Video Pro Tips: How to Get Started Nymphing


One of the great things about fly fishing is that there are so many ways to do almost every part of the sport. For instance, I am not a huge fan of split shot and rarely use them, but I have tons of fishing buddies who use strategically placed shot to create very effective nymph rigs. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial, from Jeremy Charchenko of Streem Outdoors in Utah, on how to fish two nymphs at once. He starts with the very basics—how to straighten your leader as it comes off the reel—to tying a simple tandem rig. He explains how to attach the two flies, where to put the split shot, and how to determine where the indicator should go. Then he goes right out and catches a rainbow with this completed set up.

One thing he doesn’t do is explain how to cast this rig, which offers plenty opportunities for tangles. When you’re trying to cast two flies, two split shot, and an indicator, you should follow a few simple rules:

  1. Make as few false casts as possible, or none at all (by using the water haul)
  2. An oval, or Belgian, cast helps to keep the line moving and avoid tangles
  3. If you’re making normal overhead casts, widen your casting loop

9 thoughts on “Video Pro Tips: How to Get Started Nymphing”

  1. I like the rig but don’t you have to love your top nymph choice? Not easy to change. Looks like it’s only easy to change the tag end nymph.

  2. What Tim said….. plus…

    I’d not considered tying flies in this manner, but I can see how it can offer advantages to new nymphers that aren’t quite as proficient in tying knots. And if you plan on using the same size tippet for both flies, this can save some time. But, a couple of disadvantages of tying on flies in this manner (from my perspective):

    1) If you hook bottom, there might be a greater chance of losing both flies versus maybe only the dropper (especially if the dropper is tied with lighter tippet and that’s what hooked the bottom).
    2) If you are tying on a much smaller point fly, the tippet used for the lead fly may be too heavy for the dropper–resulting in an unnatural drift, tippet that won’t fit through the eye, or fish that turn away as of micro-drag or “tippet shyness.”
    3) The only way to get better at tying knots is to tie them, often. The best way to get faster at tying on rigs is to tie them on (in “battle” conditions). Having nymph rigs pre-made is great for saving time, but if conditions warrant a rig change and you’re fumbling around, you’re wasting even more time… just my opinion.

    Excellent job talking about casting…that cannot be overlooked. Still, good video–I learned something…

  3. So, you use a clinch instead of improved clinch? You have no difference in tippet size between flies and the worst part you use lead shot? C’mon get with the times……..

  4. Great video and nice tip. Love seeing different ways to do things… especially if you want to cover a lot of ground fast.

  5. I think this is a great tip! I’ve never liked tying my second nymph off of the bend of the hook.

    The majority of my trout fishing is in spring creeks in the Driftless region. I rarely if ever use split shot, as it tends to hang up on the bottom. I normally tie a heavier point fly to get down and then a smaller nymph, or soft hackle, off of that. I’ll mend line to help get my fly down through the depth that I’m fishing and watch my indicator to make sure I’m getting a drag free drift, and adjust accordingly.

  6. I wasn’t too keen on using the clinch knot with a pass through to the bottom fly. He could tie on another tippet through the eye if the first fly and continue to the bottom fly. Also the light weight fuzz indicators are easier to cast and I only use one shot on the lower line about midway down or more.

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