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Undertaker
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Discussion Starter #1
I note that I have not seen a single nymph fly on these pages. Why is that? I suppose its no secret that nymphs are highly effective in catching steelhead - and if an egg pattern is considered a nymph, Chinook as well. Frankly, I seldom fish nymphs these days - not because I catch more fish on wets (I don't) - but because I see swinging wets as idyllic. When fishing nymphs, I'm intensely focused. Swinging is a lot more laid back. Judging from the nymph rigs I see on spey rods around the river, I know at least some of you guys are nymphing. So, why no nymph patterns in the forum? Are there rules against it - or are you nymphers intimidated by the beauty of wet flys and figure others would go "ugh" at your creepy-crawly imitations?

BTW - the most amazing display of steelhead catching I have ever witnessed was the originator of the double bead peacock stone hooking fish after fish on it in the Deschutes. He took five to my one that evening, for the record.

So, unless its against the rules, show us your nymphs.
 

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seaterspey
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I guess I just like the pure elegance of the swing. The only time I use a nymph would be for trout fishing.

Just love the classics!

KC
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Might be because this is a fly fishing forum. Just a guess.
 

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Kaufmans Stone

One summer on the Stilligaumish I hooked many steelhead on Kaufmans stonefly that I fished on a swung line.
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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This is only partly tongue in cheek when I say that most of us are elitist snobs who prefer, no make that only, swing our fish up. Beads, nymphs and roe are largely frowned upon.

We accept that they, with the exception of roe, are legal, we still prefer not to talk about them or even acknowledge their existence.
 

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Dom
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I fish Great Lakes and nymphing here is very popular. Until recently guys started swinging here and on some bigger water thats all you see guys do, but in smaller water nymphing remains go to method.

I personally ditched all my tying and gave away my awesome steelhead nymphing box that took me several years to complete just so I can focus and perfect the art of steelhead and salmon wet flies. They are very appealing, takes skill, study, and lots and lots of patience to whip. Not to mention a special feeling it gives to feel that pull on tight line.

On another note... I outfish nymphing guys in my waters all the time! Last time I got 2 and other 5 guys drifting indys had 0. Best was when I hooked 4 and guide with 4 clients had none. In my opinion swinging is much more effective in fall than nymphing.
 

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This is only partly tongue in cheek when I say that most of us are elitist snobs who prefer, no make that only, swing our fish up. Beads, nymphs and roe are largely frowned upon.

We accept that they, with the exception of roe, are legal, we still prefer not to talk about them or even acknowledge their existence.
:hihi: :hihi: :hihi: :hihi:
 

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Interesting question.

'Beadhead Nymphs' (size six to 10) is all I use here on the upper Rogue. Honestly can't remember when I used a larger fly.
 

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When fishing nymphs, I'm intensely focused. Swinging is a lot more laid back.


Judging from the nymph rigs I see on spey rods around the river, I know at least some of you guys are nymphing. So, why no nymph patterns in the forum?
I was curious about, and somewhat confused by the first comment.....
I mean, speaking for myself, I know that I tend to be pretty "intensely focused" when I'm swinging a fly.... probably MORE so than I ever used to be, long ago, when I didn't care at all how I caught a steelhead, and used to fish nymphs.
Swinging a fly is not just as simple as "cast it and swing it", ya know. It takes some concentration to get things set up just right ... Just a thought, but if you really increased your focus, you might have more success maybe? Just sayin'...

Regarding the second statement/question....
This site is called "Speypages" and this section is the "Speyclave" within it. Generally members tend to want to discuss things pertaining to casting and fishing "two handed" rods using spey lines and spey casts of some sort to swing a fly.
If an angler wanted to, they could probably attach a spinning rod to a two handed rod and toss out a Rapala a loooong way...and probably catch LOTS of steelhead.... But just because that fisherman is using a two handed rod with that Rapala to catch fish, doesn't mean that the fisherman is suddenly spey casting, or that members here at "Speypages" will be all that interested in reading about it.
Likewise with the guys you see nymphing with two handed rods. They are perfectly entitled to do it, but most of the members here aren't really interested in what they are doing at all....to put it lightly.

So you probably won't see very many nymphs here.......

Personally I would rather visit an icefishing forum, and read about catching perch with maggots on a jig, than look at nymphs, and discuss how to catch a steelhead with a nymph....and I really REALLY hate icefishing....
 

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Will first swing flys when conditions and the river being fished are optimal. The rivers I fish have excellent wild trout populations so I always have nymphs with me and will swing them. Not sure why no one posts them here, ok here are some bead head stone flys tied this winter. ;)

DS


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Released to spawn
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I don't think it's the flies (nymphs) themselves that are at issue, it appears to be the connotation that nymph fishing for steelhead is 'rig' fishing - that is, using a "fly" rod, and fly line/head, a mono rig is suspended under an indicator/'bobber', with weights on the mono, and then two weighted or beaded nymphs are attached below to scoot dead-drifted through fish-holding seams, usually from an anchored or drifting boat. Yes, it may be a very effective way to hook steelhead, but fly fishing it ain't! It's just artificial bait fishing, the bait being the artificial nymph.

