Nymphing for Salmon

Loxie

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I have never tried this technique; infact I dont think I own a nymph fly yet.

To get the fish down to salmon level, is it purely done by the weight of the nymph, or do you use a weighted polyleader on a floating line.

I assume its normally done in low water; is it a sink and draw technique?

Thanks

For me a floater is best. It helps with casting and, most importantly, striking. Yes sink and draw, but induced take is the key. The perfect presentation is to get the fish in view without it seeing you and get the nymph the drift down below the fishes eye line and then lift in front of it. More often than not it will chase it and sometimes take it. Strike as soon as it closes its mouth!
 

Basyl

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Last Chavanga river season, in the coldest week of the beginning of October, it was the nymph fishing that made me think again about the true amount of fish in the river and what we mean by salmon activity.
The technique, by the way, is effective both in spring high water and in autumn. At the end of the season, when the water level is relatively low, nymph fishing is quite comfortable. The main problem of the nymph is a small area. Which we can catch. In high water periods, a lot of time is spent searching for salmon. There is no such problem in the fall, each pool is accessible and the salmon pools are obvious.

In my opinion, the main advantage of the nymph in cold water is its small size, slow and deep presentation. This is what we miss when fishing with regular salmon tackle. The small size of the nymph - fly relieves all problems with the choice of color, silhouette and other qualities of a regular salmon fly. The nymph on the N12-14 hook can be quite stingy in their details. I once wrote a large article on the non-traditional salmon fishing for grayling and trout flies. These flies are great for salmon. A tungsten head and a long tippet help hold the nymph deeply and slowly at the very bottom.
Of course, nymph fishing involves the use of a one-handed rod. The harder the tackle, the worse the presentation of the fly. Therefore - a one-handed rod. The casting technique and the composition of the gear corresponding to it depends largely on the place of fishing. Here options are possible from Short nymph (Polish Nymph) to Long Nymph (Czech or French Nymph) equipment.
 

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offshore

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Last Chavanga river season, in the coldest week of the beginning of October, it was the nymph fishing that made me think again about the true amount of fish in the river and what we mean by salmon activity.
The technique, by the way, is effective both in spring high water and in autumn. At the end of the season, when the water level is relatively low, nymph fishing is quite comfortable. The main problem of the nymph is a small area. Which we can catch. In high water periods, a lot of time is spent searching for salmon. There is no such problem in the fall, each pool is accessible and the salmon pools are obvious.

In my opinion, the main advantage of the nymph in cold water is its small size, slow and deep presentation. This is what we miss when fishing with regular salmon tackle. The small size of the nymph - fly relieves all problems with the choice of color, silhouette and other qualities of a regular salmon fly. The nymph on the N12-14 hook can be quite stingy in their details. I once wrote a large article on the non-traditional salmon fishing for grayling and trout flies. These flies are great for salmon. A tungsten head and a long tippet help hold the nymph deeply and slowly at the very bottom.
Of course, nymph fishing involves the use of a one-handed rod. The harder the tackle, the worse the presentation of the fly. Therefore - a one-handed rod. The casting technique and the composition of the gear corresponding to it depends largely on the place of fishing. Here options are possible from Short nymph (Polish Nymph) to Long Nymph (Czech or French Nymph) equipment.

Do you have a link to the large article you wrote - mentioned in this post.

I am determined to fish more this season, rather than just pick days when conditions seem good; nymphing techniques could be useful.
 
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Basyl

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Maybe you mean this article?

Post | chavanga

Earlier, about 10 years ago, it was interesting for me to experiment, I often fish a nymph or used different nymphs techniques in spring and summer. Our good friend, a fisherman from Italy, Fabrizio Oliva applied this method very successfully in the late autumn of 2019 season. In extremely cold water, the nymph also works great. This was unexpected. For those who love delicate fishing - nymph methods should be used.
 

MicklemusH

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Nymph fishing for Salmon

Last Chavanga river season, in the coldest week of the beginning of October, it was the nymph fishing that made me think again about the true amount of fish in the river and what we mean by salmon activity.
The technique, by the way, is effective both in spring high water and in autumn. At the end of the season, when the water level is relatively low, nymph fishing is quite comfortable. The main problem of the nymph is a small area. Which we can catch. In high water periods, a lot of time is spent searching for salmon. There is no such problem in the fall, each pool is accessible and the salmon pools are obvious.

