The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > General Fly Fishing Discussion > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussions regarding fly fishing as a whole. Ask questions. Get answers...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:29 AM
randyflycaster's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 603
randyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to all
Default Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

In Tom Rosenbauer's book he describes upstream nymphing this way: He makes a tuck cast then retrieves the tight line at the same speed as the current. He doesn't use an indicator.

Here's my question: Because the water near the bottom of the stream is moving slower than the water on the top, why wouldn't we leave slack in the
line and use and indicator? Wouldn't this help prevent the nymph from drifting too fast?

Thanks,

Randy
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:00 AM
kglissmeyer1's Avatar
Senior Member

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Rigby, ID
Posts: 1,336
Blog Entries: 1
kglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond reputekglissmeyer1 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Different strokes for different folks. Tom has his way of doing it that works for him, but it's definitely not the only way. I often fish directly upstream when nymphing, only I do use an indicator, but Tom's advice concerning stripping in line to match the current speed is spot on. Without bring in line as your drift moves back towards you, there will be a lot of slack, real fast. Not all water near the stream bottom is moving slower than surface water, depends on a lot of factors. Find the method that works for you and stick with it. I nymph with indicators, many do not. White bread, wheat bread, what do you like best?

Kelly.
__________________
I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:52 AM
Rip Tide's Avatar
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: quiet corner, ct
Posts: 5,372
Rip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Some nymph fishing things
__________________
The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:14 AM
Rip Tide's Avatar
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: quiet corner, ct
Posts: 5,372
Rip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond reputeRip Tide has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyflycaster View Post
Here's my question: Because the water near the bottom of the stream is moving slower than the water on the top, why wouldn't we leave slack in the
line and use and indicator? Wouldn't this help prevent the nymph from drifting too fast?
I have read "Prospecting...." but that was many years ago..
In the magazine article that I referenced above, the Coleman march brown nymph is tied to fish like an anvil.... it's loaded with lead and Coleman taught Rosenbauer this upstream nymphing technique with this fly.
The fly is slowly rolling along the bottom, it's not tied to drift quickly, and you're keeping a tight line to feel the strike.
The same technique can be used with non-weighted flies higher in the water column

As to your question on "why not just use an indicator" .........
__________________
The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:25 AM
randyflycaster's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 603
randyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to allrandyflycaster is a name known to all
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

In his books Rosenbauer writes that when nymphing upstream he uses a weighted nymph, but I don't think he believes in using a lot of weight as he also writes that nymphs should be fished near, but not on the bottom. If a nymph is heavily weighted, it will continually get hooked on the bottom.

Perhaps if there's a little drag because of the faster surface water, it won't really matter.

I guess I still don't see why upstream nymphing shouldn't be done with slack like and an indicator, as that will reduce drag.

Randy
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:57 AM
diamond rush's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 420
diamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to all
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyflycaster View Post
I guess I still don't see why upstream nymphing shouldn't be done with slack like and an indicator, as that will reduce drag.

Randy
Some purists see an indicator as unappealing, and prefer to catch fish without one. More power to 'em, but I prefer to use an indicator and a slack line.

Every nymph presentation has a time and place, though. If you can master many different presentations, you'll have more tools at your disposal to catch stubborn fish.

I highly recommend "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout" by Charles Brooks. The author primarily focuses on the larger western rivers, but he does discuss many different techniques that can be employed on all sorts of waters.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2011, 10:26 AM
FrankB2's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southeast Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,760
FrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond reputeFrankB2 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Tom has an article about indicators on Orvis's website. I linked here a couple times before, but I'm too lazy to look now. He does use indicators when he feels the circumstances make them advantageous.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2011, 12:13 PM
Hardyreels's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Posts: 11,412
Blog Entries: 69
Hardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Yahoo to Hardyreels Send a message via Skype™ to Hardyreels
Default 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.
__________________
Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,976
silver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond reputesilver creek has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyflycaster View Post
In Tom Rosenbauer's book he describes upstream nymphing this way: He makes a tuck cast then retrieves the tight line at the same speed as the current. He doesn't use an indicator.

Here's my question: Because the water near the bottom of the stream is moving slower than the water on the top, why wouldn't we leave slack in the line and use an indicator? Wouldn't this help prevent the nymph from drifting too fast?

Thanks,

Randy
Short answer yes, but you would miss the strike. You can stop reading now.

It is obvious that for an indicator to instantly register a strike, the leader between the indicator and the nymph must be tight. Like fishing on the surface, a tight leader under the surface also means drag. It cannot be otherwise. Any slack between the indicator and the fly and the indicator will not move until the fish removes that slack. This delays strike detection and gives the fish time to spit the fly.

There is no free lunch.

When the leader is tight, the indicator is dragging the flies downstream. When your guide tells you to mend the indicator upstream, why does the guide tell you that? It is because he wants to remove the downstream drag to allow the nymph to sink a bit deeper. But if a fish takes the fly while the slack is present you will miss the strike.

