Getting Better at Nymphing

Posted on April 11, 2013 by Jason Reid


“Where have you been?”  A pretty woman asked me.  Standing at the coffee pots in the cafeteria, I looked more homeless than anything else.  Muddied muck boots and blue jeans donning my  brown fishing rasta or drug rug as it is commonly referred as.  Hiding my greasy hair under my black Oakley hat and trying to keep some social distance so as not to reveal the state of my unbrushed  teeth and the smell of fish on my clothes I responded, “I was fishing.”  Still not sure if it was the correct answer or not.  The time was 9:36 am.

Dude, it’s 7 o’clock.  Austin had burst into my room waking me up. We had planned on being on the stream by 6:30 but such are the lives  of collegiate athletes the day after competition. We needed our sleep. Jumping off my top bunk and into my clothes we made a mad dash for our spots on the stream.  Arriving at our first hole at 7:36,  the spot we wanted to start at was taken by human competition, yet this did not deter us one bit. A weather front was moving through causing high winds, it reminded me of an angry train engine. Not the easiest conditions for casting flies but such are our adventures, regardless of conditions.   It takes a whole lot worse to deter us from the streams.   Standing upstream I once again watched Austin command the waters bringing a fish up from the sandy  depths of this section within 2 minutes of wetting a fly.     A grey  F150 sped by us on the road above.

“That was our competition lets go!”  Austin barked.

Pulling back to our favorite hole we knew despite the spot having been fished already with spinners and bait, we were going to dominate with our fly set ups.

One swift jerk of my fly line launched a trout out of the water. Floating a green wennie nymph I’d only felt a light nip on my line but within a second the trout became a flying fish. However because of the force  with which I launched the fish out of the water, it hit the muddy section of the bank becoming unhooked. To my advantage the fish had landed in my sunken boot track filled with dirty water creating an impromptu fish trap. Reactionary thinking caused me to toss my rod on the bank jump back into the mud and take a wild shot at getting my fish by plunging my already frozen hands into the arctic like water. “Not today bub!”  I shouted triumphantly holding the fish up for Austin to see. Erupting with laughter at this spectacle, he followed my performance up with one of his own.


A few weeks ago in a post  I talked a bit about the proper way to fish nymphs.   Feeling for the strike.  By keeping my rod high and line tight was something I’ve never really understood since most of the fly fishing up to this point in my life has been mostly done on big ponds or lakes with poppers and dry flies.   Since with nymphs you do not see the fish strike it is pertinent to be able to feel the fish strike. Something must have finally clicked after fishing with the master for the past year.  My Sage fly rod had become a natural extension of my extended forearm dancing nymphs off the bottom.    After   catching my first fish of the morning I started to really get in a rhythm.  Anticipating the fast  bump of a biting fish became nerve racking as every few minutes another fish was flopping at my feet.  Holding my own with my good friend Austin, who was practically born with a fly rod in his hands, was a signal of the difference a year makes.

Dude you‘re really getting better,” Austin yelled over the wind. “Way  better than you were last year, last year I had to carry your weight.”  Ha! We both laughed, although it was true.  Within an hour and a half we had caught two limits of fish to the major surprise of our friends back at school.

Still unsure if saying if revealing the truth to my whereabouts  was the right answer to the lady  I continued on, “We have ten in the truck for dinner tonight, not even ten o’clock and we already pushed the wild limits.”  I think she smiled.

This native brookie we released unharmed.

This native brookie we released unharmed.

Where Eagles Dare, PWL.