Tips/Tactics

Resources for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

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January 5, 2017

There’s no doubt we are in the golden age of information — for fly fishing too. Never before has it been so easy to open a browser and click a couple links to learn where the trout are and how to catch more of them.

A third of what I know about fishing came from books, articles and videos. Another third came by sharing the water with really good anglers, and the other third came from fishing hard and thinking about how to improve.

I feel like Troutbitten is a way to pay it forward — to pass on what I’ve learned. But in truth, the process of writing helps me learn just as much as the reader. Writing it all down makes me put things in order; I’m forced to consider my own theories and make decisions about what I really think.

I get a lot of feedback on the technical articles and a lot of questions, which is great. It helps me understand what to write next and what might not come across so clearly.

One thing has become obvious to me — I’ve skipped some steps. A lot of my nymphing articles and stuff about the Mono Rig are predicated on the idea that readers (you) already know the fundamentals of tight line or euro nymphing. I’ve tried to advance past the basics ideas and dig a little deeper. I like to write about things that may not be covered in a 100 level introduction.

But after a lot of feedback (keep it coming) I realize I’ve probably made too many assumptions. A lot of readers say they would benefit from a thorough coverage of the basics.

“The basic fundamentals refined to perfection are your most advanced techniques.”

Joe Humphreys often quotes that message from his mentor and legendary wrestling coach, Bill Koll, and I think it applies to every sport.

At some point I’ll probably back up and write my own introduction to tight line and euro nymphing techniques. To this point I haven’t, simply because there are so many other good resources out there.

Instead, I’ve written a lot about the Mono Rig. It’s a full system for fly fishing without traditional fly line, covering all the bases: tight line nymphing, indicator nymphing with mono, streamers with mono, and even dry flies with mono sometimes. Some of it’s a little different, but it all has firm roots in tight line or euro nymphing tactics. None of the ideas are originally mine. I’ve just grouped them together, and I bring all of them along in my fishing vest.

So it’s time for a collection of resources — time to make a list. From time to time I’ve referenced many of these resources in my writing. I’ve provided links to articles, books and videos that have helped me the most. Now let’s put them in one place.

My list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. These are my favorite and most valuable resources, and I’ve passed many of them on through the years. You’ll notice I include a lot of materials from the same experts — that’s because I’ve connected with guys like George and Devin. Their style and way of thinking aligns well with mine, and they are some of the best communicators of these ideas that I’ve found.

I’d really love to have your help with this. I’ll list my favorite resources, and perhaps you’ll also contribute. If you have a resource for tight line or euro nymphing that has helped you, then leave a comment or drop me a line, and I’ll add it here. Hopefully this list continues to grow through the years, and it helps everybody out.

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My favorite resources for tight line and euro nymphing

Books

  • Dynamic Nymphing by George Daniel — It’s all here. Really. George chose the right word, “Dynamic,” for his approach to nymphing. This is a thorough coverage of not only the tight line and euro nymphing approach, but also adding indicators and adapting rigs. The material runs deep.
Dynamic Nymphing by George Daniel is at TCO Fly Shop
  • Trout Tactics by Joe Humphreys — This is how I learned to fly fish. I still find it remarkable that every time I open it up I learn something. Humphreys’ descriptions of his flat mono or deep running line system was my first exposure to the idea of ditching fly line.

Articles

  • Devin Olsen’s Euro Nymphing 101 Series — An excellent, three part write-up on euro nymphing from the ground up. Typical of Devin’s writing style, there’s a ton of information packed into every paragraph.   Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
  • Blue Quill Angler European Nymphing Methods — Flies, equipment and presentation. A comprehensive look at the history of euro nymphing and the difference between the styles of Polish, Czech, French and Spanish. The styles are all blending together now, but the information here is outstanding.

Videos

Podcasts

Those are my favorite resources for tight line and euro nymphing. What are yours? Leave a comment or drop me a line, and I’ll add them below.

— — — — — —

Readers’ favorite resources for tight line and euro nymphing

Readers’ Favorite Books

Readers’ Favorite Videos

Readers’ Favorite Articles

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

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Dan Hinder

Hey I didn’t see anything on Kelly Galloup…(unless I missed it!) Didn’t know if you have seen his videos on it, both dvds and free youtube stuff!

DH

Mike Bohman

I picked up the DVD “European Nymphing with Jack Dennis and Vladi” from Cabela’s several years ago. Not the best quality video but has some good information… plus you get to learn from the first world champ to use the technique. The first disc goes over the Czech, Polish, Spanish and French nymphing techniques and the second shows how to tie several different patterns used by some of the competitive anglers at the time.

I was once a dyed in the wool suspension/strike indicator nymph fisherman. You couldn’t convince me there was a better way of catching numbers of fish on most trout rivers. After a few years of competing with Fly Fishing Team USA and a lot of comparisons, I’m convinced that European style nymphing is more effective in most water types. This video clip, explains the pros and cons of European vs suspension/strike indicator style nymphing.

Jim Wilkie

First off, I really love and appreciate your work here, Dom. Good stuff all around. I could write a lot about that but that’s for another post. As for fishing experiences and philosophies, mine mirrors yours. Over my lifetime, I have literally ‘waded’ (sorry) into the nymphing, dare I say, mania. So this article really jumped out at me. As to resources, in the beginning, one place that really helped me sort out and understand nymphing rigging, techniques, etc., before I stumbled onto you, was Lively Legz Fishing. They are PA guys too, and have both a website and a… Read more »

Domenick Swentosky
BELLEFONTE, PA

Hi. I'm a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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