So you can leave slack between the indicator and the fly to get the fly to sink lower and drift at the speed of the deeper water, but the indicator will not indicate the strike.

One then must ask, if you need to keep slack between the indicator and the fly to get the fly to drift without drag and the indicator can't register the strike, why not fish without an indicator. This is exactly what Rosenbauer is doing.

What the indicator is doing is changing a sensory method of detecting the strike (feeling the fish take the fly) into a visual form of detection (seeing the indicator move). It is essentially changes nymphing into a form of visual fishing like dry fly fishing. Hence it's popularity. It is easier to teach a fisher to pull when the indicator moves than to teach direct line nymphing.

It is apparent that the nymph must be close or at the bottom if the fish are close or at the bottom. When fishing fast water that varies in depth in a single drift as occurs in the Madison River, indicator fishers will drift their flies too high above the deeper bottom transitions.

The water at the surface flows faster than the water near the bottom. Depending on the gradient (slope of the stream) and the bottom structure (smooth, gravely or large rocks) the speed of the water at the bottom is about 1/2 to 2/3 of the surface speed accoring to Gary Borger.

So if you were to simply cast a weighted nymph upstream, the fly would land UP stream of the fly line and leader, and the fly line on the surface would pull the nymph downstream. This would limit how fast the nymph could sink, plus the sinking nymph would be dragged downstream faster then the speed of the water level the nymph was at. So downstream drag would be evident in the drift of the nymph. If the fish are feeding at or near the boom, the time taken for the nymph to sink to the level of the feeding fish has shorten the "effective" length of the actual productive drift.

A tuck cast flips the fly downstream of the leader and fly and the fly is the first thing to hit the water. The section of leader above the fly is floating downstream faster that the fly so this provides a drag free drift allowing the fly to sink as fact as possible. Also the tuck cast actually drives the nymph into the water so this downward force sinks the nymph even faster. The faster the nymph gets to the level of the fish, the longer the "effective drift length.

Retrieving the line and keeping as much line off the water as possible, minimizes the downstream drag on the nymph and allows for strike detection.

See the illustration below from Jason Borger's Nature of Fly Casting. The tuck cast is the solid line.


Click the image to open in full size.



Gary Borger taught me the tuck cast. An important part of the tuck cast is that there has to be enough vertical space under the loop, for the leader and fly to flip over an tuck under so it lands DOWNstream of the leader. If you cast at a downward angle as a normal delivery cast, the flipping leader will hit the water and the the leader and the fly will hit the water before it can tuck.

Notice the forward and slightly upward movement of the rod after the rod stop (F). This is a forward and upward mend that creates more vertical space for the cast to tuck.

So a tuck cast does two things. It gets the flies to the bottom without drag so you get the longest effective drag. You will get a longer effective drift than you would with an indicator. Secondly, when there are water depth variations in drift, the straight line method keeps the fly closer to the bottom than an indicator method. Again this increases the "effective drift", that portion of the drift that is in the zone of the fish.

There are times when indicators are the most effective method, slower flows over even water depth. The speed differential between the bottom and the surface is less. So the indicators do drag the flies downstream but the speed differential is minimized. It is hard to keep the weighted flies moving at the proper speed in slow flows when direct line nymphing.

The second situation is when there is a lot of sunken material like logs and twigs. The nymphs catch on the bottom all the time. Direct line nymphing is a nightmare in these waters - constant snags. So use the indicator to keep the nymphs above the bottom whenever there are snags.

Indicators are an advantage whenever you want to fish at a particular depth than on the bottom. I think the still water fishers use them quite often for this purpose.
__________________
Regards,

Silver



"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2011, 01:11 AM
diamond rush's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 420
diamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to alldiamond rush is a name known to all
Default Re: Upstream Nymphing: Slack or Tight Line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
So you can leave slack between the indicator and the fly to get the fly to sink lower and drift at the speed of the deeper water, but the indicator will not indicate the strike.
On the contrary, if the distance the trout has to travel back to its feeding position is greater than the amount of slack between the nymph and indicator, the indicator will register a delayed strike. If you are constantly aware of the position of your nymph, the indicator, and the best spots for feeding trout, you can have slack and still not miss strikes. It takes practice and experience, but I feel that you're selling indicator fishermen short.

And, you can use the indicator for depth control when your nymph is swept from the riffle into the slack water below it. You get the best of both worlds.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Excellent Slack-Line Casting Video randyflycaster The Fly Cast 4 08-02-2011 11:11 AM
Upstream or down phantomdriver General Discussion 9 03-28-2011 11:43 PM
Tight Line from Brothers in Flyfishing crew brothersinflyfishing Member Introductions 0 01-29-2009 02:53 PM
tight twists in tippet Cleetus The Fly Cast 11 10-27-2008 10:06 AM
Newbie Question about casting in tight spots digitalbiker General Discussion 4 09-09-2007 07:03 PM













All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.