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
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
Too heavy, clumsy casting and tangles. None of this is true. Drop shot on a tight line is a finesse approach when set up right and fished well.
This article covers strike detection, feel, frequency of bottom contact, weight mistakes, lazy fishing, casting errors and more.
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 . . .
Fly distance restrictions unnecessarily limit the common angler from taking full advantage of tight line systems. If you choose to fish under FIPS rules, do so by choice, with your eyes wide open and for good reason. Take a fresh look at why you are choosing your flies, your leaders, your fly rods and your tactics. And be sure that you’ve thought through both the benefits and the consequences inherent.
For effective, convincing underwater presentations of flies to a trout, the tight line advantage is the cornerstone concept. Nothing else is more important.
Because a river is composed of changing and moving seams, defeating that unwanted drag is the nymph angler’s ongoing battle. How do we defeat that drag? With the tight line advantage. Watch this video to see it in action.
Presenting natural, convincing or looks-like-real-food drifts is the responsibility of every angler. Whether the flies are light or heavy, whether we’re drifting weighted flies, drop shot or split shot, it’s our ability to adjust, to refine and endlessly improve that keeps us wading into a river anew with each trip.
It’s why we love the nymphing game . . .
Fishing a full Mono Rig system allows for abundant versatility — but not without the line hand. You have two hands, so use them both. Get that second hand off your hip, and use it for slack recovery, opening up a range of options, adjustments and efficiencies.