French and European Nymphing “Making the Switch?”

Brown trout caught while using French Nymphing techniqueWhat about you?  Ever think you might like to try French or European Nymphing fly fishing techniques on your home waters someday?  What do you think brought so many other fishermen to decide to do this?  Some reasons for going that route are extensive and variable.  But a couple of driving factors are they have seen or heard that it’s effective and excels at catching plenty of trout.   Many people contemplate it, but quickly get discouraged and do not  actually even get started.  Others don’t take the time to learn enough of what is involved to even know how to get started.

Have you considered it?  Do you still have questions about whether to test French and European Nymphing fly fishing techniques on your home waters or not?  To help you put things in focus, think about these three points in favor:

  • First,  Casting and Control.  These fly fishing techniques allow you to effectively cast and fish a team of flies much farther from you and fish them with far more control than more traditional nymphing methods.  In traditional nymphing methods the casting is more of an upstream lob or roll cast with heavy weighted flies likely causing a sore arm at the end of the day. Not with the Euro methods, they cast more like a dry fly.  Executing a cast consists of picking your team of nymphs off the water and false casting them back parallel with the river avoiding snags and overhanging limbs such a you would with a dry fly, then catapulting them forward and away from you to the target.  Once the cast is made, immediately the slack is picked up off the water with a few short hand retrievals and the rod is lifted and tilted downstream exposing the coiled or straight sighter (a.k.a indicator) from the water  in a manner that leads the flies through a stretch of water, yet allows them to drift slowly along the bottom.  This is where the good stuff happens!  When the flies have drifted to you, start your false cast and slingshot them forward again into place to repeat the process.  With very little time spent casting and false casting you can really cover some ground with French and European Nymphing techniques. Continue reading
  • Summertime action on the Farmington River!

    The summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the cool flows of the Farmington River. When the weather gets hot and balmy I look forward to the cool air that engulf the riverbank. Whether you find yourself dry fly fishing in a hatch of Sulphur Duns or probing the banks with large terrestrials, there is no doubt that the Farmington River in the midst of summer is a terrific place for any fly angler. Though the dry fly fishing can be great this time of year, a succesful fly angler must realize the importance of fly fishing nymphs to dredge the larger weary fish from their lies. The Farmington River is host to huge populations of Stoneflies and Caddis in many sizes that trout go nuts on during the summer months! Trout can be seen from the banks grubbing and turning stones along the river bottom flashing from side to side as they dislodge rocks and pick off their favorite food items. Many of these trout can be taken by a fly angler that is willing to incorporate a different fly fishing technique into his normal repetoire. No matter what your preference one thing is for certain. The Farmington River is a great place to frolic, bask in the sun and enjoy your summer with family and friends catching some beautiful trout. Good luck out there and hope to see you on the river soon.
    JW

  • Golden Gummy Stonefly Nymph



    Heres a nice little addition to your fly patterns. This fly is “money” on the Farmington and a solid tie for the box of any fly angler. This fly is designed to be very heavy and drift along the bottom, “rolling” in between rocks and boulders where trout lie waiting for food to pass by. That being said you should fish this fly in swift rocky runs and the current seams directly behind them where this insect flourishes. You can fish this with a Czech, Polish, Euro, or any other style of fly fishing nymphs, the key being the weight that keeps this bugger down in the strike zone.

  • Rain, Rain, gone away. Farmington River pick your day they all look nice through the weekend!

    Thank god for cellphones!

    Date:  10/7/10

    Water Flow:  625Cfs

    Visibility:  ok

    Water Temp:   

    Water Condition:  slightly stained 

    Access Point:  Upper TMA

    Hatches (in order of importance):

            AM: Winter/Summer Caddis 20-24 

                   BWO 20-24

                   Rusty Spinners 20-24     

      Midday:  Tan Caddis 18-20

                     Ants and Beetles 12-16

     Evening:  Isonychia 10-12

                         Tan Caddis 18-20

                         Rusty Spinners 20-24     

    Comments:  Water is running high again after the recent rains.  Not many fish have been rising in the early mornings but a few are sipping small Spinners and Winter/Summer Caddis.  I have been fishing down for them with Caddis larvae and Stonefly nymphs until I notice fish visibly rising then grabbing my dry rod and throwing small spinners or W/S Caddis.  Olives are starting to gather on the riffles in the evening.  Not many trout have been coming up for the tiny spinners.  However I have been taking lots of fish on small Pheasantail nymphs down to size 22 imitating small BWO nymphs.  A pattern that has been tearing it up out there for a good couple of months now is Aaron Jasper’s Pineapple Express.  I want to thank Aaron for his great patterns and here is the url to the video of Pineapple Express TPO fly of the Month June 2010.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdrtvM4F6l4

    JW's pineapple

     

    The fly I have pictured here is just a spinnoff of the Pineapple Express that I tie a bit differently.  This fly is mainly a small pheasantail with a rusty, yellowish dubbing mix for a thorax and a hot collar of UTC fire orange thread for the hotspot.  Stonefly 10-14 and Isonychia nymphs 10-12 have been very effective in the high water.  I like French Nymphing these patterns in current seams and along shelf water.  The rain is supposed to stop and with moderate temperatures this weekend you can count on the fishing being good as the water recedes.  Good luck to all out there this weekend.  Hook em up!

    JW

  • Summertime on the Farmington River.

    Date: 7/20/10
    Water Flow: 220 CFS
    Visibility: clear
    Water Temp: 60F a.m.

    Water Condition: low-water

    Access Point: upper TMA

    Hatches (in order of importance): winter/summer caddis 20-22 a.m., Needhami duns 22-24 midmorning, Isonychia 10-14 p.m., midges 22-20 a.m.

    Comments: The winter summer caddis hatch continues to be a spectacle during the a.m. hours. Many fish line up on soft water seams rising to take these tiny Pupae as they row along in the meniscus to the shoreline to finish their emergence on the rocks and logs near the edge of the river. I had one of my best days on the river this past weekend when this hatch came on at 6a.m. and started winding down at 11a.m., we caught trout on everything from foam pupae patterns to french nymphing small winter/summer caddis larvae patterns.

         Needhami Duns are rolling off the water midmorning, their small spinners can drive fisherman nuts. Their small sizes make them very difficult to see on the water. The Duns however can be recognized flying in the air by their long sweeping tails.

         Isonychia have been filling the skies in the evening hours. Trout like these tasty morsels and will move greater distances from their feeding lanes to swipe at this super sized evening hatcher. When these insects start coming off the water in good numbers I prefer to fish a CDC Iso emerger pattern then as darkness sets in I switch off to a larger Iso parachute pattern, which doubles as a big spinner pattern and I fish this into the darkness.

         If you are fishing mid day I would suggest using terrestrials such as small ants, beetles, crickets, and hoppers. For all those fishing nymphs you can’t be beat fishing green caddis larvae 14-18 and Isonychia nymphs 10-14, with golden stone flies 6-12 rounding out the mix. Fishing on the Farmington River has gotten tougher forcing fishermen to take their tippet down to 7 or 8X when fishing smaller hatches such as winter summer caddis pupae and Needhami Spinners.  Good luck on the river. Remember, if you’re fishing into the afternoon hours, bring plenty of water it has been scorching out there on the river after 10a.m.

    JW