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By Dave Bryant
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Here's Example #1.
Explanation of excerpt:
This is a sample of how I cut to the core of
nymphing principles. (This statement of foundation nymphing
theory is taken from page 117.)
"But to catch a trout or any other fish
using a nymph, you and I face two considerable barriers to
getting the fish to eat our hook. Proper execution of nymph
fishing faces two major obstacles.
Here are the two biggest barriers to
proper execution of nymph fishing:
1. Failure to get a natural drift.
2. Failure to know when a fish has
struck your nymph.
Actually, these can be restated slightly, to
show how they are related.
1. Failure to get a natural drift which
dupes the fish into striking.
2. Failure to know when a fish has
struck your nymph, once you succeed in getting a natural drift."
Here's Example #2.
Explanation of excerpt:
The topic being discussed here is how to
spot movements in the strike indicator which signal a strike.
These are five signals which I've taken from a summary list of
fifteen different signals which you should watch for. The amount
of cork motion to be expected is as tiny as the waves which a
feather would make landing on the water. These are "micro
motions" in the cork which I'm describing in this list. you'll
notice the clear uncertainty which prevails at times. That is
just part of the challenge of nymphing. (The list is taken from
5. The strike indicator jiggles, sending out
little rings or waves.
6. The strike indicator jiggles up and down
so slightly that it sends out no waves at all, and you're not
sure if it really jiggled at all. (This is a classic strike
signal! In slow water, I love to see this one!)
7. The strike indicator rocks to one side
and then back to the other with a rolling motion.
8. The strike indicator rocks to just one
side and then stays there.
9. The strike indicator acts like it is
getting ready to rock, but then it doesn't. (What can I say?
That is the best way I can describe it. Something is going on
down under, but it is barely enough just to "prime" the
indicator for possible motion. There is no follow through.)
Here's Example #3.
Explanation of excerpt:
This sample gives a blending of principle
and practice, along with a bit of encouragement in the face of
the cloud of uncertainty. (This is taken from pages 164-165.)
"ON THE EDGE OF UNCERTAINTY.
If my editorial comments sound a bit wacky,
that is what watching a cork does to you. You begin to doubt
your own senses. I'm trying to say that at times the "take" is
just a hair's breadth this side of invisible. Doubt about what
you think you just saw goes with the territory. Remember, I
mentioned earlier that some nymph fishermen seem to have a sixth
sense. I think this is where it resides. This is the ability to
see something in the movement of the cork that is there but that
does not really register consciously. This comes with
experience, not by divine gifting. It happens for me, because I
sometimes find myself striking without quite knowing why,
surprised to find I've hooked a trout but not sure why I
bothered to strike.
When you first try to spot strike signals
using a cork indicator, remember that you must train yourself to
be sensitive to down feathers as opposed to bowling balls. Turn
your sensitivity meter all the way to "maximum." To help you do
that, consider looking at the cork from a different perspective.
As you start working with the cork, regard all the trivial or
insignificant motions of the cork as exactly the motions you ARE
looking for. I mean the motions where you think to yourself,
"Come on, you don't mean that tiny, teensy weensy little jiggle,
do you?" Yeeeessss, I do!
Now all this may dismay you and leave you
sure you could never become a nymph fisherman. Let me say as
forcefully as I can, "Yes, initially nymph fishing is difficult,
but don't stop." Many pages ago, I said that detecting the
strike is harder than getting a beautiful natural drift. Trout
will strike based on your natural drift, not on whether you can
spot their strikes. If you lay down a beautiful natural drift,
the strikes will be there. You just have to begin picking up on
So, just keep on laying down beautiful
natural drifts, and you'll get more than enough strike signals
which do not require any sort of a sixth sense. Remember, while
some strike signals are difficult, there are many that are much
easier to notice. Settle for the latter as you start nymphing.
Progress to the former as you gain experience. So start nymphing
by looking for the signals you can see, and as time passes,
you'll become attuned to those you seemingly can't see. It's
great fun. In my opinion, it is the 'ultimate fishing
Excerpt #1 from Chapter 1.
Do You Know the One and Only Secret to
Do You Know the One and Only Skill You Need
to Catch Fish?
Very few fishermen ever think through what
they are actually trying to do when they fish. But if they knew
this secret, it would reshape the way they fish...
Do you know that there is one and only one
secret to fishing success?
And, if you master it, you'll dramatically
increase your success rate?
Excerpt #2 from Chapter 2.
FLYFISHING VERSUS FISHING FLIES.
I'm eclectic. I take bits and pieces from a
variety of sources to meld them together into a more effective
whole. And I do that with my fishing as well. Specifically, for
this book, you'll find that I make a fundamental distinction
between flyfishing and fishing flies. As will become evident, I
love flyfishing, but I love fishing flies even more. By that, I
mean that I'll change to other forms of fishing tackle in order
to fish flies, when the situation demands it. I do not limit
myself to standard flyfishing tackle when other forms of fishing
tackle can fish a fly, especially the nymph, more effectively.
This book is an inquiry into the full range
of fishing tackle and fishing methods that may be used to
present the fly called the nymph. In fact, one of my goals in
writing this book is to campaign for the use of these other
tackle rigs when the stream situations exceed the ability of
conventional nymph fly tackle to do the job adequately.
Trout eat nymphs, bass eat nymphs, bluegills
eat nymphs, etc. Wherever there are aquatic insects, nymphs will
be present, and that offers the fisherman who is skilled in
fishing the nymph an extraordinary opportunity to catch fish.
And one of the skills needed here is to choose wisely which
tackle rig best suits the stream situation.
