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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Truckee, CA.
    Posts
    2,159
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    I've learned every water is different..
    What works for me, may not work for you.
    So yes.....test.
    Figure it out...
    I can say....you can't rig for the general depth of a stream..
    The fish aren't everywhere.....find the buckets and troughs..rig for the fishier water...
    Forget the rest....for now.
    I show my clients how fast I can adjust my indy
    (15 sec)...then target a bucket. 2-3 drifts...then move...adjust etc.....
    Trying to fish it all without adjusting is lazy...and low percentage....and typical of most of us....
    Even though my water may be bigger than yours, my approach is the same regardless.
    Find'em fish'em.And I think of jigs....as jigalishous.

    Jim
    Ultimately, it's not catching fish that satisfies, but knowing how.

    Bigfly

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anthem, AZ
    Posts
    1,096
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Take this post with a grain of salt, as I'm certainly not an expert fishing indicator rigs, or nymphs rigs in general. However, for a long time I fished rivers and streams with conventional gear using a technique known as bottom bumping (essentially fishing a bait below a heavy weight, which 'bounced' along the bottom), and I did regularly fish indicator rigs for a couple years, since this is the prevalent method for tailwaters in general.

    The short answer to your question is that you're most likely fishing too heavy/too long for the depth and speed of your water.

    What I learned was that, yes, I do want to have contact with the bottom, and yes, I should snag the bottom fairly often, but if my rig was too heavy for the water depth/speed, my rig got hung up too often and I ended up losing a lot of rigs.

    I do think your solution of forgoing the split shot in favor of weighted jighead flies will probably work, but I also think that you could just as easily either shorten the distance between your indicator (if using one) or reduce the total weight of your flies and shot.

    As an example, at Lee's Ferry here in AZ, the average current speed at the walk-in area is between 8000 cfs to 16,000 cfs. We won't get into what to do when the river is running 28,000+ cfs. The average fishing depth is about 3-4 feet. This requires an indicator rig approximately 12-14 ft. long, using at least a couple BB shot along with the two beadhead zebra midge flies.

    This is slightly longer than the accepted leader length guideline of 2.5 to 3 times the water depth, due to the speed of the current. Using trial-and-error, I arrive at my optimum leader length by starting at the 12 ft. length and moving the indicator up or down in 6 inch increments to find the length that touches bottom about every two or three drifts.

    Because of the speed of the current, I always cast upstream at about a 45 degree angle, and my rig should contact the bottom just above perpendicular to the river. From the moment the rig touches down on the water to that point, it usually takes only 5 to 6 seconds, and on a typical 25-30 foot cast (including leader/flies), the indicator travels about 15 ft. before touchdown. If it touches down earlier, I shorten up the leader or remove some weight, otherwise I tend to lose too many rigs. Obviously I do the opposite if it touches down after perpendicular.

    My usual adjustment is to first adjust leader length, and mess with the weights after if required.

    Anyway, like I said, take all of that with a grain of salt, but I hope something in there helps.

    Peace.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  5. Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    I just hired a guide for this weekend for a small stream in North Carolina (Fires Creek). From talking on the phone it sounds like his method is to fish the nymph straight under the indicator, off the bottom. So the length from indicator to nymph is less then the water depth. And then control the speed of the drift by mending. I'll let you know how it goes.

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  7. #14

    Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by madison320 View Post
    I just hired a guide for this weekend for a small stream in North Carolina (Fires Creek). From talking on the phone it sounds like his method is to fish the nymph straight under the indicator, off the bottom. So the length from indicator to nymph is less then the water depth. And then control the speed of the drift by mending. I'll let you know how it goes.
    It must have no current then. Physics doesn't allow your nymph to ride directly under the indicator in any kind of current.

    The 1.5-2x length vs depth rule of thumb is for average flows. A pool will have a different flow than the run that empties into it. Plan on adjusting your indicator depth often.

    Getting hung-up/snagged is a part of nymphing. Getting snagged and loosing a rig doesn't have to be. I've never noticed a difference between jig hooks and normal nymph hooks. That said I tend to adj. weight on my flies (no weight, bead, and bead w/ lead wraps) instead of adding or removing weight on the line.
    Q: How many turns on a whip finish? A: "Enough to cover your mistakes" - AK Best

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  9. Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by ottosmagic13 View Post
    It must have no current then. Physics doesn't allow your nymph to ride directly under the indicator in any kind of current.
    That's true if the indicator is drifting with the current but I think if you slow down the drift of the indicator with a mend, the nymph will ride directly below.

