Nymph Fly Fishing Equipment: A Basic List
What to Have and Buy
Nymph fly fishing equipment is dependent on the
type of water you are fishing. This seems to be rather misunderstood by many of the fly fisherman who inhabit the
waters today. There is no one rod suited for all types of nymph fishing. However, I can give some
recommendations for different types of streams and situations.
First I favor long rods. Nothing shorter than 8.6 feet on most waters
except for very small streams and perhaps some tiny spring creeks. Even on these streams I prefer 8.6 to
9.0 foot rods. These longer rods allow control. You must control the line, leader, and
drift no matter how you fish nymphs or you will meet with little success. This is one of the
most misunderstood applications of nymph fishing: Control! The reason for this is simple: There is a fine edge
from having too much slack and just the right
amount in fishing nymphs. Too much and
you'll miss the fish, and too tight (too little) you cause drag. On many streams drag will cost you
fish, on some others maybe not so (those are advanced techniques so stay tuned and check back
often). Here are some basic recommendations. They are not in stone, so adapt them to the types of
water you fish.
Large Heavy Waters: You need a rod that can move the line and weight in fast water so we are talking
about longer rods up to 9 feet or more with rather fast stiff action. You will miss a lot of
strikes if the rod is too soft in these situations. You are basically fishing upstream with
weight and you must be able to move the weight, line, and leader in a fraction of a second.
Medium size waters I want a rod that is around 8.6 feet that has has fast action but not as stiff as
the heavy water rod.
Smaller Waters and Small to Medium Size Spring Creeks: Here you need a long rod with a medium fast
action. Too stiff a rod with these light tippets will cause you to break too many fish off. When
you hook a fish on these streams they are rather close or what we call green fish. I've watch many a
fly angler have a terrible day even though he mangaged to get his on stream like the Letort Spring Run,
Big Spring Creek, Falling Spring Run and others because of the improper equipment. Furthermore, you are
often fishing midge larvae and smaller flies.
This is a basic list and you adjust to where you are fishing. Here's a good arsenal for fly fishing
most stream East and West:
- 8.6 to 12 feet rod for 6 or 7 weight line. This is a very fast stiff rod. Great for a lot big water and
early season nymphing on medium size streams too.
- 8.6 to 10 feet for 4 or 5 weight line. A good all around rod of fast action that will
handle most flies on most streams except very heavy flies in heavy water.
- 8.6 to 10 feet for 2,3, or 4 weight line medium fast. A good rod for smaller waters
and spring creeks with lighter tippets and smaller flies.