Tight-lline or “Euro” nymphing isn’t anything new, but for a lot of anglers—particularly new or novice fly fishers—it can be a bit confusing. I think what confounds most anglers new to the method is the disbelief that a full-grown fisherman can generally stand right in the midst of feeding trout and work a run for a good hour, all the while catching fish.
It’s tough to fathom, but it’s doable. In fact, for this method, being stealthy enough to actually stand within a few feet of feeding trout is vital.
Above, Dave Jensen walks through a great tight-line, short-line nymphing rig and ably shows us how to best achieve results using two flies—one “match-the-hatch” nymph and another, heavier, larger nymph that serves as an anchor. I use something very similar to this system in the fall and winter on the Henry’s Fork, where I’ll drag a heavy Girdle Bug deep and fish a smaller Pheasant Tail or Copper John about two feet higher on a leader that stretches about 10 feet.
Dave’s system is a little more complex, but the ideas are the same. The “anchor” fly gets down. All the way down. The smaller fly is higher in the water column and in the “feeding zone” as you essentially tight-line the rig no more than 15 feet from where you stand while fishing. The results can be downright deadly.
Check it out.
— Chris Hunt