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  11. Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    It seems like I'm able to dislodge with a higher probability a rig that has attached itself to the bottom if I walk upstream and get above the stucked mess. It seems to break off less than just pulling on it from where I was casting. What are others doing?

    ---------- Post added at 10:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by madison320 View Post
    That's true if the indicator is drifting with the current but I think if you slow down the drift of the indicator with a mend, the nymph will ride directly below.
    If the nymph is actually riding along/near the bottom of the river it is going slower than the top/surface of the water column, basic fluid dynamics. Hence the indicator ends up traveling faster than the nymph and can pull it along. If there slack in the line between the indicator and nymph then the indicator should not be pulling it along. This is where the euro nymph'ers say that there method is better, as its indicator system adds must less influence in the nymphs and they can be in touch with the nymph through the drift.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m2kcHrrQGg&t=24s

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  13. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Carmi, S. Ill
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by iracmiller View Post
    Has anyone seen an underwater video of a drifting nymph jig? Although I use some and they seem to snag somewhat less, I'm still not sure if they really drift hook up.
    I often fish with tiny lead-head jig hooks and jig-hook with bead. They do, in fact, ride hook upward when using an indicator - I can see them when I'm fishing slow, clear sections. They can flop over on their side as they bounce the bottom, but they usually go into an obstacle head-first and with the hook up. That head can still get wedged into a crevice and can be a booger to get out. If there is no intervening split shot they are extremely sensitive to strikes, looking at an indicator, even in very slow current. Sometimes, though, they just aren't enough weight to get where you want to be.

    Mark

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  15. Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbr View Post
    Are you drop shotting?

    I know jig hooks are all the rage but if you're running a bobber rig, a depth controlled by your lead shot at the terminal end, not by fly weight is far superior in my opinion. Can be bouncing bottom all day without your flies doing the actual bouncing.
    I fished with a guide last Saturday. He used a typical indicator rig with just one nymph and a split shot about 5 inches up. I caught a lot of stockers and didn't snag, but that was because we only fished a few deep holes that were very clear of debris. The next day I went further upstream to fish for wild trout on my own. I started hanging up like crazy so I switched to a simple drop shot rig. Instead of rigging the nymph off a tag (like on most drop shots) I just tied on an unweighted nymph and left a long tag. Since the nymph is tied to the eye you at least get a little current movement. I then tied an overhand knot in the end of the tag and attached a split shot. That worked really well and I almost never snagged. I caught a bunch of small wild rainbows.

    Also I made up an indicator that I really like. I used one of those small spherical indicators with a hole thru the middle but I didn't use the rubber band to attach it to the line. Instead I threaded it onto the leader surrounded by two rubber bobber stops. The kind that come attached to a piece of wire. The only downside with this indicator is that it's permanently attached to the leader.

    Here's the whole rig, it's light and easy to cast with a 3 wt.

    ------------- 5' tapered leader ---------------indicator---tippet ring-----2' 5x------nymph----8" 5x-----#4 shot

  16. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Madison320 - another way to attach those indicators is to tie a uni-knot of some light thread (flyline backing works well) on the leader, then attach the indicator to a tag end of the uni-knot. The uni-knot can be adjusted up and down the leader and the indicator can be changed as desired.

  17. Default Re: Tired of getting snagged - maybe nymph jig hooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill1948 View Post
    Madison320 - another way to attach those indicators is to tie a uni-knot of some light thread (flyline backing works well) on the leader, then attach the indicator to a tag end of the uni-knot. The uni-knot can be adjusted up and down the leader and the indicator can be changed as desired.
    Does that work on a tapered leader? The problem I get is that the "stopper" gets stretched out when you slide it up to the thicker part of the leader. Then when you slide it back down it doesn't hold. I thought I tested the uni knot with backing but I'm not sure. Actually my rubber bobber stopper started failing on me last weekend for the same reason. I switched to using the WR ball with the rubber band. The only thing I don't like is that it's not "inline", it's off to the side like a thingamabobber. When I have it rigged "inline", where the indicator is threaded on the leader, it handles better and tangles a little less. If someone could invent a really good indicator, they'd make millions.

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