Dialing in your Nymph Rig

Some dry fly guys look down their nose at anglers using nymphs, especially if those anglers are employing a strike indicator.  You’ll hear those “dry” guys laughing and calling your indicator a “bobber”. Don’t let it bother you.

When you think about it, you fish a strike indicator in much the same way you fish a dry. You watch the dry carefully. Right? And you mend line, and struggle to get a drag-free drift. Right? Well that’s the correct tactic with an indicator too.

I’m not saying dry flies aren’t more fun; I’m just pointing out that nymphing takes just as much skill, and likely even more. And over the course of a season, a good nymph angler will hook far more fish. Sounds like a deal to me.

Dial in your nymph rig

Dial in your nymph rig

To be a consistent nymph angler, however, you must learn how to dial in your nymph rig. No, proper technique is not just a question of picking the right fly and getting a drag-free drift. You must also get your fly to the right depth. Why? Trout prefer a nymph delivered right at their own level. And it’s up to you to present your fly accordingly.

Case in point. I was fishing a deep run a couple days back; and there was no doubt in my mind, this water held plenty of trout. Yet, I wasn’t hooking up. Gradually, I increased the distance between the indicator and the nymphs, and added a small split shot. After a few more adjustments, I was ocassionally bumping bottom. Finally, I was down where the fish were.

Next, I added a second, much smaller, nymph, on a short piece of 6x off the bend of the point fly. Never a bad idea to give those trout a choice. Bingo, I was dialed in. Caught several nice fish including a 16″ rainbow.  And I had not moved five feet from where I started. Get dialed in!

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