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 50+ 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 auxilary 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
Classic upstream nymphing feels a lot like fishing dry flies. The challenge of making precision casts is there; it can be employed at extra distance if necessary, and it’s most often performed with tight loops and light flies than don’t change the cast.
While pure tight line nymphing is performed with no line on the water, classic upstream nymphing does the opposite.
Then there’s the induced take and floating the sighter . . .
Extra thin leaders can be a great tool for the tight line nymphing angler. Sag, power, sensitivity, accuracy, and versatility. These are the elements to consider.
Here’s an in-depth look at some nymphing challenges and how extra thin leaders meet or miss the objectives . . .
In collaboration with Wilds Media, the long-awaited Troutbitten video series featuring Streamers on the Mono Rig begins today.
Episode One is an overview of the tactics and an exploration of what is possible when fishing streamers with tight line tactics. The video also covers the Troutbitten Mono Rig and the functions of its three main components.
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 . . .
After the nymph falls into position, we want it to spend some time there. But if we constantly set at the end of the fall, the nymph never has the chance to drift, and the trout don’t get an opportunity to eat on anything but the drop.
A good drift should follow the drop. The free fall and the drift are a successful pair. And they work best together . . .
Accuracy. It’s an elementary casting principle, but it’s the hardest thing to deliver. Wild trout are unforgiving. So the errant cast that lands ten inches to the right of a shade line passes without interest. As river anglers, our task is a complicated one, because we must be accurate not only with the fly to the target, but also with the tippet. Wherever the leader lands, the fly follows. Accuracy holds a complexity that is not for the faint of heart. But here’s one tip that guarantees immediate improvement right away.