The Lift and Lead is a cornerstone concept for advanced tight line nymphing skills.
Most euro nymphing or tight line studies seem to ignore the lift, focusing only on the concept of leading the flies downstream. For certain, the lift and lead is an advanced tactic. But if you’re having success on a tight line for a few seasons now, you’re probably already incorporating some of this without knowing it. And by considering both elements, by being deliberate with each part of the lift and lead, control over the course of your flies increases. The path is more predictable. And more trout eat the fly . . .
No matter what we’re into, there’s a time when the learning of skills reaches a critical mass, when it’s time to do rather than read more about it and buy more gear. . . .There’s a time for learning. There’s time for preparation. And then there’s time for doing — for putting all of it into practice, making the casts, covering water and catching fish . . .
Sure, looking around once in while and studying the river will improve your catch rate; you’ll build knowledge about a trout stream by just watching, there’s no doubt. But breathing deep and relaxing into the beauty of a trout stream (and they’re all beautiful) is good for the soul too.
Control. Options. Precision. These are the most attractive aspects of fishing a tight line system, and the sighter is the key to it all.
A sighter is more than a strike indicator. It also shows depth, angle, speed and contact. It points to our flies and takes away the guesswork. For an angler who learns to read all of this on the sighter, that colored line above the water provides a most significant advantage to the underwater game . . .
It’s easy to understand how tying flies makes you a better angler. And many fly fishermen take their passion for the river directly over to the vise. With that passion follows artistry. And for that kind of artist, what is wound around wire and bound to a hook comes with beauty . . . or there is no point.
One of the best tyers I’ve ever known would tie a dozen of the same fly and keep only two or three, stripping the rest with a razor blade to the bare hook. Why? He said he only fished the ones that had a soul . . .
When I start wondering why the fishing seems slow, I first check my distance. Have I started creeping the cast too far beyond that perfect baseline? If so, I reel in a couple turns. I wade closer, staying behind the trout and being cautious with my approach.