Fishing with nymphs is certainly the most difficult, but also the most interesting dry fly fishing technique. It is additionally adapted to the wide rivers with clear water, where it is easy to spot and catch fish, which are feeding on the water insects!

Nymphs can be made heavier in different ways, with the help of the lead wire which needs to be wound around the hook shank, or with brass, tin or tungsten* balls.

This technique was developed at the end of the 19th century by G.E.M. Skues, an englishman who, by casting the fly upstream and changing its shape and size, advanced the wet fly fishing.
First weighted nymphs for fishing in deep waters appeared fifty years later, thanks to another englishman Franck Sawyer. His Pheasant Tail quickly gained fame throughout the world, and is still the superb tying technique.

As their name implies, nymphs imitate insects in nymph or larvae phase, as well as other natural prey of trout and grayling, such as worms, water snails, leeches, river crabs. All the artistry of this fishing technique lies in the fact that you let the nymph be carried by the water current in the most natural manner possible, so that it moves in the main current of the feeding stream, which will inevitably take it straight to the fish.

According to the feeding activity of the desired fish, you should serve the nymph at different depths, right above the bottom, between the two water levels or below the surface. Althoug nymph fishing is possible all year long, the best results are achieved during the summer months, when low and clear waters enable us to spot the fish easier.



Some entomology…

As with all the other artificial flies, the choice of the right nymph depends on the type of the insect which fish feed on at the moment of fishing. Although there is a large number of insects which nymphs can imitate, most belong in one of the three main insect families: insects with a 24-hour life span or Ephemeridae, caddis or Trichoptera and stoneflies or Plectopera.
These insects are imitated in all of their three developmental stages, that of the larvae, cocoon and nymph. The most important thing is that their imitations suit their sizes.

Insects with a 24 hour life span commonly called mayflies, have a small head with a pair of eyes, while their thorax is made up of several segments, and its ending depends on the kind, with two to three tail extensions. Regarding the nymph sizes, it is desirable to have as large as selections as possible, from number 18 to number 10, even number 8 for large Ephemera Danica. Natural colours have a wide pallet of nuances, from cream coloures to brown, from light green to olive green, from grey to black.

Caddis with sheath, are most frequently imitated with weighted nymphs, so as to enable their movement near the bottom of the floor, where the fish find them naturally. For cocoon imitation, most frequently is used synthetic or natural dubbing. For tying the nymph caddis, the most appropriate are hooks with a long shank, number 8-14. Colour spectrum is very wide, with many variations.

Stoneflies are in many ways similar to the 24 hour insects. The main difference is seen in the head, which is wider in stoneflies, and in the existence of the wing wrap and only two tail threads. Nymphs which imitate them are usually weighted, and are tied to the hooks number 10 to 18. Regarding the colours, brown and greenish olive nuances are most frequent.


Presented models: mayfly nymphs -Pheasant Tail and March Brown; caddis nymphs - Caddis Larva and Hare's Ear Golhhead sedge; stoneflies nymphs - Brown Turkey Stonefly and Large Stonefly Nymphs.

Tackle and action

A rod with half bending and tip action, somewhat longer, from 8-9 feet, for better control of nymph swimming action, is most suitable for this type of fishing. It is used with a Weight Forward lines* number 4 or 5. In most cases it is floating, but in some cases when you need to fish in very large depths, it can be useful to have a floating model with a sinking tip.

Leader plays an important role in nymph fishing. Its length and diameter, which have a great effect on the nymph presentation, depend also on the fishing pressure, the depth of the fishing location, water clarity, speed of the water current, weather conditions (good or poor lighting). They are generally rather long, from 4-5 meters.

Their tip is also thinner and longer than in other flyfishing tecniques: 1-2 meters in diameter from 0,10 mm to 0,14 mm. For those who make their own leaders, we advise the usage of stiff monofilament line for the upper part of the thicker diameter, without memory, of Maxim type, while for more sophispticated diameters is better the soft monofilament line such as Quartz- Mitchell.


Leader: 30 cm of 0,50 mm line + 40 cm of 0,40 mm line + 50 cm of 0,30 mm line + 60 cm of 0,25 mm line + 60 cm of 0,20 mm line + 60 cm of 0,16 mm line + 1,30 m of 0,14 mm line for the tip.

Fishing action and hooking

When you see the trout or the grayling you want to fish, do not fix your eye on the nymph as is the case with the dry fly, but look to the trout. Perfect knowledge of its feeding behaviour is often the key to success. You are never wasting your time by simply observing it ten minutes before going into action. On the contrary, such an analyses can help us determine the feeding main river current, the insects the trout feeds on and the way it catches them, from what side, at what depth… Once you go into action, continue to observe the fish carefully.

Fishing action which actually takes place when the nymph comes close to the fish, serves to attract its attention. It is necessary to imitate the behaviour of a nymph which swims faster or slower.
At what moment do you need to hook? There is another difficutly in nymph fishing. Rare swimming action or hits reveal the bite. Many times this is only a barely noticeable fish movement, one lifting or lowing down, mouth which are opening and showing the white inside… In any case, you need to immedeately go into the counteraction.


With this fishing technique, discretion is of extreme importance. The angler needs to walk softly, because even the slightest vibration is the sign of failure. Whether to fish upstream or downstream depends on the specific moment conditions. The angler needs to know how to adapt to every location and every fish, how to solve difficulties of approach, search for the suitable cast, frequently change the angle of attack, continually seek the best possible nymph presentation, as well as the most suitable leader…



Remonter   * tungsten: or volfram, a metal heavier than lead, very resistable, available in the shape of a wire or a plate which needs to be cut into threads.
* Weight Forward Lines (WF) : are most frequently used flyfishing lines, they have a thicker tip because the entire weight is concetrated in the first few meters, while the rest is of the same diameter, they enable precise casting even during windy weather.

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