Nymph selection resource needed

gptx

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I am new to euro nymphing and fly fishing in general but loving it and starting to get the hang of it.

Can anyone recommend a book, or some resource that shows what nymph, or dry fly for that matter, to represent each particular nymph/fly? For instance, what nymphs or dries should be fished to imitate mayflies, caddis, midges, stonefly, etc.? I thought it would be easy to find this info. on the internet but surprisingly I am having a difficult time finding more than or or two flies for each.

Also, a resource for what types of water conditions to fish with each of those flies. I would think a nymph for fast moving water might not perform as well in slow moving water. And maybe a midge is to be fished in faster currents but not slow? I just don't know the answers to these and hoping to find some good guidance on it. Any help appreciated!
 

silver creek

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The major aquatic insects are mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies, and midges. I have spent 45 years pursuing them. When there are other aquatic river insects like Alder Flies, Dobson Flies, and lake insects like damselflies and dragonflies.

You are not going to find an all encompassing book to that discusses all of them in the detail that you require which is what kind of water type they are found in and what fly pattern to use for each stage and how to fish that pattern at each stage.

For example, Caucci and Nastasi's Hatches II is the book for mayflies but it does not cover all the species. Similarly Caddisflies by Gary LaFountaine and Modern Midges by Takahashi and Hubka can't cover everything.

Troutnut.com will give you a start.

I suggest a beginner's book like Dave Whitlock's Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods to give you the big picture before you try reading about specific insects.

Aslo make a sampling net to gather the trout food on your local waters.

https://www.theflyfishingforum.com/...g-fly-size-to-nymph-size.901523/#post-1548295
 
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jwbowen

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Euro nymphing, I found that beadhead weight is just as important as the pattern selection. You can
buy hundreds of nymphs and not get the beadhead right and you wont find your
catch rate increase much. I found it easy to get caught up in the "flash" of a
new nymph and forgot the equally important beadhead weight. Etsy has a couple
of sellers that have assortment of nymphs with different patterns and beads to
get you started. You can of course just add weight with BB's or soft weight.

Just my experience. I am sure others with more knowledge will chime in.
 
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bigjim5589

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GPTX, Silver's comments and advice are always right on the money. IMO, you would be better off, finding specific information for the specific waters that you fish. That type of information may not be available in a fly fishing book, but various colleges or universities in the state, or the state Dept. of Natural Resources may have studies of insects in those waters, or in the general geographic area. However, that may still leave you with little or no fly patterns, based on the information.

In that case, if you're tying flies, you'll have to make your own, or perhaps go to a commercial tyer to have the proper imitations tied.

If there are any fly shops close to where you're fishing, perhaps they'll have local patterns.

The fact is, there have been many volumes of books written about these topics and many more could be written and still not cover it all. That's why some folks tie their own flies, and it's done based on their own observations and study.

I can also agree with JWBowen too, just because you have the fly pattern, that doesn't mean it will necessarily fish well, as weight is another variable that should be considered, and if that's not possible, as in buying flies not custom tied for you, then you have to make whatever adjustments are necessary, and no one here can tell you what that may entail. That can even change from one day to the next and as you've already mentioned even on different sections of the same waters.

What you're asking, it takes most folks a lifetime to learn, and it really has to be based on the specific waters.
 

gptx

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Thanks for the great responses everyone! And thanks for the videos silver creek, those are great!!!

In my new to nymph/fly fishing mind I thought my question was just a simple one. But with all the answers, I see now how extremely in depth it can get!

Whew, I have some learning to do!
 

gptx

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I like "Nymphs for streams an Stillwater" by Dave Hughes
Thank you!!! I just took a look at that book which just so happened to be available for free on my Amazon Kindle free trial. It is exactly the general type of information I am looking for! Looks like a great one I'll probably go ahead and buy.
 

Lamarsh

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I am new to euro nymphing and fly fishing in general but loving it and starting to get the hang of it.

Can anyone recommend a book, or some resource that shows what nymph, or dry fly for that matter, to represent each particular nymph/fly? For instance, what nymphs or dries should be fished to imitate mayflies, caddis, midges, stonefly, etc.? I thought it would be easy to find this info. on the internet but surprisingly I am having a difficult time finding more than or or two flies for each.

Also, a resource for what types of water conditions to fish with each of those flies. I would think a nymph for fast moving water might not perform as well in slow moving water. And maybe a midge is to be fished in faster currents but not slow? I just don't know the answers to these and hoping to find some good guidance on it. Any help appreciated!
To answer your question directly as it relates to a good resource to learn how to learn what nymphs and dries match certain bugs, a good quick book that is inexpensive, short and easy to digest is The Bug Book. A really good not so cheap book that is long and hard to digest is Selective Trout.

To answer your question indirectly, but I think more effectively, when euro nymphing don't worry so much about imitation. The focus should be on weight, profile and size. Pick 3-4 patterns and tie or buy them in 3 weights. Good books for this are either of George Daniels books or Devin Olsen's book Tactical Fly Fishing. You can also check out Lance Egan and Devin Olsen's online stuff. All great resources.
 

DustyGrass

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I would like to point out that with euro-nymphing, the emphasis is more on technique than fly selection. Spanish, French, and Italian competition anglers fish very generic flies to highly pressured fish and they usually lay waste to the competition. Do a web search on French and Spanish competition flies, and you will be unimpressed with what they look like.

I am a big believer that if you get a small pheasant tail or walts worm right in front of a fishes face, and the fish isn't aware of your presence, it will take it 90% of the time.

As a beginner, I'd stock your box with pheasant tail type flies with and without hot spots, and walts worms with and without hot spots. Then focus on technique and stealth. I think a lot of beginners get lost in being obsessed with "matching the hatch" when it comes to nymphs.

However, it is still worth it, and enriches your experience, to learn about aquatic insects and hatches. All of the books recommended previously are great. But you can have good technique and catch fish anywhere on a size 16 walts worm while everyone else fusses with fly size, color, and split shot.
 

johan851

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I would like to point out that with euro-nymphing, the emphasis is more on technique than fly selection. Spanish, French, and Italian competition anglers fish very generic flies to highly pressured fish and they usually lay waste to the competition. Do a web search on French and Spanish competition flies, and you will be unimpressed with what they look like.

I am a big believer that if you get a small pheasant tail or walts worm right in front of a fishes face, and the fish isn't aware of your presence, it will take it 90% of the time.

As a beginner, I'd stock your box with pheasant tail type flies with and without hot spots, and walts worms with and without hot spots. Then focus on technique and stealth. I think a lot of beginners get lost in being obsessed with "matching the hatch" when it comes to nymphs.

However, it is still worth it, and enriches your experience, to learn about aquatic insects and hatches. All of the books recommended previously are great. But you can have good technique and catch fish anywhere on a size 16 walts worm while everyone else fusses with fly size, color, and split shot.
This is the approach I've been taking to nymphing. I agree I need better formal knowledge here, but for tying purposes I'm starting with a solid core of basic patterns and making tweaks from there.

As a nice visual resource, I've found this list inspiring: https://troutbitten.com/2019/09/29/troutbitten-confidence-flies-seventeen-nymphs/
 
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