Nymph fishing – the river keeper’s view

fly fishing nymphs and techniques

Some times nymph fishing in Glomma can be extremely simple. It seems that every grayling is feeding, and willing to take any nymph you present to them, at any depth and speed. It may even not be necessary to use a strike indicator. You can experience situations like this in the early season. Later in summer things get a bit more difficult, and proper techniques are needed for the best results. In my view this means using thin tippet (12/100), making use of a strike indicator and, of course, the right nymph. I’ve seen it a lot of times : it looks like the grayling is not feeding at all, and you only catch a few fish. The reason for this, I think, is in times like this the river is loaded with food (insects) and fish don’t need (and don’t want) to move more than let’s say 15 cm from their place. And they will be picky too, the fly has to be at exact the right depth (so within those 15 cm) and travelling with exactly the right speed: the speed of the current at the bottom of the river. Just think of it like this – the current at the bottom forms eddies and back currents, just like you can see along the banks. The stronger the surface current, the larger the impact of stones and other obstacles at the bottom will be. If the bottom of the river is quite smooth, like a sandy bottom, the difference between surface and bottom speed will be less. So, what does this mean for effective nymph fishing?

If you are fishing upstream, you have to prevent that your fly line is pulling at your nymph, making it move downstream way to fast. You have to fish with a short line, like Czech nymphing: make a short cast upstream, keep your rod high so the fly line doesn’t touch the water and try to present your fly as natural as you can. I like to combine this technique with the use of a strike indicator, it gives me more reach, and I like the visual aspect. This way it is possible to fish at a larger distance, up to 15 meter, because you can mend your fly line in a curve upstream of your indicator and fly. If you repeat this a few times during the process, it is possible to make quite long drifts, presenting your fly as it should be done: dead drift.

These were the basics. To go a bit further - it is possible to give the nymph more movement, for instance you can make it rise to the surface in various ways. I can show you during a guided fishing trip.

Some effective nymph patterns

Hear’s ear gold head nymph

Caseless caddis

Hydropsyche nymph

Pheasant tale nymph

Black and silver nymph

Czech nymph style

Fly fishing flies

Here you can find some patterns for dry flies and nymphs. If you bring a few of them, chances are you will have nice fishing. Of course there are numerous flies you can try, this is just a start.

Glomma Green

An imitation of the Rhyacophila family of sedge. Fish this nymph deep down, dead drift. Whole season.

Fly fishing flies glomma green

Hook: Heavy shrimp hook, size 8 - 12
Tying thread: Olive
Under body: Gold tinsel
Body: Olive flexibody
Thorax: Olive hare's fur
Hackle: -

Hook

Heavy shrimp hook, size 8 - 12

Tying thread

Olive

Under body

Gold tinsel

Body

Olive flexibody

Thorax

Olive hare's fur

Hackle

-

Brown Parachute Midge

A Klinkhamer style fly, but quite small. It works as an imitation for small caddis flies and mosquito's. Use it from July until late August.

Fishing flies brown parachute midge

Hook: C-JF 7842T, size 12 - 16
Tying thread: Brown
Under body: -
Body: Brown flexibody
Thorax: Dark brown hare's fur
Wing: White poly yarn
Hackle: Brown

Hook

C-JF 7842T, size 12 - 16

Tying thread

Brown

Under body

-

Body

Brown flexibody

Thorax

Dark brown hare's fur

Wing

White poly yarn

Hackle

Brown

Blue Winged Olive

An imitation of Ephemerella Ignita. Only grease the wing, use it from mid June until the end of July. Look for the Ignita's : they have three tails.

