I remember when I first started out fly fishing there are many methods we can use to catch fish. “Euro style nymphing” was one method that appealed to me. I was just starting to venture out river fishing and I had no idea what I was doing. I was playing a guessing game.
I’d go to the river, fish for hours and not catch a thing but leaves and trees. coming home and spend hours and hours scouring the internet on what I was doing wrong. low and behold I was doing it wrong, the length of my leader, no indicator, wrong choice of flies, bad casting. the list is endless. so, if you’re a beginner just like I was, I hope this blog will give you some form of indication or tips on what you can do to improve your river fishing.
Firstly, a little info on euro nymphing or French nymphing, what its also known as. is basically a method that allows an angler to utilise the use of nymphs, mostly jig nymphs. and presenting them with little to no drag all this made possible by using a very long tapered leader.
How Do I Set Up?
when I’m out using this method I use Hends Camou French Leader . the rod I use is a 10ft 4wt. the reason for this is the longer rod will aid presenting the flies and not having to stretch to get them where they need to be! at the end of the leader you’ll need an indicator. there are many to choose from but I find the ones that work for me are the Sybai Nymph Strike Indicator. they come in fluorescent orange, yellow and pink so depending on what you can see on the water this will help you detect when them fish take your fly.
when I’ve set my rod up with the tapered leader and indicator I usually opt to use a team of two jig style flies. using these flies will minimalize the chances of you hooking onto the bottom of the river. from the indicator ill use around 4ft of fluorocarbon tippet to the first fly, then to the point fly a further 2ft of fluorocarbon. the flies I would choose would have to be my favorite jig pattern at the minute which is a Purple Majestic, partnered with a CDC red tag nymph. both proven fish catchers!
Fishing The Leader
this is a method where your fishing upstream. casting the flies up, lifting the indicator out of the water so you can see it and keeping in touch with your flies and tracking back with your rod. don’t be tempted to cast as soon as the flies come level with you, let them go behind you, not only will you be making sure you’ll be coving the most amount of water possible, but you’ll also find casting your flies back upstream will be made easier. Looking at the water you should be looking to get your flies in the foam lines, on the outside seam, in the middle and the inside seam. the reason for this is because this is where the food will be! when your fishing the flies you’ll feel the flies bobbing off the bottom of the river. when you see the indicator stop it means one of two things. a fish, or the river bed. if in doubt STRIKE!
I hope that this gave some insight to beginners looking to get into river fishing! for an great advanced two part series on euro nymping From the brilliant YouTube Channel of Andy Buckley and Ieva Breiteryte. check the links out below!