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The Nine Essential Skills for Tight Line and Euro Nymphing

Here’s an overview of the essential skills for tight line and euro nymphing. A good grasp and facility for these techniques prepares an angler for all the variations available on a tight line.

These skills are best learned in order, as none of them can be performed without the ones that precede it. So too, these are the steps taken in a single cast and drift, from beginning to end . . .

The Fundamental Mistake of Tight Line and Euro Nymphing Anglers

The critical tight liner’s skills must be learned up close before they can ever be performed at distance. There are no shortcuts.

Your next time out with a tight line, be mindful of your casting distance. Stay within two rod lengths and find a rhythm. If you feel like you have to fish further away, then you’re in the wrong water. Relocate, get close, and perfect your short game. Even for advanced anglers who can stick the landing at thirty-five feet, if the action is slow, fishing short is almost always the best solution. Get back to the basics and refine them . . .

Why You May Not Need the Crutch of 6X and Smaller Tippets

I’m not suggesting that 6X and lighter tippets are always a crutch. But they certainly can be. Extra-thin tippets are an easy way to solve a tough problem — getting a good dead drift. But sometimes, choosing a harder path makes all the difference — because you might learn more.

. . . How and why in the article . . .

They Don’t Have to Eat It to Learn to Reject It

You’ve probably heard this a lot: “These trout have been caught on that fly before, so they won’t take it.”

Or this: “Once trout are caught on a fly a few times, they learn that it’s a fake.

But trout don’t have to be caught on a fly to learn that it isn’t real. In fact, just seeing one bad drift after another is enough to put trout off of a particular pattern . . .

Never Blame the Fish

When everything you expect to work produces nothing, don’t blame the fish. Think more. Try harder.

When your good drifts still leave the net empty, then don’t settle for good. Make things perfect. Never blame the fish . . .

How It Started

There was a small shop attached to the house where he tied flies and built fly rods. Everything was a mystery as I opened the screen door, but I recognize the smell of cedar once I walked in. I knew nothing about leaders, tippets, tapers or nymphs. I just knew I wanted to fish dry flies . . .

Dry flies and flotation — Building in some buoyancy and preserving it

Buoyancy is all about trapped air. It’s what keeps an eight-hundred foot cargo carrier afloat at sea, and it’s what floats a #24 Trico Spinner. With just enough trapped air to overcome the weight of the hook and material, the fly floats on the surface and resist being pulled underneath and drowned. It’s simple.

Regarding this buoyancy, we must consider two things: the materials of a fly (what actually traps and holds the air), and a way to preserve the material’s ability to hold air (waterproofing).

Let’s tackle both . . .

Super Fly — The Story of a Squirmy Wormy

Occasionally (rarely) something comes along that makes trout go a little crazy. Why? Who the hell knows. But it trips some trigger in trout that makes them move further and eat more than they do for just about anything else. In my life there’ve been only four of these super flies.

In dark bars and seedy internet gatherings, I keep my ear to the ground for rumors of the next super fly. Because those who find one can’t keep a secret for long. And I want to be in on the next fly from the ground up again. I want long months of virgin trout that lust for something original yet familiar, the right mix of bold but non-threatening, curiously edible and irresistible. I want to fish another super fly . . .

Troutbitten Standard Sighter

$8.00

Out of stock

** NOTE ** Two-hundred Troutbitten leaders sold out within the first fifteen hours. So I underestimated demand.  : -)  I sincerely appreciate the interest and support. We’ll tie more leaders. And please check back soon.

— — — — — —

This is the Standard Troutbitten Sighter tied with 12 lb Red Amnesia (.012”) and 10 lb Gold Stren (.011”). It is 24” long and includes high quality, black 1.5 mm tippet rings on both ends. This sighter features a Backing Barrel with a tag, for amazing visibility and another dimension of sensitivity to the sighter.

This sighter is designed to be stiffer than most. The materials carry more power than standard bi-color tippet materials, so the sighter pushes more. It casts better and more accurately. It’s a versatile solution for the angler who uses tight line, euro or mono rigs as a hybrid fly fishing system. This is a great sighter for fishing dry dropper, tight line to the indicator style or streamers. It functions well for pure tight lining, and can be used as a bridge sighter, easily adding bi-color material to the top of the tippet section as an extension while fishing lighter nymphs with less line sag.

Learn more at the following Troutbitten articles:

Is a Soft Sighter Best? Not Always
Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig
Beyond Euro Nymphing
Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — It’s Casting, Not lobbing
Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Thicker Leaders Cast More Like Fly Line

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #34 — Outside the Box

Good things happen by thinking outside the box. Norms are for normal people, and in the strange world of fishing, there aren’t many of those. At some point, every type of fly has been used against its intended purpose, because fly fishers are a creative bunch -- not...

Two Ways to Splat a Terrestrial Dry Fly and Follow It With a Dead Drift

Should you splat a terrestrial dry fly? Sure. Why not take advantage of the sometimes-irresistible attraction of a fly smacking the water? On the best days, trout seem poised to jump on anything that plops on the water’s surface. Ants, beetles, hoppers and even...

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #10 — Mend Less

Many fly anglers are entertained and enamored with the fly line itself. They make loops and curls that hang and fall, watching the line swing and glide through the air. Drawing those shapes and curves is artistic, but it doesn’t do much for good fishing. More than one...

One Great Nymphing Trick

Whether tight lining, nymphing with an indicator or fishing dry-dropper, the most critical element for getting a good dead drift is to lead the nymph through one single current seam. Remember, the nymph is always being pulled along by a fishing line. Even on the best...

Mid-Season Form

** Note ** This story is from December of 2017, just before the best wintry stuff really got started last year. Sawyer isn't afraid of the cold. He’s like a polar bear in waders — doesn’t even wear gloves on his paws. And I don’t get guys like this. I don’t understand...

The Big Score | Meet the Bad Hombre

Spring fishing in Montana. It's unpredictable and sometimes impossible once the runoff starts, but there are always places. It was a risky time to schedule a family fishing trip, but that’s what he did. With mugs of steaming coffee and a cargo area damp with fishing...

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