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  • Euro Nymphing

    Monday, July 9, I did a one-day guide trip with Evan Unti, who works for Deschutes Angler fly shop in Maupin. The purpose was to learn more about the Euro nymphing style of trout fishing. Here are a few salient points for those who are curious.

    --First, Euro nymphing is NOT Czech nymphing, nor is it high stick nymphing.
    --I fished from 10 am to 4:30 pm on a hot, sunny day that was not very productive for those using other tactics. But I caught a lot fish, despite being a newbie to this style of fishing.
    --Euro nymphing requires a special leader, special flies, special fly line, and a special rod that protects the 6X or 7X tippet. You can't do this with traditional rod, line, leader, and flies. The point of all the special gear is to get your fly down to a fishy level as fast as possible and to maintain direct contact with the fly.
    --With all that special gear, you also need special casting and presentation skills. You can't do it the traditional way!
    --Part of the leader is a two-tone "sighter" that helps you maintain the right depth. It is NOT an indicator! It is just a visual aid for proper presentation.
    --When Euro nymphing, you maintain direct contact with the fly, so you instantly feel the take--like when you're swinging a fly or retrieving a streamer. For many anglers that is part of the appeal, especially compared to indicator nymphing where you are separated from the fish.
    --I used a 2 weight Echo Shadow II rod, which is designed for this style of fishing. I caught fish up to 16 inches, many of which were very feisty, yet I never once broke the 6X tippet.
    --Deschutes trout less surface-oriented than they used to be. And they weren't very surface-oriented before! This may be due to food-chain changes or more ospreys or . . . whatever. But Euro nymphing seems to be an excellent way to approach them under the current conditions.
    --If you're interested in finding out more, get the Devin Olsen video (http://www.tacticalflyfisher.com/books-dvds/), search on YouTube, take a seminar from a fly shop, or (best) hire a guide like Evan so you can try before you buy.

    I may eventually decide that Euro nymphing is not for me. But right now I'm intrigued enough to buy the gear and invest the time to learn how to use it.
    aka Scott Richmond

  • #2
    Hey Scott... How often was the fly line outside the tip top when fishing? I've tried it with my normal 9ft rod, but with the special leader and flies and had some success but recently got a 4wt Echo Shadow II rod to give it a better try. I did not opt for the special fly line though, thinking those 20+ foot leaders would suffice....

    Thanks,
    Coleman

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    • #3
      --Euro nymphing requires a special leader, special flies, special fly line, and a special rod that protects the 6X or 7X tippet.
      This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to just tie on a big musky fly with 60lb flouro and never re-rig all day long. The amount of specialization and rerigging and flies needed for trout fishing has been a turn off lately.

      It may not be exactly high sticking or Czech nymphing but the methods have a lot of similarities. I'm not convinced I need a specialty rod to do this and am not convinced I need to go 6x or 7x on the D unless it's teeny dry flies in technical currents.

      BUT...if a friend or someone near me is crushing them while I am getting skunked, I can be converted into a believer pretty quick!

      How long is your 2wt and how deep were you fishing on average?

      What kinds of water did you target?

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      • #4
        No, if it doesn't require a special reel and special waders and boots, I'm not going to bother.

        Kidding aside, nice post.

        - JR

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        • #5
          FWIW, at the recent North America Flyfishing tournament on the Upper D, that is all they did - Euronymphing with 12' + rods, special long leaders (for tournament, cannot be longer than 2x rod length) - they apparently caught fish by the bucket load.

          cheers

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          • #6
            Sounds cool, but I'm with Chin on this one....D Angler has really been pushin the euro nymphin thing lately, and that's awesome, but i'm more of a generalist when it comes to nymphin....I tie my own leaders and depending on the water, I use an indo, or I take it off and high stick.......I like one setup to be able to be flexible for different water......is my setup as sensetive as a dialed "euro" setup? Prolly not......but I'm convinced it's mostly about the weight....Tungsten putty is now one of those items that I'll never be without on the river....again, maybe not quite as sensetive as all the weight in the flies....but works for me....being able to micro adjust my weight quickly is key.

            gotta know your setup too....no matter what you use, know what it's capabe of....sounds obvious, but the more you do it, dial it, and then keep it consistent, more it'll work for you.

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            • #7
              Scott, can you expand on Euro != czech nypmhing? I always thought Euro was the catch all for czech, Spanish, French, etc.

              Pigs, I'm with you on this one. My new rule is to take however much weight I think I need, and double it.
              Support the Deschutes River Alliance: Cooler, cleaner H2O for the lower Deschutes River

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              • #8
                Not a Dig at you at all Uncle Fuzzy! But it really is ridiculous how much gear we amass for catching fish.

                I have this idea for a short film called the Willow Stick Project where I fish a long whippy willow stick for a year and see how many fish I can catch.

                Comment


                • pigs
                  pigs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would definately try it out to see how effective it is......each technique is just another arrow in the quiver......I'm just a bit leery of buying all new specialized equipment.....and don't you tie the same pattern at a bunch of different weights? Keeping that all straight seems like a lot of work....if you saw my fly boxes you'd understand.

