The Mono Rig
The Mono Rig is a hybrid system for fishing nymphs (both tight line and indicator styles), streamers, dry-dropper, wets, and small dries. With 20 pound monofilament as a fly line substitute (and with fly-line-style casting) better control, contact and strike detection are gained with the Mono Rig versus a traditional fly line approach.
The Mono Rig is similar to Euro Nymphing and tight line styles, but it’s a full system for fishing all fly types, with and without indicators, with and without split shot.
There are 200+ articles about the Mono Rig on Troutbitten. Listed below are six primary articles that provide the foundation of the Mono Rig concept. Following those, a full list of all the Mono Rig articles with auxiliary material follows.
Fish hard, friends.
Primary Mono Rig Articles
Tight Line Nymph Rig
Almost twelve years ago, I made some adaptations to my nymph rig that completely changed the game for me, tripling my catch rate and adding a new spark to my passion for fly fishing. Suddenly, a whole new set of techniques and achievements were possible on the water, and I was catching enough fish to feel like it wasn’t just luck anymore — I had some control over the outcome. My casts, my drifts, my fly selection, and (most importantly) my ability to focus and adapt became the reason that I caught fish or I didn’t. I soon realized that the old excuse of “the fish just weren’t on” was usually a cover-up.
The Mono Rig and Why Fly Line Sucks
For presenting nymphs and streamers to river trout, fly line sucks. There, I said it. Now I have to defend it.
Most underwater deliveries require weight, and using a very long, monofilament leader to cast that weight is more efficient than using fly line; it keeps you in better contact with the flies, and you’ll catch more fish. I’m talking about leaders with butt sections of 20 feet or more . . .
Tight Line Nymphing with an Indicator — A Mono Rig Variant
I dislike arbitrary limits. Placing restrictions on tackle and techniques, when they inhibit my ability to adapt to the fishing conditions, makes no sense to me. I’m bound by no set of rules other than my own. And my philosophy is — Do what works. I guess that’s why I’ve grown into this fishing system.
Fly Fishing with Streamers on the Mono Rig — More Control and more Contact
If you’re fishing streamers, you’re already well past the original sin in fly fishing. So, rather than fighting with fly line, use the Mono Rig . . .
Euro Nymphing and the Mono Rig
A breakdown of the terms and tactics of euro nymphing, tight line nymphing, and the Mono Rig. What are the differences? What gear is best?
The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations, with formulas and adjustments
There are at least seven different styles for fishing a Mono Rig. Here are all the adjustments and leader formulas for each method, all in one place.
This is the keystone article of the Mono Rig system.
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.
All the Mono Rig Articles
After hundreds of Troutbitten articles featuring the versatility of the Mono Rig, now there’s a podcast. My friends Josh, Austin, Trevor and Bill join me to discuss how each of us fishes this hybrid rig as a complete fly fishing system, detailing the ultimate flexibility of this amazing tool.
The Troutbitten Mono Rig is a hybrid system for fishing all types of flies: nymphs (both tight line and indicator styles), streamers, dry-dropper, wets, and small dry flies. With twenty pound monofilament as a fly line substitute, better contact, control and strike detection are gained with the Mono Rig versus a traditional fly line approach. And yet, the casting here is still a fly line style cast. Ironically, it takes excellent fly casting skills to efficiently throw a Mono Rig.
The strike is the best part of fishing. It’s what we’re all out there waiting for, or rather, what we’re trying to make happen all day long. And the trout eats because we get so many things right.
We fool a fish, and we fulfill the wish of every angler.
When the fish strikes, we strike back. Short, swift and effective, the hook finds fish flesh. Then we try to keep the trout buttoned and get it to the net.
In the next article, this series concludes with the focus on putting it all together . . .
A simple piece of Dacron, tied in a barrel, is a visible and sensitive addition to your tight line and euro nymphing rig. The versatile Backing Barrel serves as a stand-alone sighter, especially when tied with a one-inch tag. Better yet, it draws your eyes to the colored monofilament of any sighter and enhances visibility threefold. The Backing Barrel adds a third dimension of strike detection, with the Dacron flag just stiff enough to stand away from the line, but just soft enough to twitch upon even the most subtle takes . . .
Choosing a fly rod that’s perfect for the Mono Rig and euro nymphing starts with knowing your goals. How versatile do you want to be?
From the best all-around fly rod that’s ready to handle nymphs, streamers and more on a long leader, to specialized euro nymphing rods and dedicated streamer rods, here are my favorite tools for fishing the Mono Rig . . .
We overweight to lead the flies, and we underweight to track them. But to guide the flies, we must find the middle ground, with enough weight to control the flies against the effects of the current but not so much that the flies cannot be permitted to drift at the will of that same current.
This may sound like a bit of hocus pocus. But in truth, it’s an intuitive process that becomes natural with trial and error . . .
Locate the strike zone, and unlock the mysteries of what’s happening underneath. Know where your nymph is, and stop guessing.
This is everything . . .