Master Class Monday: Tight-Line Nymphing for Beginners


Tight-line or “Euro” nymphing is a very effective way to catch trout when fly fishing, and it works when other methods are not effective, like when trout are in deep water and not feeding aggressively. Dave Jensen shows how he utilizes this nymphing method, and explains how a beginner can quickly learn how to catch those trout that seem to be glued to the bottom.

Watch for further installments of Master Class Monday every week here at Orvis News, in the Advanced Tactics playlist our You Tube Channel, and on the new Advanced section of our Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center.

7 thoughts on “Master Class Monday: Tight-Line Nymphing for Beginners”

    1. I fish a 5 weight and I fish a tenkara rod. I L O V E using the tenkara rod for tightline nymphing. I’m guessing you will too if you give it a shot.

    2. He is not saying Don’t watch it. Just make it small so that you do not rely on it as much as you would when fishing with a larger indicator. The idea is to wean off using the indicator and developing the feel through the line for strikes or more often slight pausing in line movement since the fish often lightly sip a nymph.

      The idea is that trout don’t bang a nymph like they do a surface bug or streamer so to pick up on the subtle “take and taste” of the fish on your line you should be feeling it. By the time a fish bobs the indicator on the surface it has probably already spit out your nymph on the other end of the line.

  1. SO very useful. I’ve read a lot of the books on tight lining but it can quickly become very complicated. This is a very easy video to understand and hopefully the technique will produce some good results! I would imagine you can make up various tippet rigs of different depths and flies as well to bring with you on the river to save time?

  2. As much as I love the Jensen’s videos I have to say to Dave’s technique isn’t the best. In my opinion, tight ligne nymphing action can be broken down in 3 distinct phases;

    1. Cast and align your line with the impact of your nymph so there’s no delay between the fish takes your nymph and the sighter’s movement/feel of the strike. Some very active fish can take your fly very high in the water column, so it’s primordial to be in contact with your flies as soon as possible. I understand Dave is giving his line some slack for his flies to reach the bottom, but with a proper tuck cast, they’ll get down there.

    2. Your flies are drifting at the bottom and you’ll target active to semi-active fish. That’s what Dave is doing on the video.

    3. At the end of the drift, slowly raise your rod tip, or give it a good shake. It can trigger some inactive fish because it imitates an insect emerging or simply awaken their curiosity.

    Just repeat this process as your prospect upstream and you’ll target super active, semi-active and inactive fish in the same drift.

    I personally don’t use a fly line tight line when nymphing, just mono. It really helps me fill the strikes better. One more thing, don’t hesitate to change your flies. If big orange beads don’t seem to work, switch to a smaller black bead pheasant tails, it usually makes a difference, instantly, especially on graylings. Just my two cents.

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