33.8 °F
December 03, 2016
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

TroutoberFest beckons anglers and experts

George Daniel demonstrated constructing a “sighter” leader during his class on dynamic nymphing to help fly fishers learn techniques to catch and land fish that they can’t see under the water’s surface.

Many fly fishers fish for trout by imitating the adult mayfly only, using a dry fly, so-called for its final transformation from aquatic nymph to airborne insect on or just under the surface of the water, or as the dead flies that fall to the river after laying their eggs.
Trout feed all of the time and mostly target mayfly nymphs. Unlike dry fly when you see the rising fish, in nymph fishing you can’t see the fish take the fly, you can only estimate where the fish might be feeding underwater, and sense the subtle “take” by the fish of the very small imitation bug.
In fertile, productive trout streams, swiftly flowing waters have multiple currents of differing speeds both horizontally across the river and vertically in the water column. Rocks, logs, depth of stream and stream bed gradient all affect the flowing water.
In contact nymphing on small streams, the goal is to maintain enough tension on the entire fishing line from rod tip to fly to sense the subtle take of the fish without unnaturally dragging the fly through the water. Special leaders, called “sighters” are constructed using multiple colors of monofilament line to enable the fisherman to see the direction and tension of the leader without using a bobber or other indicator on the line, which affects the movement of the fly. In addition, a unique one handed upstream casting technique of a fixed length of the combined 15 to 30 feet of fly line, sighter and tippet (the last small diameter line attached to the fly) allows the fly to be precisely placed, immediately dropping to the desired depth in the water column, and still be under the tight control of the angler. Contact nymphing is popular in Europe and has proven extremely effective in international fly fishing competition.
Pete Robertson, born and raised on Sherman Creek near where it empties into the West Branch of the Delaware in Hale Eddy, NY, now residing in Fredericksburg, VA, traveled to Roscoe to attend the session. He had read George’s book but found the session extremely informative in putting the knowledge into practice.
Orvis representative Tom Zemianek taught a popular Fly Fishing 101 Class for those curious about the sport but not sure how to get started, beginners who have been learning on their own, or anglers who haven't fly fished in years and were looking for a refresher course.