Lately I have been finding messages in my inbox on Instagram regarding euro nymphing. I have had several lengthy conversations with guys/gals regarding my setup and just general ideas regarding this subsurface method of fly fishing. Call it what you want, tight line nymphing, euro nymphing, or Czech nymphing. I want to rename it effective. I was introduced to this way of fly fishing by a friend that had just received a Midnight Special 10’ 3wt. I was incredibly reluctant to try it. I despised nymphing, indicators or as I like to call them “fancy bobbers,” split shot, and I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t see the fish take the fly. I also had never caught a trout on a nymph at that point in my life. Dry fly or die... you get the point. I hated nymphing but I was a fool.
I remember watching my friend consistently getting into fish subsurface while I was getting skunked throwing elk hair caddis with my lucky glass rod. A couple weeks went by and finally I caved. I would rather be catching something than blind casting a dry at nothing rising I thought. I ordered up my Moonshine Midnight 10’ 3wt and started to do some research on how to set up a leader. Once I got everything, I set up a simple rig and headed out not knowing what to think. The first day out was not the day I hoped for but I did manage a few fish. It did however, really increase my curiosity. That night I ordered a couple books by George Daniel and Devin Olson. I watched what seemed like a million YouTube videos over the next couple weeks. I started tying nymphs and experimenting with some really interesting patterns. My addiction was starting...
Fast forward a year. Today I don’t leave my house without an Epiphany 2wt or 3wt. Yes I own both and can’t imagine going fishing without them. I have tried 4-5 different leader set ups, switched reels to find perfect balance and even switched over to using a mono set up. My rigs are pretty dialed. Something clicked in my head during the year I spent really learning to fish subsurface. I had days where I was getting such high numbers of trout landed that you wouldn’t believe me if I wrote it down. It was pretty fun bragging about the numbers at first but now it is about something different. Now I am consistently getting larger fish than I ever did throwing dry flies. This for me is what fuels my addiction to euro nymphing. I feel that the majority of the time I go out I am able to get into at least a couple decent trout that can put a nice bend in my rod. What’s also fun has been introducing people to this way of fly fishing. I recently converted my brother, who like myself at one time was all about watching a fish take a dry. One trip to the West Branch of the Delaware, a simply set up Epiphany 2wt and three really decent trout was all it took to bring him over!
For those of you who are trying to figure out what you need, keep it simple. There is no better time to try out euro nymphing than now. Rods are very easy to find and at affordable prices, I have tried many brands out to see all the subtle differences. The Moonshine Epiphany series rods have been my favorite thus far, for what you get you just can’t beat them. I just recommend you try and balance these long rods out with a reel that has enough weight to it. There is so much information available online for free that I found to be incredibly informative and useful. I highly recommend the book Dynamic Nymphing to anyone looking to get into it.
I fish with a lot of guys now that euro nymph and we always are finding new tactics and ways to improve. It has been super fun but it has also given me a new appreciation for when I do go out to find that rising trout. I feel I have become better at reading water and knowing where to find a trout within it. There is still nothing that beats watching a big fish sip your dry fly from the surface... except maybe feeling a freight train sized brown tug on your line subsurface!
Hit me up on Instagram @lbrasseur if you wanna shoot the breeze or if you've got any thoughts or questions on nymphing!