhead (one or two?) plus enough weight to have the nymph bounce along the bottom. How far from the nymph do you usually add weight? One spot or several spots for the added weight?
2. Keep the rod held high and move the tip so that it leads the line/leader/fly downstream.
3. After the drift repeat.
How many times would you drift a spot- I'll usually do about 6 and if nothing is happening- move another few feet upstream.
I'm not experienced with the method, but I do a enjoy high sticking in pocket water, which is the same idea. So in a long riffle like you are explaining, 25' away is way too far. You cannot control the nymphs, at that distance on a tight line you would most likely be pulling or swinging or dragging the flies rather than let it drift. You want to be fishing as close to directly below the tip of your rod as possible. This is why a Czech nymph rods are 10+ feet long.

Otherwise, you have the right idea. The amount of weight needed is determined by the speed of the current plus the depth. So you just have to experiment. If the beadhead isn't enough (and it probably isn't), add a split shot (or wrap of lead/tungsten/putty) and fish through the water a couple times. Either you are feeling "ticks" on the bottom, getting hung up, or neither. Add / remove weight as necessary.

A good system to keep your split shot in place is to tie on a 6" length of tippet, then your flies, add your shot above the tippet knot to keep them from sliding down. You want your weight close to the fly, remember, the key is to get the fly down to the bottom as fast as possible. If your weight is 12" up the tippet and the water is only 18" deep, the shots might be bouncing on the bottom but the lighter fly is drifting in the water column.
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