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Old 04-20-2014, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

Thanks everyone for the info... basically it sounds like it's just a matter of getting enough weight on the line to get it down (i've typically been using about 3 size-6 split shots and that just hasn't been doing to trick) I've picked up some bigger split shots (couldn't find the twist-on lead where I was shopping, but I'll give those a try in the future)
And it sounds like the other important thing is just keeping the fly line off the water so it doesn't create any drag.
I'm gonna give it a try and use the same patterns that have been catching some fish in the slower moving water!
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

When it comes to fly rods and split shot 'bigger is not better.' Or at least in my experience. Better to add another small as described above.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

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Originally Posted by hubba_3 View Post
Ok so I've spent a lot of time nymphing and that is how I catch almost all of my fish. Most of that nymphing takes place in slower moving water (deep, slow moving pools)... I see guys catching fishing in fast moving deep and shallow water all the time and I just can't seem to figure out the trick. What is the trick? Bigger flies? A lot of weight? I've considered trying out Czech Nymphing, but I've never done it so any help on what you've found to work best would be great! I fish mainly the Provo River so anything specific for that river would be great also!
Thanks

There is no “trick.”

There are two types of skills, mental and physical.

The mental skills are reading water, and knowing how to fish that water. Knowing how to fish includes how to decide what flies to use and how to fish those flies. The physical skills are wading and being able to cast, mend line, and detect the takes.

Entire books are written on the subject. So here’s a basic introduction. First is reading water. Read my FAQ:

http://www.uky.edu/~agrdanny/flyfish/faq/FAQ-5.HTM

Now that you have read my FAQ, did you notice that I deviated from the standard approach to reading water? The standard approach to reading the water is analyzing the hydraulics of the river and the needs of the trout to determine the likely holding areas for fish. It deals with the PHYSICAL characteristics of the river. I added a second part which is reading the food. Different types of water contain different types of aquatic insects.

It is well known that certain water types hold certain types of food. Riffles for example hold the clinging and crawler type of mayfly nymphs and some stoneflies. Faster water with a greater gradient hold stoneflies and clinging mayflies. Rapids/heavy riffles are too fast for crawlers. Slow water hold burrowing mayfly nymphs. Vegetation can hold scuds. Water near the shore or under trees have terrestrials.

What I am saying is that not all water types hold all types of food. You can read the physical characteristics of the river to understand where trout are likely to be, but reading the biological characteristics; the food in that location should be the next step to reading water. If we read the food correctly, we are more likely to be successful.

In my view, reading the water is finding where the fish are at any given time and NOT just the ability to identify the types of riparian architecture. In this definition "reading the water" means the ability to locate fish whatever the season and whatever the situation. Reading the architecture is useless unless it leads to finding fish.

There are times in which the areas of no fish will be filled with fish and vice versa. That knowledge is gained through experience. Fish location can vary with the time of day, water temps, the flow rates, the hatches, whether there is wind or not, whether it is a sunny day, overcast or raining. And so on. When a fisher has that knowledge, he/she can go a spot on the river, have a bite to eat and at the end of the meal, the fish will be feeding.

How does the fisher know that? It is not by knowing what a riffle is vs pocket water. It is by taking everything that affects his prey into consideration.

The third step is reading the approach and presentation. Where is the best location to stand and what cast(s) should be made. This is highly individual and is determined by your own personal wading and casting skills and how you want to fish the water.

As you read the physical nature of the water, simultaneously read the biology (food) which is present, and your possible forms of presentation. If you think only about the narrow definition to reading the water, you would not think of fishing a beetle or ant downstream from overhanging trees.



Breaking down a river:

Click the image to open in full size.

In the photo above, I have labeled an area of “pocket water” in the background behind my left shoulder. Here is a close up if that boulder. Can you identify the multiple potential fishing lies in the photo below?

Click the image to open in full size.








