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Nymph Fly Fishing
Methods And Techniques
For the Fly Fisherman

Eugene Macri

Nymph fly fishing has many methods. Because nymphs can be the Nymph at www.nymphfly.infogreatest threat to the trout fly anglers have developed a number of methods. Here are just a few of them and how I rate them in terms of success:

  • Upstream Nymphing: High Rod Short Line: This is one of the deadliest methods of nymph fishing. However, it requires a lot of skill and patience. Furthermore, since you are usually fishing close to the trout you must be stealthy. There are many variations of this we eventually discuss all of them.
  • Quartering Upstream and Across: Another good method and highly effective especially during hatches because the fly angler can impart motion to the fly and trout will often follow drifting flies and take the fly as it rises before the turn downstream.
  • Three-quartering down stream: Like the old wet fly method works well some days on some streams. On some streams however, it will spook the fish.
  • Straight downstream with a retrieve: Often works when stoneflies are active.
  • Upstream with a mended line curl. This method causes the fly to swing on the bottom and it's sometime effective when nothing else works.

Important Points When Nymph Fishing

Ephemera mayfly nymph from

There are other methods including different types of rigs from tandems to old fashion droppers. Amongst these methods includes multiple tandems with dry flies, wets, nymphs, and streamers. Nymph fly fishing has been refined over the years but the basic system still remains the same. The most important points in fishing nymphs are as follows:

  1. Don't spook the fish. Yes, I know this seems like everyone knows this but just watch people fish. They think a magic fly will over ride all their splashy wading, poor castings, poor understanding of the stream. Dress properly with drab clothing. If I can see you from 100 meters away so can the trout!
  2. Keep as much line off the water as possible.
  3. Get the nymphs to the right depth
  4. Use the proper size, pattern and leader for the environment you are fishing in. This is another point that many fly anglers don't get. Why are using 6x tippet with a size 8 Stonefly Nymph?  Don't laugh anglers do it all of the time.
  5. Use the proper length rod. Long rods will give more control and hooking ability.
  6. Have the right action rod for the type of nymph fishing you are doing. For example, if your fishing a larger water you want probably a rather stiff rod. If you are on small spring creek using smaller flies too stiff a rod will snap your tippets and cause other problems.
  7. Have a working knowledge of the insects in the stream on what they look like and how they behave.
  8. Have a working knowledge of trout behavior in taking nymphs.
  9. Practice the mental imagery of the take in your mind so that you don't hestiate on the strike.
  10. Understand that different materials in the tying of nymphs gives different results.
  11. You must have the ability to properly cast your fly or rig accurately. This is of prime importance on spring creeks and for selective trout.

 If you are not well versed in the fundamentals no matter which fly and technique you use you will have limited success.  New rods, leaders, and magic flies will not make up for your inadequices in nymph fishing.





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