Tag Archives: fly fishing tips

Nymphing Subtleties: Part 2

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

In Part 1 of this series, we began looking at using a two-fly set-up where the lead fly is a dry fly of your choice with a dropper to a bead head nymph. We looked at how the types of dries, the dropper length and diameter, and the size and type of bead head influence how deep the nymph will run. In the second part, we will look at how the style of the fly influences the depth and how one can adjust the different variables to consistently tick the bottom. When you get all that right, this can be a very productive style of fishing.

Style of fly. I have found that color and type of fly often doesn’t make a big difference as long as you get the nymph down to the right depth. However, there are days where color or style can be important so don’t be shy about switching nymph styles if the bite is slow. The bigger issue is how fast do you want the nymph to fall and how deep do you need to be to get fish. This is where the style of the nymph plays a huge role. For faster sink rates and deeper water, I prefer using Copper John nymphs. They drop like a rock (especially when you drop your last one accidentally into the water). I use these in deeper or faster water. If you find that you are snagging too much with a Copper John you can either downsize one size or switch to a fly style that has a slower sink rate. For these situations I like Prince and Pheasant Tail nymphs. When I am facing shallower or slower water and I want a slower sink rate, I reach for my Hare’s Ear patterns in various colors. They sink the slowest as the fuzzy body style produces drag that reduces the sink rate. more…

Nymphing Subtleties: Part 1

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

This is a two-part series on nymphing in low water conditions.

A few years ago, Wisconsin changed the opener of the pre-season catch and release season from the first Saturday in March to the first Saturday in January. If you live in the upper Midwest, you know that January is usually when we experience a stretch of sub-zero weather. You may be thinking, is this guy nuts (That’s a separate discussion we can have over a beer or two!)? However, in this case, we were experiencing a heat wave with temperatures approaching freezing and bright sunshine. The radiant energy in the sunshine is enough to minimize the ice in the guides and the reel, so I decided to go fly fishing.

I checked my fishing log to see what I usually use in the early pre-season and proceeded to rig my rod with a float indicator, a #6 bead head olive wooly bugger, and an 18-inch dropper to a bead head silver lightning bug. Within a few casts it became clear this was not a good choice as I was spending most of my time walking through my best spots getting my flies unsnagged from rocks and other debris on the bottom of the river. more…

A Reply to “An Alternative to ‘Water Visibility’

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

In his latest blog post, An Alternative to ‘Water Visibility’, Mike Cline provides an excellent review of many (possibly most) variables fisherman face on the river. It is clear he is a seasoned angler with much experience leading to the insights he shared. Thanks for that work!

Before going on, Mike suggests that generalizing from one stream “can’t really be compared or evaluated.” I disagree with the statement in part. That is like suggesting every time I get to a new river, I can’t apply my learnings from the rivers I have fished previously. Generalizations can be helpful. In fact, Mike’s excellent response has several generalizations. And that is appropriate. Why? Because generalizations are the beginning of learning.

Generalizations come from being observant, they help us formulate patterns. We can try applying the patterns to new situations to see if it translates. Sometimes the patterns don’t translate completely. But frequently they translate at least in part, and in the best situations, they translate almost fully. This allows fisherman to go to new bodies of water (rivers and lakes) and have more success faster. I would surmise that Mike has lots of success as he has formulated his own generalizations he shared in his recent blog. These help him be more successful. more…