How to Fly Fish Nymphs: Techniques and Tips

How to Fly Fish Nymphs Techniques and Tips

If you’re fishing for trout and haven’t tried nymph’s, you should do. Trout do most of their feeding underwater, so it makes sense to use wet flies and nymphs.

In this article, I cover some useful tips for beginners, some techniques to make sure you’re fly fishing the right way, and some demonstrations of how effective nymph fly fishing can be.

What Is Nymph Fishing?

Nymph fishing uses an underwater attractant, opposed to the more commonly used dry flies that sit on the surface or just below.

The nymphs resemble winged insects like the mayfly in their larval state, which is appealing to trout as around 70% of their diet comprises of this type of food.

There are some differences in the way you set up your line, cast, and fish compared to traditional fly fishing so there is some learning involved but it’s not difficult.

I’ve outlined some tips below to help explain the differences when fishing with nymphs, along with some videos demonstrating the techniques.

How to Fly Fish Nymphs: Techniques and Tips

Maintain Focus at All Times

If you’ve been fishing for any length of time I’m sure you know what happens the moment you take your eye off the bait.

A tip for beginners and seasoned fishermen and women, don’t talk about the one that got away keep an eye on the fly at all times.

Strike Quickly and Efficiently

Practice makes perfect, we’ve all heard this being said and it’s no truer than when nymph fishing.

You can still fly fish with nymphs if you’re timing and reactions are slowing down, I’m not saying it’s a young man’s game – but be prepared for better results the more you work on your speed.

If you’re keeping your eye on the fly as the last point, be prepared to make a swift strike the moment you see a twitch.

Practice the Soft Touch

Striking quickly doesn’t mean with force, you need to practice using a light touch to have the best possible control over your lure.

You want light flicking motions, not hard yanking motions. This is something you’ll have to learn in person to fully appreciate the difference.

Keep the Slack Reeled In

You just need a little slack in your fly line. Enough to pull at and have a little raise on the tip of the rod.

Cast without throwing too much slack out otherwise you’ll use your time winding in the slack and not setting the hook.

Strike First Ask Questions Later

If you see a sign that there may be a bite, strike. You can always cast again, and it’s better than missing a catch.

It will end up being a false alarm some of the time, that’s just fishing. Keep practicing your swing and keep casting.

Try Different Water Depths and Spots

Don’t judge a fishing spot by the water surface. Trout swim in all kinds of water and varying depths. Often the most ideal looking spot isn’t where they are going to be.

So cast out in shallow water sometimes, or at the foot or a creek and see if there are takers for your nymph.

How to Fly Fish Nymphs or Nymphing

How to Rig Your Fly Rod to Fish Nymphs

If you want some tips on nymph fishing rigs this video best explains it:

Feel free to drop me a note below if you have any question about nymph fishing or want to share any of your own tips and experiences!

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