              • #9
                Originally posted by Mr. Chin View Post
                I have this idea for a short film called the Willow Stick Project where I fish a long whippy willow stick for a year and see how many fish I can catch.
                Old school Tenkara, no?

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                • coleman
                  coleman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  isn't that redundant?

              • #10
                I'm doing it with NO specialized equipment. The key is to have the rod and reel balance. I use a 10ft. Z-axis 6 weight. My leader is made from maxim 20, 12, sighter then tippet. You catch so many fish that you go back to the old ways. You get bored with catching fish. Give it a shot.

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                • #11
                  Don't forget tippet rings--they are a must have for rigging and re-rigging if needed. Also, slinkies or marabou jigs work super good for your tool fly.

                  Comment


                  • PhilR
                    PhilR commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm fond of old spark plugs

                  • pigs
                    pigs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I use a davy knot for big to tippet currently, but I think I'm gonna try tippet rings, especially for 5x and smaller.

                • #12
                  Darn you Fuzzy! This thread, along with multiple other sources has me lookin at Euro stuff....sometimes the wheels get to turnin, and it usually means I'm spending $$

                  Reds fly shop out of Yakima has some great YouTube videos....I have George Daniels book Dynamic Nymphing, which is a great resource as well.

                  I have fallen in love with Echo fly rods over the last several years, so of course I'm lookin at the Shadow II.....don't tell my wife.

                  As for leaders, there's a million different configurations.....I'm leaning towards starting with Maxima chameleon 20# to 15# like 18 feet to an amnesia sighter, tippet ring, then 4 or 5x fluoro.....I guess I better start tying a pile of tungsten frenchies too.

                  The other thing that got me thinkin about all this is the stealthy ninja type aspect, and how it translates to a certain spring creek that is known as "a beautiful place to get skunked." On the 4th of July I high sticked thru a nice high sticky spot and hooked prolly more fish (nothing big) in a short period of time than I ever have on that river.....hmmmm

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                  • #13
                    Interesting thread. All these descriptions for various nymphing methods. Too confusing for an old guy. I love the Deschutes and started fishing it in 1985. Used an indicator for awhile. After about a year, for some reason I took it off. Went with a 6weight 12foot spey, floating line and a long leader of 2X too bring fish to hand quickly and however split shot were required to nick the bottom. Used a tight line in close and long casts with stack mends to fish the middle of the river. Don't know how to categorize the way I nymph but I have always been satisfied with the number of fish caught.

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                    • #14
                      To understand the logic of Euro nymphing tackle and tactics, you need to start at the bottom--the river bottom--and work up.

                      --Current speed. At the bottom, the current is 2-4 times slower than at the surface. Trout spend most of their time there because it's less work. Also, much of their food is drifting near the bottom.

                      --Flies. To reach these bottom-hugging trout, you need flies that sink quickly and stay near the bottom. A small, thin fly with an out-sized tungsten beadhead does this better than a large, heavily weighted fly.

                      --Tippet.To keep this fly on the bottom, you need to minimize drag from the tippet, hence a six foot 6X or 7X straight tippet. In most situations, the tippet is the only part of the leader that is below the surface.

                      --Tippet ring. The tippet is significantly thinner than the rest of the leader. A tippet ring allows you to attach the tippet without a bulky knot. Also, when you tie on a new tippet, you don't have to clip back any of the rest of the leader.

                      --Sighter. The sighter is a visual aid for maintaining your flies at a consistent depth and speed.

                      --Leader. The rest of the leader--above the sighter--is for casting.

                      --Line. A very thin line is used to minimize sag, which would pull your flies out of their natural drift. The line and leader have almost no stretch so you can maintain direct contact with the flies.

                      --Rod. You need a specialized rod to protect that fragile tippet and cast a light-weight rig with a 20 foot leader.

                      The goals are to get your flies deep as fast as possible, let them move at a consistent speed and without unnatural drag, and to maintain direct contact so you can instantly detect a grab. The tackle and tactics make sense once you understand the goals.
                      aka Scott Richmond

                      Comment


                      • pigs
                        pigs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Smaller flies with over-sized tungsten beads.....simple, yet genius.

                      • PhilR
                        PhilR commented
                        Editing a comment
                        And a dropper tag on the bottom for split shot.

                      • pigs
                        pigs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I have done the drop shot before, and it worked for sure...... I think this style you typically fish a jig style point fly at the bottom, with a smaller fly on a tag up higher.....the heavy point at bottom keeps you in touch with the whole setup

                    • #15
                      I'm having fun learning about this stuff.....this article has been particularly helpful for me, as the author breaks things down in a common sense way.....Trout bitten in fact does a whole series of articles on this realm of fly fishing
                      A breakdown of the confusing terms and tactics of euro nymphing, tightlining, and the Mono Rig. What are the significant differences between these styles?

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