Fishing flies blue winged olive

Hook: MC 100 , size 12
Tying thread: Orange
Tail: Micro fibers
Body: Rusty orange flexibody
Thorax: Rusty orange hare's fur
Wing: White poly yarn
Hackle: Brown

Hook

MC 100 , size 12

Tying thread

Orange

Tail

Micro fibers

Body

Rusty orange flexibody

Thorax

Rusty orange hare's fur

Wing

White poly yarn

Hackle

Brown

Caseless caddis

One of the patterns of Hans van Klinken. Sedge imitation, Hydropsyche. Works well when fished deep, dead drift. Whole season.

fishing flies caseless caddis

Hook: Heavy shrimp hook, size 8 - 12
Tying thread: Brown
Under body: -
Body: Light tan furry foam
Thorax: Dark brown hare's fur
Shield: Plastic strip
Hackle: -

Hook

Heavy shrimp hook, size 8 - 12

Tying thread

Brown

Under body

-

Body

Light tan furry foam

Thorax

Dark brown hare's fur

Shield

Plastic strip

Hackle

-

Iron Blue dun

Imitation for Baetis Niger. Whole season, but most effective in the autumn.

Fishing flies iron blue dun

Hook: TMC 102Y , size 17
Tying thread: Grey
Tail: Micro fibers
Body: Olive CDC
Thorax: Olive CDC
Wing: Grey poly yarn
Hackle: Dun

Hook

TMC 102Y , size 17

Tying thread

Grey

Tail

Micro fibers

Body

Olive CDC

Thorax

Olive CDC

Wing

Grey poly yarn

Hackle

Dun

Hare's Ear Gold Head Nymph

My favourite nymph for Glomma. It is not difficult to fish this nymph, can't do anything wrong, as long you fish it deep. Bigger sizes early season, small sizes late season.

Hare's Ear Gold Head Nymph fishing fly

Hook: TMC 100, size 10 - 18
Tying thread: Brown
Underbody: -
Body: Reddish brown hare's fur
Thorax: -
Hackle: -
Head: Gold bead

Hook

TMC 100, size 10 - 18

Tying thread

Brown

Under body

-

Body

Reddish brown hare's fur

Thorax

-

Hackle

-

Head

Gold bead

Black & Silver

A very simple but successful nymph for the high summer and the late season. Fish it deep (use a spilt shot) and dead drift, rise it to the surface.

fishing flies black and silver

Hook: TMC 102Y , size 17
Tying thread: Black
Underbody: -
Body: Black hare's fur
Thorax: Black hare's fur
Hackle: -
Head: Small silver bead

Hook

TMC 102Y , size 17

Tying thread

Black

Under body

-

Body

Black hare's fur

Thorax

Black hare's fur

Hackle

-

Head

Small silver bead

Foam ant

If fish are rising sporadically or not at all, and you still want to fish dries, try an ant imitation.

foam ant fishing fly

Hook: TMC 102Y , size 17
Tying thread: Black
Underbody: -
Body: Black foam
Thorax: -
Hackle: Black

Hook

TMC 102Y , size 17

Tying thread

Black

Under body

-

Body

Black foam

Thorax

-

Hackle

Black

Olive Parachute Midge

A Klinkhammer style fly, but quite small. It works as an imitation for small caddis flies and mosquito's. Use it from July until late August.

Olive Parachute Midge fishing fly

Hook: C-JF 7842T, size 12 - 16
Tying thread: Olive
Underbody: -
Body: Olive flexibody
Thorax: Olive hare's fur
Wing: White poly yarn
Hackle: Grizzle

Hook

C-JF 7842T, size 12 - 16

Tying thread

Olive

Under body

-

Body

Olive flexibody

Thorax

Olive hare's fur

Wing

White poly yarn

Hackle

Grizzle

Black Parachute Midge

Can be very, very effective in high summer. Use the black winged version in situations with back light.

Black Parachute Midge fishing fly

Hook: C 273, size 10
Tying thread: Black
Underbody: -
Body: Black flexibody
Thorax: Black hare's fur
Wing: Black or white poly yarn
Hackle: Grizzle

Hook

C 273, size 10

Tying thread

Black

Under body

-

Body

Black flexibody

Thorax

Black hare's fur

Wing

Black or white poly yarn

Hackle

Grizzle

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