Recently, I was introduced to the not so new style of Euro-Nymphing. It has been around for years. Commonly known as either French-, Polish-, Czech-, or Spanish Style Nymphing, the Europeans have had a way with getting the flies down to where the fish are for decades. Until recently, the US Fly Fishing Team has been on the receiving end of most Fly Fishing Competitions, that is until Lance Egan and Devin Olsen got together and comprised a few theories and applied them to a functioning system and modernized technique. This is what we now know as ‘Euro-Nymphing’. Take away the variable leader length and number of dropper and point flies and we have a more simplified approach.
The Set Up*
Basic set up is a long rod, 10-12′ in length, usually in sizes 2-4 weights, counterbalanced with an oversized large arbor reel. I have found the 4 weight BVK in 10 foot length to be perfect. I have it matched with a BVK I reel, which is plenty large, but you can up-size to the II if you feel the need.
Leader length is where we see the biggest difference. Most of our Midwest leaders run the in the 9′ range with a 12′ leader for spooky or tailwater trout. The Euro set up will more than double that length. Not uncommon to be anywhere from 18-25 feet in length, the leader will serve as your running line, making your fly line choice not as significant. Chameleon Maxima in 20# for the majority of length, 8- 10 feet, for Devin’s rig and then attaching a 3′ section of Suffix Elite, followed by the sighter. The sighter is 18″ of .012-.014 Cortland Bicolor that enables the angler to see the drift and detect any change in the fly. We then use a tippet ring and add 2- 4′ tippet, with 4x to 7x down to the fly. This gets fly down and allows the drift to be more natural with little drag from a surface indicator other than the sighter.
Flies for Nymphing
The benefit of Euro-style nymphing is getting to where the fish are, the flies are integral to the set up. Most are thin profiled with a tungsten or oversized bead head to get to the target zone. Flies you may already know and use, Walt’s Sexy Worm, Egans Red Dart, Surveyor, Rainbow Warrior, and Hare’s Ear all are used, just tweaked a bit. There are a few secret weapons in the video as well.
This should be enough to have your interest. Without giving away everything the video has to offer, I would recommend picking up the video from TACTICAL FLY FISHER on MODERN NYMPHING to improve your next season on the water.