CLICK ON THE DIAGRAMS TO ENLARGE AND SEE DETAIL.
Remember, when nyphing, always use plenty of weight to get your fly down and a leader length at least 1½ longer than the depth at which you want to fish. Your strike indicator can help with the depth. This should put you at or near the bottom which is where the fish are and you want your nymph to be. You should always begin with a “dead” drift (no movement of your fly), by mending upstream so your fly will look to float naturally. Mend as often as you need to until you have used up all of your slack line. SEE DIAGRAM ABOVE.
Once you fly reaches the end of the drift, your line will naturally tighten. When this begins to happen, your line will swing downstream and your fly will begin a swing toward the surface in an arc. Allow the line to stay tight and swing directly below you. SEE DIAGRAM LEFT.
Now your fly is just below the surface and directly downstream. Let it hang there for at least 10 seconds. Now the lift--simply lift your rod tip a few inches. This brings the fly closer to the surface and the trout thinks it is emerging. Now allow the rod tip to drop back down for a few seconds more. Now lift again. If you are a purist, rather than lifting the rod, you can slowly strip a few inches and accomplish the same thing. I would encourage you though to avoid the temptation to recast every time your fly reaches the end of a drift and instead try a lift. You will be surprised how many times you will get a strike. SEE DIAGRAM TO THE RIGHT ABOVE. I do this several times at the end of each drift.
PS-I have also found that even if I get a nibble, I can frequently leave the fly in place and lift again drawing another hit. I believe this is because the fish frequently hits “short” and does not get stung by the hook, so they are frequently ready to try again.
Good luck. If you have questions or comments, please post a comment or email me directly.
Tags: St. Joe River - Idaho