In my opinion, the main advantage of the nymph in cold water is its small size, slow and deep presentation. This is what we miss when fishing with regular salmon tackle. The small size of the nymph - fly relieves all problems with the choice of color, silhouette and other qualities of a regular salmon fly. The nymph on the N12-14 hook can be quite stingy in their details. I once wrote a large article on the non-traditional salmon fishing for grayling and trout flies. These flies are great for salmon. A tungsten head and a long tippet help hold the nymph deeply and slowly at the very bottom.
Of course, nymph fishing involves the use of a one-handed rod. The harder the tackle, the worse the presentation of the fly. Therefore - a one-handed rod. The casting technique and the composition of the gear corresponding to it depends largely on the place of fishing. Here options are possible from Short nymph (Polish Nymph) to Long Nymph (Czech or French Nymph) equipment.



A great many years ago I fished a clearwater river the Aven which is the main tributary of the Spey. There was rarely colour in that water which Oglesby termed a worming river due to the diabolical holes and big boulders in the A'n that as he rightly said the fish hide behind. You cannot get at them! I was quite upset by his downgrade and set about proving him wrong.
As an engineer I soon constructed what resembled a lure that he mentioned in his book salmon fishing when he said that salmon can be 'moved' by a lure that he called a Bain's bullet. This was the river Awe that I am not familiar with but that Dr Bain knew what he was about re salmon so I thought see what happens with the short 'heavy' (7 gramm) tube fly. I had long since given up believing that a certain colour was needed to catch a salmon but I firmly believed that presentation was paramount to success.
I even gave up fishing with my usual fly lines and resorted to fishing 'my' heavy tubes with 30lb nylon with a suitable thin leader. I was initiated to fishing at 7 with a centerpin reel so I soon mastered a short cast with this set up.......
However if as Falcus says =the worst thing an angler can do is to be too successful is absolutely on the nail.

As the years went on I proved more than ever before that shrimp will beat any other lure hands down...... (thanks Edgar) & that's over 40 years ago. Now banned outright
in the world I think but the banning of the fishing of the lure that behaves like a shrimp to my knowledge has not been banned......... Be careful though if the rod jerks to make the lure behave as a shrimp does because many an eyebrow has been raised and accusations have been legion when the observer does not know what the
expert executor of this deadly method knows!

Any nymph style fishing technique lover must read Oliver Kite -Nymph Fishing in practice who was a master at such tactics. He could also it was said catch a difficult to catch trout that no one could catch in the clear river Test with a bare hook with the induced take method.......No matter how fast an angler pulls a lure away from a Sea Trout or a Salmon that angler can never pull fast enough to prevent the fish from getting a firm hold of the lure.

Any one can see underwater footage in the clear icelandic rivers that salmon will take the 'dangled' lure but I have never believed that to be a correct technique.
I have always felt that I should be in contact with the lure for those fish who are what I call nibblers. A pal of mine who is long gone once told me 45 years ago when I asked him about the fact that I had intriguing takes that the fish 'let go' he replied remember what I tell you because if you don't you'll 'miss' a lot of fish. Instantaneous
he told me so after that I never ever fished with a slack line. He was quoted in the Trout and Salmon magazine - a notable catch by Richard Davies, 13 sea trout to
5 1/2 pounds when no one else caught a thing that day !
It seems to have been well accepted that the hand on the hip style of fishing is correct but I cannot for the life of me see why that has been.
 

offshore

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I am not a trout Fisherman, so not familiar with Oliver Kite.

But I have a brief look at one of his films (on youtube) and I like his style. Talks slowly but packed with information - as opposed to the current Countryfile, which involves lots of noise, but doesn't leave you much the wiser.

Oliver Kite - A day on the Itchen - YouTube
 

MicklemusH

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I am not a trout Fisherman, so not familiar with Oliver Kite.

But I have a brief look at one of his films (on youtube) and I like his style. Talks slowly but packed with information - as opposed to the current Countryfile, which involves lots of noise, but doesn't leave you much the wiser.

