Video: Euro Nymphing vs Indicator Nymphing

Here’s the third excerpt from the video, “Modern Nymphing” from Utah fishing guide, fly tier, and filmmaker Gilbert Rowley. Many folks may still be unclear on what separates modern tightline nymphing techniques from the standard indicator methods. In this short video, competition anglers Devin Olsen and Lance Egan explain how each system fishes differently and what the pros and cons of each are. Devin argues, fairly convincingly, that European style nymphing is more effective in most water types. What do you think?

Click here to learn how to tie Lance and Devin’s favorite rigs and Click here to learn more or to buy the video.

7 thoughts on “Video: Euro Nymphing vs Indicator Nymphing”

  1. In the late 60’s I spent many a pleasant hour on the water with Aspen angler, Chuck Fothergill and mutual friend, Georges Odier. Chuck was perfecting a method for deep nymphing Lefty Kreh would later describe as Chuck’s “outrigger” technique. We typically used very long leaders (especially for the time) ranging from around 14′-20′. In Chuck’s chapter on “Advanced Nymphing” in Migel and Wright’s 1979 book, Master’s on the Nymph, Chuck offers, “A brief but definitive description of this nymphing technique might be the, ‘upstream, dead-drift, tight-line, high rod, weighted-nymph technique'”. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it.

  2. The title of this video is misleading. It is not about Euro nymphing versus Indicator nymphing – it is about Euro versus suspension nymphing. If a small piece of e.g. wool is used as an indicator there is virtually no suspension of the fly, and no suspender splash down as seen when using that float.

  3. I’ve been fishing for trout for almost forty five years, exclusively fly fishing for the last thirty. I also tie my own flies and tie a lot of euro style flies. I am a firm believer if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I mainly fish nymph/ wet fly(emerger) rigs of two and three flies. I catch 95% of my fish this way. I use braided butt leaders . With three flies, my tippet is around seven feet. As I have begun to weight most of my nymphs, I rarely use split shot anymore. I use a strike indicator which is very light, sometimes foam stick ons. When I cast, my point fly is around nine to ten feet from the indicator. I live and fish in Pennsylvania, on both freestone and limestone streams. On most of these streams, matching the hatch is important. I have tried the euro style nymphing with my nine foot , 4 wt. rods incorporating a three foot section of sighter material between my tippet and the braided butt section. I have caught fish, even caught wild fish on a small nationally known limestone. However, I do find my method overall more rewarding. I am able to cover more water and it is a much easier transition to a dry fly when fish are rising. The last two weekends, my friend, an excellent fly fisher who has been doing it longer than I, and I fished a limestone stream which holds both wild and stocked trout. The stream averages about thirty feet in width. He used a complete euro rig while I used my four weight. With both of us fishing the same section, I out fished him almost three to one. When a sulphur hatch came off, he was at a big disadvantage trying to fish dries. I think it comes down to where you fish and how you fish. I have come across a lot of other fly fishers who only fish dries or streamers. They find nymphing too difficult. At my age, I’m not going to invest in a euro style rod and set up. What I do works for me. If the euro style works for you, fine. I’ve always been a “think outside the box” guy. There are no absolutes in fly fishing.

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