Did you notice that there is actually a submerged boulder “A” in front of the the larger boulder “b”? You can’t see the boulder, but you can see the hump of white water that indicates the position of the boulder. Behind sunken boulder and in front of the larger boulder is a pocket of soft water that I have labeled this as “Run C.”

I saw a fish rising in this exact location. What cast would you use to be able to get a drag free float in his location? Do you have the physical skill to make that cast?

Like the fish in location “C”, Every seam and run in this photo holds fish. But like the fish in location “C,” you need the casting and mending skills to catch fish. Seam “F” is the easiest area to fish. “D” is a bit harder because the fly lands in the slower water “D” but the line falls on the faster flow at “F.” Seam “E” is even harder because the there are now three differential flows that are crossed. So how do you fish location “E?”

Click the image to open in full size.



This is the upper Madison below Quake Lake and across from Slide Inn. The entire volume of the Madison River flows in this river channel. It doesn’t get much faster than this and still be fishable,

Click the image to open in full size.



I am fishing fast water here:

Click the image to open in full size.



Here’s a fish from that water

Click the image to open in full size.



Here is my fishing buddy Gene, hooked up with a fish in this water.

Click the image to open in full size.






Here’s another section of rapids on the Madison. Even in this type of water that looks to be too fast to fish, there is still a “secret river.”

Click the image to open in full size.

Can you spot the water that almost always holds trout and is the easiest to fish?

I have covered the pocket water in these locations. However, there is always a secret river that exists in all steep gradients. You can fish it with a dry fly or nymphs.

This is the easiest water to fish for a newbie and does NOT require heavy nymphs or any special nymphing techniques. Where is this secret river? It is the slower water next to the river bank and it varies in width. Look for the seam between the fast and slow water and fish the water from that seam to the river bank.

Gene with a fish from the secret river caught during our 2013 trip.

Click the image to open in full size.

Read about the Secret River here:

The Secret River
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

Some great info silver, thanks for that and the links
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

So here’s that puzzle again.

Click the image to open in full size.

I saw a fish rising at the arrow and called Gene over to see if he could catch the trout. Gene threw a right reach cast and the fly landed upstream of the rising fish. As the fish came up for the fly, the fast water between Gene and the fish, pulled the fly away.

I then told Gene to make a cast he had never done before and on the second try, he hooked the fish. There are actually two casts that can catch the fish by producing enough slack for the fly to reach the fish. What are the two casts?

The same cast allows an angler to fish in the slot B or on the other side of the A.

Click the image to open in full size.


I showed Gene a Puddle Cast which is often also called a pile cast (I reserve the pile cast for an entirely different cast). In this cast you make a high forward cast with a wide loop. Then you immediately drop the rod tip to the water to "kill" the cast. The leader will collapse in a pile or puddle of slack leader and tippet. Gene combined that with a right reach mend. That created enough slack to catch the fish.

If you need more slack, keep adding mends until you need to follow the line with the rod across your body to the left to extend the drift. That series of casts, and mends will give you the longest drift.

The puddle or pile cast is the best cast when there are conflicting and unpredictable currents such as rises in an eddy or whirlpool.

This is a graphic of the puddle cast. In the graphic, the cast is performed straight which will lay slack along the entire cast, but what we want is most of the slack at the end of the cast. Aiming the cast high over the target and dropping the rod tip piles the line up at the end, especially if you have a wide loop that does not extend fully collapses on itself.

Click the image to open in full size.



Here is a video of the puddle cast in my terminology but called a pile cast on YouTube. To get a puddle at the the very end of the leader, direct the cast more in an upward trajectory and widen the loop. You can also slip some line as the cast unfurls to further “kill” the cast.





Here is a photo of that Gary took of Jason making a combined right reach puddle mend. Jason directs cast upward and then mended the rod to the right and down. The fly land close to the opposite bank for a drag free float.

Click the image to open in full size.


You should note that the “puddle cast” is really a puddle mend. The fly line is mended DOWN after the cast. In the photo above, Jason mended down and to the right.