Oliver Kite - A day on the Itchen - YouTube

That was interesting seeing a hero of mine on film. Pity he didn't show his nymph technique.If you haven't read Oglesby's(a friend of Kite) Salmon Fishing book of which there are a few they are worth reading but I did not take in every mortal thing he wrote. As Oglesby said it would take several lifetimes to know all there is to know about salmon fly fishing...... I started with bait for course fish then exclusive fly for trout then spinning for sea trout then shrimp for salmon ( on the advice of the Welsh River Board Bailiff) who was a brilliant all rounder. I wished I'd have constructed more tubes at the start of the fly only rule on the Aven Spey trib roughly resembling a shrimp donkey's years ago but I did make a rubber thing that was what I called a shrawn... cross between a shrimp and a prawn. I caught fish on that lure which had a huge treble iron on it for more weight and bucktail for the whiskers. I caught fish on that when no one else caught a thing 30 fishers at one go! A police officer said well what have you got to smile about nobody's caught a thing... I've got two about 9lb a piece. (Phil to me)yes, up the kyber...... No Phil right in the mouth... he said what on then..... I put my hand in my pocket and then opened my palm and there was pandamonium! Is that legal he said --- well I said it has got bucktail on it so it is a lure and because it's plastic it's not a prawn nore is it a shrimp! It did definitely work when nowt else seemed to have an earthly.
Thomas Clegg's little book Modern Tube Fly Making was my guide when I tied a little brass tube called Wooton Fitzpaine said for full water but since I was aware that sea trout and Salmon and any other predatory fish will take a completely bare hook the next season I standardised my squirrel tails to come out orange brown and black with one orange dye. I did hook a fish on that Clegg fly 2nd cast but after 15 minutes we could see it clearly shake the hook out of the wide open white mouth 6ft down. That pool is I'm told 12 ft deep!
These lead tubes in different weights with often a 10 treb worked well but attracted some hassle. As said before, anything that sank on the Aven was deemed to be a foul hooking instrument.The first year the bailiff was fine but for some reason after that first year he was bar steward.
It was no use explaining that a fast sink line with any lure on the end of it was better at foul hooking than my nylon line with the hook about two feet off the bottom.
My Welsh pal said you are wasting your time trying to explain any technicalities =they just do not now.

For a very long time I've stuck roughly to the saying so long as the fly is medium to dark colour and behaves as a shrimp does that is the best a Salmon 'fly' fisher can do. And another snippet is to know where a fish might be lying and imagine where the lure is and then smartly pull that lure away so that the lure appears to be escaping from the fish. I feel Oglesby's statement an eyeball confrontation is the key. Salmon fishers should know the moment before the river is seen to rise can be the most deadliest of ALL taking times....... I said to my Welsh pal one time I think those fish would take a bloody wrist watch at some times so long as the watch is swimming right..

I should think that the top Spey fisher, John Ashley Cooper who said so long as the 'pattern' is dark and blends in with it's background is basically all that is required is absolutely correct.
Falcus died just after he said he was experimenting with a lure that quickly swam away from the fish as if escaping.
I have always been puzzled with Oglesby who told the population about Dr G Bain's bullets & knew that tube caught salmon when nothing else seemed to work did not expand on that short heavy tube which seems to be the nymph's brother... !
 
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RUSH

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CEEC1F75-57E6-48F0-954D-2285A7EC50A6.jpeg I got this on the nith on a size 16 pheasant tail whilst fishing for grayling I was using a 10ft 4 weight 30ft of 30lb braid tied onto backing and a 4lb flurocarbon cast and yes it was great fun ???I couldn’t resist trying to land it
 

Lamson v10

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View attachment 41925 I got this on the nith on a size 16 pheasant tail whilst fishing for grayling I was using a 10ft 4 weight 30ft of 30lb braid tied onto backing and a 4lb flurocarbon cast and yes it was great fun ???I couldn’t resist trying to land it

And you managed to do it upside down Russell :clap:
 

RUSH

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Are you looking at your phone the right way up :lol:

???it’s the right way up on my iPad and iPhone and upside down on my works android tablet so I suggest you boys upgrade your electronic devices to Apple ???????
 

meyre

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Aww don't fuss now ...you were landing a fish and managing a hover drone - two skills beyond most on this site!
 

meyre

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But seriously....Nymphing for salmon...( without a bung, bubble or indicator )?

Micklemush gives some tantalising ideas.

There must be pieces on this surely . Messrs Frodin….Chalmers...La Branche etc perhaps? Do you Canadians do it for Atlantics as well as for steelhead?
Falkus and AHE Wood allude to nymph-like presentation ( Salmon Fishing p305 and -yes- Salmon Fishing, Lonsdale Library p.246.)
Notwithstanding the distracting spat on this site of 2013 re 'upstream' salmon fishing being illegal/sniggling/snatching can anyone give more advice? It just seems very plausible and perhaps a happy diversion from 'down and across'.
 

