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"Best Fishing Books"
Nymph Fishing
"Some Guys Catch All the Fish"
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 page 163.)

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.)


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 them.

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 challenge.'


Excerpt #1 from Chapter 1.


Do You Know the One and Only Secret to Fishing Success?

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.


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.


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 drift.

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.


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.


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.


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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