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George Daniel: Nymphing Techniques

George Daniel: Nymphing Techniques, Part 1 of 3

“My name is George Daniel I am a two-time national fly fishing champion, former head coach of the US fly fishing team and competitor for Fly Fishing Team USA, and now author of Dynamic Nymphing and a guest lecturer all across the country.

This presentation is called Dynamic Nymphing. The reason why I call it dynamic nymphing is because there’s not just one way of nymph fishing. You can do suspension nymphing and you can use a tight line system. Basically when you fish you surround yourself where you’ve come upon all these different water types so what you need to do is you need to pick the right tool for the given condition.  In this program that you will be seeing it’s about finding the right tool and putting that right tool with a given water condition that you face.

Before I give the video presentation, I always like to give a little hands-on demonstration…. It’s small details that make a big difference in our outcome when we fly fish.  I’ve been with the US team or was with the US team for about seven years, I coached  for one year and I also coached the US youth team for three years, so I got to travel a lot over in Europe. In particular I got to learn from some of the best nymph fishers and fly fishers over in Europe. And one of the key points, especially from the French in particular, is their ability to get a down deep drift using very little weight…. In tight line nymphing as you know, as soon as you make a cast, immediately what you want is you immediately want to move the rod tip downstream, correct? Because people think it’s a tight line system so we have to immediately move the rod tip downstream.  But when you do that what’s going on you are applying pressure or tension on that rig. What’s happened here is that you’re not allowing that nymph to sink fast. Everyone, including myself, is fishing in the wintertime, it’s been cold, your hands are shaking, you pick out this flashy little nymph, maybe just a little brass bead.  You’re standing in the water up to your waist and all of a sudden your hands fumble and you drop that fly. Instead of getting swept all the way the hell down river, that fly drops right to your foot.  Yet at the same time you’re trying to use three or four size one split shot to get that fly down…. The reason why it dropped the bomb as quickly as it did just because there was nothing connected to it and there’s no tension on it. So one of the things I want you to think about when you’re nymphing is creating manageable slack that is allowing your flies using very little weight….”