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Nymphing for Beginners

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Tandem Nymph Rigging - Nymphing for Beginners

For additional nymphing tips:

Nymphing - The importance of a good  line connection


This is a bit of a compilation of techniques that I have picked up from guides, books and seminars.

Since it's refined to include only the methods that seem beginner specific (based on my newbie-ness), it's almost
impossible to give credit to those who probably deserve it.

Certainly Ed Engle, Jim Reid and Dave Whitlock inspired me in their own ways.





This first image is my personal favorite method.

Some people might feel that having line hanging off the bend will discourage a fish from striking the lead nymph, but I
have caught almost as many on the lead as on the dropper.

The lead fly is tied with a clinch knot (or uni-knot / non-slip mono knot).

Then a length of tippet is attached with a clinch knot to the bend of the hook on the lead fly.

Now, simply tie on the dropper fly and you are done.


The length of the tippet from the strike indicator (if one is used) to the dropper nymph should usually be one and one half
times the depth of the stream.

If your fly dredges the bottom, it's too long.  If your strikes are few, it might be too short.

The speed of the water will factor in greatly.  The faster the stream, the longer the line can be before it drags the bottom.

Experiment.  Start at 1.5 times the stream depth and make adjustments.


The distance between the lead nymph and the dropper nymph is subject to the particular water you are fishing, but another
good starting point is 6" - 9".

Also, if the stream contains leader-shy fish, it will probably be helpful to use a smaller diameter tippet between the lead
and dropper.

I frequently fish 5X tippet when nymphing my local creek, so I tie the dropper on with 6X tippet.






This next method is slightly different, and only works if the eye of the lead hook allows for it. 

Tie the dropper line directly to the eye of the lead nymph with a clinch knot.

The idea behind this type of rigging is that it keeps your dropper line away from the hook on the lead fly.

Once the drift occurs, I am not sure that it accomplishes this, but that's the thinking behind it.

I usually don't have the extra room in the eye of my lead fly to do this, so I have only used it on a few occasions.






This method uses the tag end of the knot from the lead fly to attach the dropper.

Be sure to tie on the top nymph with plenty of excess.