I love to fish flies. Sometimes, to do that,
I choose flyfishing gear. Sometimes, to do that, I choose tackle
other than flyfishing gear. My job as writer is to show you the
strategic possibility of that statement.
Excerpt #3 from Chapter 5.
My "Tackle" Promise to You.
Just so you do not get fatigued working your
way through the tackle recommendations which follow, consider
this. All of the recommendations which I'll make can be boiled
down to using one rod with three different reels. I'll return to
this "boiled down" tackle recommendation as we conclude the
discussion on tackle at the end of the third tackle chapter.
What counts is the simplicity of the outfits
you take to the stream. And I promise you that the resulting
tackle setup will be that simple: one rod and three reels. All
of the intervening discussion and opinions I'll offer seek only
to persuade you that this combination represents a remarkably
effective and flexible mixing and matching of tackle which will
take nymph-eating trout with great success. So that is where we
are headed, toward a simple, yet effective trio of nymphing
outfits requiring only one rod and three reels.
Excerpt #4 from Chapter 9.
MY ALL-TIME BEST-PRODUCING NYMPH FLY.
Now I want to rave about my all-time
best-producing nymph fly pattern. The pattern is called the RS2.
When tied, the RS2 is typically either gray or brown, sizes 24
to 18. This one fly easily accounts for 25% of all the trout I
take on nymphs. In my opinion, if there were a trout fly which
is nearly perfect, the RS2 is that pattern. The RS2 is a pattern
first tied by a local Denver flyfisherman to match the mayfly
hatches in Cheesman Canyon in Colorado. It has since become
widely distributed and applauded.
Excerpt #5 from Chapter 10.
This book is designed to revolutionize your
fishing, and it is my goal, as your guide, to assist you in
becoming an accomplished fisherman by using a technique which I
consider to be the single most productive method you can use.
While the method itself is not a secret, proper execution of the
method is, and proper execution is the focus of this book. My
objective is to reveal to you the secrets which will turn this
method into a hugely productive technique for you under a wide
variety of circumstances.
Excerpt #6 from Chapter 10.
BARRIER #1: Failure to get a natural
I'm going to prove to you that this is the
single, most important principle you must learn in order to fish
nymphs successfully. This is, bar none, the single biggest
mistake I see nymph fishermen make. This is the dividing line.
This is what separates successful nymph fishermen from the
unsuccessful. The vast majority of nymph fishermen either do not
understand this principle. Or they do not know how to execute a
natural drift, even if they do understand the principle.
I've taught a lot of fishermen to fish
nymphs, and I'm telling you from experience that there comes a
moment when they "get" what I'm saying. And at that moment, when
they see what it takes to execute a successful natural drift,
fish start eating their hooks. It is magical. What was not
perceived suddenly become evident, and the person "gets" what it
takes to drift a nymph naturally. And trout respond and strike.
Excerpt #7 from Chapter 10.
BARRIER #2: Failure to know when a fish
has struck your nymph.
Again, the key to all successful fishing is
to get the fish to eat your hook. Now let's assume that you get
a beautiful natural drift, and that the trout eats your hook. If
you fail to detect that, what good has it done you? You might as
well have executed an unnatural drift, causing the trout to
ignore your nymph. There are two skills, not just one, which you
must master when it comes to getting the fish to eat your hook.
First, dupe him with a natural drift. Then, strike him at the
instant he eats your nymph. This section is about detecting when
the fish eats your hook.
#2 IS TOUGHER THAN #1.
This second skill, detection of the strike,
is the harder of the two to learn, because a nymph strike is
markedly different from other ways a strike happens. If you're
fishing a Mepps spinner or a Daredevle spoon or a Rapala, the
strike comes hard and solid. Often it is a hammer jolt. There is
rarely any doubt in such an instance. If you're fishing a
nightcrawler off a two-inch red-and-white plastic bobber, how
can you miss the moment when the bobber goes under after
jiggling? If you're "walking the dog" on a bass pond, the
explosion of water when a bass slams it is hardly in doubt. Or
try stripping an ugly, gaudy, four-inch pike streamer across a
shallow backwater slough under a warm spring sun. You'll know
what a real strike is like! And you'll never forget it, assuming
you can get your heart to start beating again. Even if you're
fishing a #24 red ant to a trout which is delicately dimpling
the surface with gentle rings, you still have a visible cue when
the trout eats your red ant. These are all examples of what
strikes look or feel like. These all have a common feature. One
way or another there is something which is VERY evident. Your
eyes, your ears, your hands and fingers all clue you in when a
fish has eaten your hook.
But when you fish a nymph to a feeding trout
and the strike comes, you'll not get anything at all like you're
used to. We need to-----slow-----way-----down-----here. This is
going to be a most difficult change in mind set to get used to.
ORDERS OF MAGNI-WHAT?
Have you heard the phrase "order of
magnitude?" If you haven't, I'm referring to differences so
large as to be almost impossible to continue a comparison. I'm
referring to differences which are so great as to be in a
different league. Let me give you a bunch of examples, because
THIS IS CRITICAL TO FISHING A NYMPH.
Excerpt #8 from Chapter 10.
THE GOLDEN DISCOVERY.
As we turn our attention to precisely how to
get a natural drift, we are poised to make an extraordinary
discovery about nymph fishing. This discovery is why I wrote
this book. And when I discovered this truth myself years ago, it
transformed the way I understand what I'm up to when I fish a
nymph. And after I made this discovery, I began my quest to
transform the tackle and methods I use to fish nymphs. All the
recommendations I make in this book represent my attempts to
align myself with this Golden Discovery. This discovery, more
than anything else, is what I want you to take with you from
this book. In a moment, I'll tell you exactly what I discovered.
Then, we will spend the rest of this book probing into what this
discovery means for us as we fish.
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