Fishing nymphs off a fly line, +/- tip, leader & tippet in a conventional fly fishing sense (aka swinging nymphs) tends NOT to be the norm for steelhead, whereas that's exactly how it's done for trout +/- Atlantics in Europe; indeed, in Scotland, it's generally illegal to use any form of 'float' (indicator/bobber) when fishing for trout, seatrout & salmon. As an equally abhorrent (IMHO) comparison, in some parts of Ireland, it is perfectly accepted practice to fish a team of flies off a mono line, cast with a spinning rod & reel, where the casting weight at the end of the mono is a partly water-filled bubble float which supports the team of several flies. That ain't fly fishing either!


Mike
 

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One of my most memorable steelhead takes came to a Lady Caroline on a dead-drift. I hung the fly under one of the last bits of earth between the Calawah River (;)) and the Bogachiel. Late in September - so you can imagine jin-clear water and caddis husks littering the river banks. Somehow I managed to dislodge the fly and in that fleeting moment between mend and bringing the fly back under tension - a silvery disturbance moved up stream on the fly from a station several feet downstream. It seemed to track the fly in the currents before pouncing directly down on it. All I could muster was to stare as the fishs' tail fanned clear out of the water, line when tight and - you know the rest.
 

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Undertaker
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Discussion Starter #15
About what I expected

Kind of looks like nymphing for steelhead is the equivalent of cheating on one's wife. You might do it, but you sure as hell don't talk about it. That stonefly nymph Chase posted is nuts - probably took as much time to tie as one of those married winged flies we drool over here. I'm quite certain it would fool a steelie.

I stick by my "laid back" approach to swinging. I cast, make a mend, gather my loop, and kick back, watch the clouds, listen to the birds, etc. The fish will tell me when its time to get to work. Staring at a bobber is completely different - and less fun. But let me say that while I sometimes nymph with my spey or switch rod, I almost never use an indicator or split shot. They're harder to cast and a little boo-boo can lead to hopelessly tangled leaders. I'd rather miss strikes than spend fishing time untangling leaders. During midday, I will kind of dead drift swing a heavily weighted egg-sucking leech on a sinking leader - and yes, focus on the end of my flyline until the current grabs the line and swings the fly, or a fish takes. I've caught them both on the drift and the swing. Leisenring would approve (though I wonder what he'd make of an ESL).

Frankly, I'll choose not to post nymphs here. They are kind of boring to look at and its clear the idea rubs some hackles the wrong way. Thanks for your responses.;)
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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Cool story F04evr :smokin: Bet there was accompanying blood pressure spike watching that unfold.
 

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Growing up fly fishing nymphs for trout on the Nys Catskills rivers we swung weighted nymphs off of floating and sinking fly lines, never used fly indicator s so I am used to swinging nymphs when needed as the water and conditions dictate. Still hardly ever us an indicator. Too awkward for me and a pain to cast.
;)
DS


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Who wouldn't like using a fly that was (after splashdown) equally effective at ALL stages of a cast meant to end it's time swinging ?

While I have personal preferences when it comes down to fishing style, pure logic and the joy of reliving the past have made designing and tying flies that do double duty sort of a 'Holy Grail' for me.

Here's three of my attempts
 

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Darn it Dave, now I have to go cook up some eggs because you posted that beauty again!!! As always it's a joy seeing your work and I agree with the text.
 

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My guess would be that it is a combination of factors, largely:

-Most nymphs just don't photograph as well as the broad flowing colorful salmon and steelhead flies posted so often here
-Similarly, they just don't tend to be quite as "sexy"
-Lastly, I think that most folks who might otherwise be inclined to post a nymph or two that comes off the vise looking particularly appealing, choose not to because it's "not cool" in some circles.

I don't think too many folks would care to share a pic or two of their flies only to be accused of "not flyfishing!", or endure other such meaningless squabble. Easier to just tie them and fish them when/where they wish and let the fish be the sole critics. Given the level, and volume of tying talent here, it's pretty likely that there are some very sweet nymphs coming off the vise from some members here. There could be some interesting ideas, and tricks to learn from, ingredients to incorporate, etc etc. Not saying I need to see a wide plethora of "glo-bugs" or anything; but tight, and creatively tied flies are very worthy of respect and consideration imo. The manner in which someone chooses to fish the flies is a whole other can of worms, so to speak ;)

I can respect the strong feelings about the aesthetics behind swinging flies, especially such beautiful ones. I actually share those feelings for the most part in terms of my own personal tying and angling; but I don't see how sharing a picture of a nymph (especially something like that stonefly from Chase!!!) should in any way be a need for debate on what is "fly fishing" or not. It's not like any minds will be changed either way, it just serves to divide the community.

I know that some folks will likely never agree with me on that, which is fine. Still..it would be a shame to see a group of great tiers reduce such a fun and welcoming forum into an elitist club setting where fellow anglers felt unwanted or unwelcome to share creative ideas from their vises. The HFF forum on speypages is probably my favorite forum of any I have found online. I have always enjoyed the friendly, encouraging, and helpful tone of the discussion of everyones flies here; even one's with major "warts" like some that I have shared. Obviously not all of the flies shared here are masterpiece works of art... or even close to it. Kudos to those who have shown the highest level of respect and tact in both compliments and critiques, it speaks volumes on the community as a whole here and something I really hope does not change. A refreshing change from the often inane, combative, and pointless bickering that is becoming all too common in so many other places these days (especially online). So please, let's keep the judgment and commentary (and bickering) for other forums and just keep on with the cool tying and sharing here :)

Cheers,
JB
 
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