Nymphing a large pool today, I noticed some rainbows along the very bottom towards the end of the hole. They weren't moving much at all and my fly wasn't getting deep enough quick enough, so I threw on some split shot, rolled my line up to the head of the pool, let my rig sink, and started tight-lining. On the second roll, a large rainbow, close to 18", sipped my prince and took me for a ride.
Don't be afraid to add weight in order to get low, especially as the sun sits lower on the horizon and the days stay colder longer. I've noticed that trout seem to stay closer to the bottom in these cold months.
Other than simple time on the water, the biggest tweak to my nymphing game I've made this year that has yielded a ton of trout is adding weight.
For more on it, I highly recommend On the Trout Stream by Joe Humphrey.
"You must constantly adjust your weights and weighted nymphs...to get your nymph down on the bottom..." - Joe HUMPHREY
I started nymphing a couple of years ago, but really didn't understand what I was doing until a buddy of mine took me out and showed me what tight-line nymphing was. Before, I would use thingamabobbers and, later, the New Zealand Strike Indicator as my main indicators. These work well in certain conditions, especially when tight-line nymphing is impossible due to current and distance. However, one of the biggest game changers for me over the past year has been using Loon Biostrike as my main form of indicator when nymphing.
I love this stuff not for what it does, but for what it doesn't do. It doesn't really float, which means that I have more control over the depth of my nymphs. You can make it float by forming it into a ball, but I usually stretch it out over my line so it sinks with my flies. It doesn't fall off easily, which means I can use the same small piece for entire days. It also doesn't spook the fish. In fact, when I have fish start striking it, I use it as a sign to start switching up to dry fly or terrestrial. Finally, it doesn't kink my leader. I hate kinked leaders.
What it does do is help me catch fish since I can see my line and what's happening to my line a lot easier.
For $7.50, go out and buy yourself a container and give it a try. It's one thing I always have with me and use every time I go out.
No, just kidding. Well, kind of.
I landed the largest fish I've ever laid into the other day. I was working a big piece of water (at least for the area I'm from) that had been stocked with rainbows a month before. This water also has a nice population of wild browns that use its many tribs as spawning ground. The geology of this stream lends itself to big holes and even bigger boulders. I stalked up to one and starting casting above it, letting my nymph tandem of a prince and wet fly get low into the feeding channel before it swept past the boulder. With my third cast I thought I snagged a rock as I set the hook, but after a second, my line began to shake back and forth and I knew I was into something bigger than normal.
He was sluggish at first as I lifted him off the bottom of the deep run, but he soon started to fight. He kept trying to get himself back under the rock, but I played him out. I knew he would try to take off downstream, so I waded with him and worked him over to the other bank and eventually landed him directly across from where I was originally casting. I quickly took a few pics and released him to see another day.
Here's what I mean when I said "luck" earlier. I didn't even know he was there. Knowing me and my giddiness and general lack of couth, if I'd had known he was there, I would have most likely spooked him. I read the water ahead of me and planned an approach that kept me hidden. The boulder that I was casting over shielded me from the brute, which enable me to lay into him and have a nice quick conversation about the beauty of the world and spontaneous nature of life that lead us to meeting and saying goodbye.
"I ain't good with numbers I just count on knowing when I'm high enough..." - Mike Cooley, Drive-By Truckers. This rainbow was easily pushing 22+ inches. He was fat, too, which leads me to believe that he was a pretty recent stocker. He did have some really nice dark spots considering he was a stocked fish.
As I worked my way back upstream, I decided to do a quick run up a trib to see if I could find any wild browns. I switched from tandem nymph rig to a dry/dropper (yellow stimulator and a green caddis) and started working some nice runs. I landed quite a few wild browns; most would slap at my dry and then take my dropper. Sometimes it's best to just follow your curiosity and see where the water leads you.
Sketches & scatterings. Rooted in Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River.