Fly fishing is one of the most widely used and iconic forms of fishing in the world. In fly fishing, nothing is more prominent than nymph fishing. While there are plenty of different fly fishing techniques, nymph fishing is the go-to with many anglers because of its versatility and success ratio. So what are some basic nymph fishing techniques to help a fly fisherman find this success on the water? Let’s talk about them!
The Wet Fly Swing
One of the first techniques is also one of the easiest to learn, and it is called the wet fly swing. This technique is very simple, and it is performed by casting your fly across a current and letting the flow of the water “swing” it down to the fish. This simple technique can be extremely effective during an active insect hatch, or when the water is running really fast.
To perform the wet fly swing, you will need to cast upstream at a 45-degree angler, followed up by a quick mend. As your fly floats downstream, make sure to put tension on the line as the currents on the surface are always faster than on the bottom. After some practice, this technique will become a standard go-to on your fly fishing trips!
Direct Upstream Casting
The next technique is called direct upstream casting. Just like the name implies, you will be casting straight upstream or slightly across and upstream. While performing this technique, you will want to keep your rod tip low and continue to strip your line as the current brings it back to you. If you get a strike, your line will appear to go upstream or tighten. If this happens, be prepared to set the hook!
When using this method, it is best to try and be situated in the same type of current as the water you are fishing. This will prevent you from having to mend any line. The major downside to this technique is that you will be casting over the fish which might spook them. Because of this, it is best used in faster water where the sound will be covered by the water.
Next, we have a technique called high sticking. This technique is used to combat the disadvantage of fishing upstream where the surface current is much faster than the currents underneath. This will cause your line and leader to drift downstream faster than your actual fly. High sticking is used to keep most of the fly line off of the water by holding the tip of your rod as high as possible. Stick with shorter upstream casts, especially in swift, swirling water. High sticking can be a great way to approach finicky fish that scare easily.
As you can see, there are many different techniques when it comes to nymph fishing. If you can practice and master these techniques, you will find a lot more success on your next fishing trip!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.