Unlike the Puddle Mend, the Pile Cast is a true cast. The cast is performed with a full stop and there is no mend after the stop.

The Pile cast is a Tuck cast performed with an air resistant fly and a very limp tippet that cannot "flip" over in a tuck.

The Tuck and Pile casts use the same principle, but are not the "same" cast. In the tuck cast, the fly hits the water first and in the pile cast, the fly hits the water last.

Both casts use an overhead overpowered cast that cause the loop to "flip" over itself. The Tuck is usually used with a Weighted Nymph which drive the nymph down into the water downstream of the falling leader and line. The Pile cast is done with an air resistant Dry Fly using a very limber and longer tippet so it cannot flip the fly over. The leader tries to flip over BUT CANNOT because of the air resistant dry fly which acts like a mini parachute holding back the tippet and leader. So the fly line flips over and the leader and fly flutter down in a pile.

Same casting motion but different results.

Here is the illustration of the two casts from Jason Borger's book. The Tuck is the more solid line than flips completely over. The Pile shows the trailing distal leader and tippet with the trailing air resistant dry fly.

Click the image to open in full size.


When one can perform both casts, there is an advantage to the pile cast over the puddle mend. Because the puddle mend is a high trajectory and depends on gravity to puddle the line/leader it is less accurate than the pile. Any wind or gust can make the puddle useless.

Secondly, I use this cast when casting over a section of fast water to a slot of feeding fish behind or ahead of a rock. On the puddle, the line closest to you falls to the water first and this means the line is being dragged downstream before the fly lands. You get a shorter and less accurate drift with the puddle.

On the pile cast, the leader lands first and before the line so you get the fly on the water before the line hits the water and pulls on the leader.

So use the pile cast when you can.

Why would you not always use the pile?

You cannot use the pile UNLESS the fly is sufficiently air resistant. A second problem is distance. I can make a puddle at a distance that is too far for me to do a pile with my level of skill.

Here is a photo of place where the pile or puddle are the only two casts that will work. The fish are feeding in seam "A" and you need to cast from the bank at "B" across that fast water. This is a different boulder than in the earlier photo. These situations occur all the time on the Madison River, and very few fly fishers can successfully fish them but now you known how it is done.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

silver. Thank you for all the info! read it all and gave me a lot to think about and what I should be looking for to find where the fish will be holding!
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

Silver,

Thanks for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge. Great insights, photos and illustrations!

Do you guys fish the Madison every year? I love that river. My buddies and I are planning on fishing it opening weekend in mid May this year.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

That is awesome info. I wish I had money for private lessons.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

I do fish it every year, usually after the 4th of July rush and before the July 24th, Utah Pioneer Day weekend. Being from Layton, you know how busy that can be.

Late June and early July generally corresponds to the salmon fly hatch so there is a chance to catch the end of that hatch.

The guy in the center gave me private lessons. I'm trying to pass it on.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here he is in his video, Fly Fishing for Trout, showing how to fish fast water. Parts of the Fly Fishing for Trout was shot on the Madison River at $3 Bridge.

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Old 04-23-2014, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing fast water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
I do fish it every year, usually after the 4th of July rush and before the July 24th, Utah Pioneer Day weekend. Being from Layton, you know how busy that can be.

Late June and early July generally corresponds to the salmon fly hatch so there is a chance to catch the end of that hatch.

The guy in the center gave me private lessons. I'm trying to pass it on.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here he is in his video, Fly Fishing for Trout, showing how to fish fast water. Parts of the Fly Fishing for Trout was shot on the Madison River at $3 Bridge.

Fly Fishing For Trout - (6 of 6) - YouTube


I'm at my office today working, and I spent about one full houring looking at his site: Gary Borger

We all come from different places in the world. It's amazing (and wonderful) that the pursuit of happiness through fly fishing can bring so many people together.

Great photo of you and your friends on the banks of the Madison! It's arguably one of the best trout streams in the world.

Cheers,

Matt H.
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