Making and Storing a Euro-nymph Leader: I mentioned awhile ago, that I purchased a 10-foot Scott Radian 4-weight fly rod, to use mainly for euro-nymphing. And along with it, I’ve been making and storing euro-nymph leaders to suit this angling adventure.
At the moment, my basic euro-nymph leader is 18′ long. The butt section is 11′ of 16lb test mono, next comes a 2′ “sighter”, followed by 5′ of 5x tippet. Years back when I first tried euro-nymphing, I made my “sighter” from green and red Sunset Amnesia. Nowadays there is a better choice – Cortland Indicator Mono. This special mono comes in a 20′ length at .013 thickness and is neon yellow and red. It stands out vividly even in the noon day sun. Helpful that. After all the “sighter” is there to help you visually track the tippet’s progress downstream. You need to see it well.
Although the “sighter” sits between the butt section and the tippet, I did not connect the two directly. Instead, using cinch knots, I attached a tippet ring to both ends of the “sighter”. (Size 3.1mm) And then knotted the butt and the tippet to those rings. How come? Think about it. The “sighter” is .013″ (0x) and a 5x tippet might be .006″. Its too large a diameter difference to jump. Using rings also makes it easier to change tippets in the field. And you can remove the “sighter” from one leader and move to another without shortening it. All good things, but here’s a tip. Be careful to draw down the knot between the “sight” and the ring. (a drop of glue wouldn’t hurt) Otherwise it may slip later.
Occasionally on the stream, I find myself wanting to shift from euro-nymphing to a dry fly. That is best done by removing the 18-foot leader and replacing it with a traditional 9-foot one. The question becomes how to store that 18-foot leader for later use. My solution is to wind the long leader onto an empty Maxima tippet spool. Put a rubber band around it and drop the spool in my vest pocket. This is a handy solution in the field.
Droppers: When euro-nymphing, the bottom fly does 90% of the business. Still a dropper fly can be helpful. Here’s one way to attach it. Cut the 5′ tippet about 2′ down from the “sighter”. Then make a surgeons knot to the remaining 3′ of tippet. Be sure to leave one tag end of the knot long enough to add a second fly.
But I’ve got another idea in mind. I’m going to try cutting the tippet 2′ down and add another tippet ring. (Size 2.5mm) Obviously the remaining 3′ of tippet material needs to be connected to the ring as well. Now I can tie a short piece of mono to the ring too. This will hold the dropper fly. (It looks like a 3-way rig at this point.) I’m guessing this will be stronger than attaching a dropper off a surgeons knot. And it will be easier to replace if broken. We’ll find out.