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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This year I want to do some nymph flyfishing for brook trout in rivers and I need some good pattern ideas and some tips.
I'm open to any suggestions.
 

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This year I want to do some nymph flyfishing for brook trout in rivers and I need some good pattern ideas and some tips.
I'm open to any suggestions.
Go to the site below and look up "Hatch Chart". This is a Nova Scotia site,but the insects shown apply to NB as well. There may be a few days difference in the hgatch times, but this is a good indicator of the various hatches around. There are several nymph patterns listed as well as the approximate times when they can be used as well as the flky sizes. I think there are also dressings for these on this site as well. I know there are for the dry flies.

http://users.eastlink.ca/~dryfly/index.html
 

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I do a bit of nymphing and find it quite effective. My two favorites in typical NB brook trout streams are the copper john and the prince nymph.
 

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There are alot of options open to you flyguy.

I have been nymphing for years and right now my favorite go to fly is the Bead Head Pheasant Tail nymph. These flys are good at representing may fly nymphs and can be found in any freshwater stream on this of Canada. You can look for may fly nymphs hanging out on rocks and debris in the water. Tie some or get some in sizes ranging from 10-16

Some Hares Ear nymphs are also good to have in your fly box. These flys can represent a wide range of insects common to fresh water and if they have spiky dubbing they can imitate insects with legs. Get some with the bead head or without in sizes 10-16

Copper Johns are a good fly to use as well. Trout like the colour of copper and if you wanna catch trout use peacock herl. These flys are heavy from the wire and the bead but they are great for sinking down in the water column to where the big trout lie. You can use them quite effectively on setups with 2 or three hooks and they are the weight. They also can be tied with varying colours of wire and a good one is to use silver and black wire with black biots.

Also some very good flys although they may be small are midges or buzzers. The most common size for a midge is size 18 but there are some that can go as big as size 10 and small as size 28. These insects larva and pupae are effective almost year round and can be found in any fresh water. Some are made to fish deep and some are made for streams. The best way to figure out what you would need is to use a fine net to seine your favorite fishing spot to see what you should tie as there is over 2000 species in North America.
These flys are very easy to tie sometimes only using your tying thread for body,ribbing, head and pro-legs. They are common in three different colours that are black, brown, and red for the larva.
A San Juan worm is a midge larva imitation. The larva are red because they store hemoglobin and they usually live in the mud at the bottom of the stream or lake.
Use google to find some patterns and don't be scared off by their small size as these flys can catch huge fish just takes more finesse.

When you plan to go nymphing be careful what rivers you plan on fishing and check your regulations. Alot of rivers are gear restricted or have restrictions on them for certain times of the year.
I don't agree with this regulation as most flys for nymphing are to small to be effective jigs but you can still do streamer fishing which is actually the same as jigging in some cases depending on your fly but anyway don't use weighted flys or bead heads but you can use sinking line or tips to get your flys down. 80-90% of the time trout are feeding below the surface about 1-1.5 feet above the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the great ideas guys the websites were really helpful!
Can't wait for the season now!
 

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Great advice guys.

Last year I had some trouble getting a nice brookie to rise for a dry fly in July. As soon as I tied on a nymph he was smashed it, I don't think I had to set the hook.
My favorite would also be the pheasant tail nymph. Like he alluded to before, get some beadheads and nonweighted versions because you need to present the fly at their level.
 

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Great advice guys.

Last year I had some trouble getting a nice brookie to rise for a dry fly in July. As soon as I tied on a nymph he was smashed it, I don't think I had to set the hook.
My favorite would also be the pheasant tail nymph. Like he alluded to before, get some beadheads and nonweighted versions because you need to present the fly at their level.
Most information I've read says that the trout taking flies from the surface makeup only about 10% of feeding trout. Due to the dangers of coming to the surface and availability of other food sources lower in the water column. As well after speaking with a local expert, he also told me that dry flies are mostly a waste of time in this part of the country if you're into catching fish. Are you guys talking about nymphs in contrast to dry surface flies or nymphs instead of other wet flies and dry flies? I personally haven't caught much on a dry fly in the last 3 years but I tie one on if my luck is down every once in a while.
 

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I think they are talking about nymphing compared to drys or wet flys. Nymphing is a little harder to get onto but madaboutfishing is right that most of the feeding activity occurs below the surface but when trout are rising and hitting bugs on the surface that is the way to go. I am mainly a nymphing type of fly fisherman and that means I have one half of a fly box for drys and the other for streamers. My other 4 boxes are all nymphs.

I like to sink my flies down in the rocks sand and dirt. I find I hook up more down there as the fish tend to feed more actively in the bottom 1 1/2 feet of a body of water. Also trout are very territorial and if you can float a fly into their territory they will most likely strike even if it is on the hatch. (it is harder on your gear though and get some fluro tippet material)

Lately I have been tying chironomid (midge) larva and pupa with a few emergers. These little guys (can go very small down to size 26 - 28 hooks but usually around 18) can make up to 80% of a fishes diet and chironomids are actively hatching year round.
 

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I'm just getting back into fishing myself after a bit of a "leave" because of . . . well no good reason. Just wondering what kind of set up you use for nymphing. I imagine that you have to use strike indicators, how much leader do you let through? Floating line with that?
 

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You can use just a plain floating line with around 8-10 feet of leader material and tippet. I usually start at a 3x for the butt of the leader than down to 4x and than to 5x with 6x being my tippet size. You can also make a dropper rig with a dry fly or emeger floating on the top of the water with a small fly about 14" - 18" behind down in the water column. You can experiment with leader lengths and type but find one that suits you and stick with it.

For water that say 8' and deeper you could use a sinking tip line or a sinking line or just a peice of fly line you add onto your floating line so you can sink down deep. Also depending on the rule book I think you can fish up to 3 flies per line but I find any more than two flies and I will constantly get knots.

As for float indicators I just use cheap wool "Super Fly" indicators. I find them very easy to set and maintain a dead drift with the wool pointing straight up. I think you can get them at Wal-Mart. These I will constantly change the placement on the leader so I can control the depth my nymphs are fishing and I also use non toxic split shot to help sink some of my flies down deep. You can look around online at some great sites that talk about this method of fishing and your best bet is to just keep trying new things and experimenting.

Also be sure to read the water and learn to recognize holding areas behind rocks and around sunken debris. When you arrive at an area you would like to fish just take your time and watch what the water is doing and make mental notes of feeding lanes and small swirls in the water. I will loose around 5 flies a day fishing to underwater obstacles but that is a small price for some nice trout.
 

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Great info on here, guys, thanks!

My first (favourite) experience with a nymph was last spring at Marysville bridge. We were trying to find the first eager ones of the sea-runs, up & down the Nashwaak between Penniac & Taymouth all day. As a last resort (on our way home), we stopped at the bridge.

A very helpful, knowledgeable & optimistic individual saw our fly rods and told us, "Yer a-gonna be needin' a werm to be catchin' anything here."

Within 3-4 drifts of the nymph, I had a gorgeous fish on, landed it, and, to the optimist's dismay, released it.

HUGE fan of nymphs ever since!!


If I could add two tips to the many great ones above:

1. use a full 9' rod, as it helps you reach out to control your drift.
2. you don't really have to 'cast' as it's best just to flip it upstream. Bead-heads hitting rod blanks aren't the best feeling & sounding thing in the world
 
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