Wee-Eck

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I have never tried using a nymph for salmon but I regularly use a large Red Francis in slower pools upstream in a sink and draw method which can be very successful.
 

firefly

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It's a deadly technique to fool pressured fish and to winkle them out of low water pools and pots where a down and across presentation would fail due to weak/complex currents and/or obstacles. A necessary tool in the armoury of the complete salmon angler, but a skill that needs to be practised to gain confidence in. As with all methods.
 

meyre

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Luciole attachment 42041 ne marche pas!!! Aidez-nous svp.
Cdt
Mark
 

SAB

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Meyre, I can confirm this is a very effective and exciting way to fish and the information given above is pretty good. The best description I am aware of is that given by Falkus and his "Dee Special Nymph" on page 307 onwards.

However, this is the way I do it:

The important criteria to meet is that the fly must confront the salmon eyeball to eyeball, and then run away. To achieve this a heavy fly is required (and I don't consider Falkus' copper tube heavy enough) to (a) get the fly down fast (b)respond instantly to any input on your part and (c) allow you to keep in close contact with the fly.
You could use tungsten beads as the chalkstream boys suggest or lead in one form or another. I prefer tungsten tubes, usually 1/2" but can go bigger. Pattern is irrelevant, it all about how the fly behaves. My preference is what you could call a simple stoats tail, sparse black hairs wrapped around the tube with some flash for good luck. No body but a black rubber to hold the hook in place. I prefer a double hand rod because it handles the heavy tube easily and I fish a big river.

It is critical that you know your beat and the lies within it or you will waste a lot of time.

Generally a square cast (or slightly upstream) is required. Allow the fly to get down to the fish by encouraging a slack line (maybe an upstream mend is required?). Let a downstream curve develop in the line (or create one with a downstream mend) and once tight, it will draw the fly quickly away from the fish, as though it is trying to escape. If the current is too slow, speed things up with your free hand. Your cast and your management of the line, all depend on the prevailing current.

In a slack current, or even in still water this can taken a stage further by what I call "twitching". Falkus alludes to this if you look carefully at the bottom of page 308. I find "jerks with the rod" ineffective. Better is to hold the line between thumb and fore finger and jerk (twitch) the line with the next finger along. Remember, the heavy fly and taught line allow close contact between you and business end and any movement you make is instantly transmitted to the fly. I make 3 or 4 twitches and stop for a moment before repeating. This bouncing motion in front of a salmons nose seems to really irritate them and takes can be dramatic. Hold on to your rod because it can take you by surprise !!
Often you can feel the fish feeling the fly (blowing it in and out?) in which case you must strike immediately or they'll lose interest. If you feel a fish but don't make contact, leave it for half and hour and try again. Good chance of a slam take when that irritating little bas---d returns.

If you master the art you will find yourself fishing in places that others pass by and often in seemingly hopeless conditions. On a recent occasion I fished a pool and caught nothing but saw two fish move. I tried with a different pattern, tried different sizes, different depths, different speeds, hitch and sunray - all to no avail. Twitched a 1/2" tungsten and had five fish in about an hour. I've repeated this many times since that first occasion to the point where I now know it was not a fluke.

Good luck, I think you are in for some fun.
 

meyre

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Sab
That is an excellent piece.
I am sitting down to make some Heavy Stoats and looking forward to twitching them past Mr Salmon in pocket water and deep dubs....upstream if necessary!
Might execute 1/4'' HS's on an 11' Sage #7 switch loaded with a Rio Scandi 460gr S/head.
Leader 2' over depth??
Interesting about the d/s belly to produce a ' fly-by' action, M. Frodin suggested same in a recently viewed YouTube vid.
Encouraging and always fun to experiment.
Thank you.
 

SAB

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Meyre, it's only a tactical change. Apart from maybe the fly, everything else is the same so just use your normal summer set up. Next pool you can go straight back to conventional swinging. That's the nice thing about it, no special requirements needed.
 

ibm59

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Have hooked a few upstream nymphing for trout .
Mostly in April and May.
As near as possible to dead drift.

Usually has the outcome that you’d expect with a 3lb leader , but not every time. ;)
 
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