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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    SW Arkansas
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    341

    Default Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    Hello. I've been experimenting here and there with tight-line nymph fishing for basically stocked trout in tailwaters for some time. I'm trying to see if I can figure out a set-up that will allow me to play with tight-lining while allowing me to switch to a soft hackle or to dry-dropper, all without changing my setup drastically.

    I have a BVK 10' 4 wt I sort of just ended up with a few seasons ago that I play with tight-lining (euro-nymphing?) some. So far I keep Rio Gold on the reel. When I want to tight-line I put on a 20 ft (french-nymphing?) leader I purchased from Blue Quill Angler. I basically short line or Czech nymph with this. The long leader prevents sagging. I wish I could cast the thing, but I can't, really. I don't know if my skill is lacking or the action of the BVK is too fast, but basically all I know to do with it is swing my set up around like a cat toy and slam it back on the water (exaggerating some, but not a lot). This actually works fine for close-up nymphing, I catch fish, but it limits my options. but I would dearly love to be able to cast about 20-25 feet reasonably with either my nymph set up or, say, a dry-dropper or a soft-hackle that I switch to when the fish start rising in the column.

    So I'm looking over at "Tactical Fly Fisher" (online sales) at Cortland Competition Nymph Line and also their European Nymphing Leader. The Nymphing Leader is 20 ft. This is similar to what I use now. It's main function, at least where I'm concerned, is to keep the sagging line out of the guides when short-lining. I'm presuming that the idea with the specialized nymphing line is that it's lightweight enough that one can use a shorter leader, perhaps just a sighter and tippet off the end of the line, or something. What I'm basically wondering before I try either of these out, is am I likely to be able to fly-cast either of these arrangements a little? Am I doomed in this way because my BVK 10' 4wt is too fast to cast these, or I can't cast well enough, so I might as well just go with 20' of Maxima Chameleon and content myself with just keeping the setup under my rod tip all the time?

    Does anyone have any answers? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Truckee, CA.
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    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    I guess I would say....all good questions.....
    My take on this style is it is deadly, but limited in it's appeal.
    Lob, lob, lob all day long. Your rod is fine for either style...
    I have found no satisfying way to switch back and forth, without switching lines out.
    I tried looping in a short section of 9wt switch line, to reduce sag, but wasn't happy.
    Carrying a second rod is the best way to switch quickly between dry and nymph set-up.
    I know that the french use a thirty footer....but......
    Honestly, since we mostly fish under our tip rather than across the stream, I use a 12-15ft leader.
    After you master the shorter leader, go big.
    It is a great way to fish this high water time.
    The fish are close by.......

    Jim

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SW Arkansas
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    341

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    Thanks, Jim! I've also found the tight-line method to be very productive, but oddly limited, as in you can only fish this one way while rigged up this way. Oh, yeah, my BVK rod will cast just fine once I switch leaders. I was just wondering if some have figured out a set-up that gives just a little more versatility.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    I've tried the Rio nymphing line and the Cortland competition line and found them limited, as others have said.

    I fish two or three flies, in various combinarions, all the time. And I cast them. Here's how.

    On the Cortland competition rod, #3, 10.5 feet, I use a WF4 line and I can't tell you which one. A WF3 works but not as well.

    Starting with a nine-foot commercial leader tapered to 3X, I cut off most of the 3X section, which leaves about seven feet of leader.

    Then I build the leader back up, using Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon line. I've tried others and this works the best, plus it's easy to carry around.

    I use Vanish in 2 lb. to 8 lb., depending on the size of the flies I'm going to use.

    I tie the droppers off surgeon's knots a la Davy Wotton.

    By the time I'm done I have about a leader between 11-14 feet.

    I can cast this arrangement with all but the heaviest flies, and it stilll works for the Euro controlled lob.

    I'm deliberately not giving precise instructions for this leader because a) it changes all the time and b) what works for me probably won't work the same for someone else.

    You'll just have to fiddle around with it.

    Like this:

    Sometimes I use a furled leader and a stretch of mono to get the thing started. Then fluoro as needed.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    If you have the right rod (hanak are great) you can fish with a 9m French leader and switch between dry and nymph without changing rods/leader set up.

    I don't know the US branded euro nymphing rods, all I can say is I'm not aware of many people using them over here, whereas the normal rod ranges are obviously very popular. If I was buying a rod purely to fish Euro nymph style I'd buy a Euro developed one.

    The right rod will cast a 9m French leader set up fine, mine does.

    But, obviously it won't cope if there is any wind as you need the weight of the nymph to push through the wind.

    But on a calm day, if you need the ultimate in gentle dry presentation it works a treat.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SW Arkansas
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    341

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    Thanks, Gents! Another fellow elsewhere has told me that he's been able to cast a 10' 4wt BVK with a French leader added just fine. It's all a matter of timing, says he. I did end up ordering the leader from Tactical Fly Fisher. I just want to be able to cast a little, to be able to change from the nymph rig to a soft hackle and swing it, for example. I guess I'll see how it goes and report back!

  10. #7

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    Hey jonbo
    It just takes a bit of practice, I haven't fished much that way but have practiced the casting a fair bit (most of my rivers don't favour it or it's too windy!).... you'll find the technique easy enough.. as there is no flyline out you just need to be very smooth, crisp, not over power and the timing has to be bang on as you haven't got the weight of the fly line to regenerate 'line' speed if you are early or late on the strokes.

  11. Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    I purchased Steve Parrotts dvd's on czech nymphing.
    He advocates "lobbing" flies and not casting them.He doesnt cast in those dvd's.
    I have a sage esn 2wt 10ft (old model).I also cannot cast the damn leader so ive been getting tension on the fly and throwing it.
    My biggest issue is detecting changes/movement in the sighter.I find this difficult.Im used to watching a strike indicator on the surface but for me i miss strikes watching the sighter.
    How do you guys do it?

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SW Arkansas
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    341

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I'm starting to get the message that casting the "french leader" is possible if you get the timing just so. I'll have to work on it. I guess "lobbing" might be a word for what I've been doing. A better description would be swinging my set-up around like a cat toy and slamming it back in the water at a random spot. Oddly, it still catches fish. It's just a little less than satisfying. I just want a speck of range (20 feet maybe?!) and accuracy (Like into the pocket I'm aiming at that would be hard to wade to). Is that too much to ask?!

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Euro-nymph/tight-line set up question

    I have the Corland Euro rod and I fish everything on it without switching lines. Even heavy streamers. That rod will handle it all so long as you don't smack the streamer and break the tip.

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