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Long Vs. Short Line Nymphing (10 of 14)

Video Transcript:

Now that you know about rigging nymphs and some basic presentation, it's time to learn more about how to present them. Fishing with an indicator is sometimes called long line nymphing, and it's the best way when you can't get close to the fish. But if you can, it's always better to cast as close to the fish as you can without spooking them. This is called high sticking.

One way to fish nymphs is with what's called short line nymphing, and it's done very close to you. It's done almost under your rod tip. You want the fly line to stay out of the water if possible. Use heavily weighted flies and/or some weight on your leader. You lob them upstream, and you just follow the nymphs down through the current, like this.

You can high stick nymphs with or without an indicator. If you do it with an indicator, it's sometimes easier, especially when you've got the wind blowing like we do today. It's very difficult to see that leader twitching because you've got the wind blowing your leader downstream, so sometimes a strike indicator helps a lot.

There you just keep the line above your strike indicator and just follow the strike indicator down through the current. Strikes and high stick nymphing are going to be fairly subtle. You'll just see that leader just twitch upstream or tighten, and it's either bottom or a fish, so the minute you see that leader dart a little bit or move a little bit or do something that looks wrong, or doesn't look like the other casts, set the hook quickly.

There are times when you won't be able to high stick nymphs. High stick nymphing is really effective because you have that dead drift right in front of you. It's really easy to follow the flies down through the current seam. But when you have to cast longer to get across a piece of water like this, then you have to cast your indicator upstream and across or across or a little bit downstream but make a quick mend right after the indicator hits.

As your indicator goes down through the current, sometimes you're going to have to mend once, twice, even three times. Try not to move the indicator when you mend. Just flip enough line to get that line upstream of the indicator. Toward the end of your drift, just before drag sets in, you can also release some slack line to make that indicator float even further downstream dead drift. Just have some extra line in your hand, some slack line, and flip that slack line into the current.