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  1. #1

    Default French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    Was just reading the article in T+S about French nymphing by Jonathan White, who has a new book out on the subject.

    I hope to get the book for Christmas, but I thought his description and analysis of FN sounded more like standard upstream nymphing?

    Firstly, he advised using a fly line ( mentions Triangle Taper be Lee Wulff ) and also an 8.5ft rod....."it is usual for the fly line to be extended well beyond the rod tip"

    Surely the idea of FN is to get as much of a drag free drift as possible by avoiding having standard fly line on the water, and using a long rod as a lever to help in that tactic?

    Or am I misunderstanding ?

    Tks
    Irish by birth, Munster by the grace of God.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    The TT is a great line for nymphing, especially in tighter areas where you might be using roll casts etc, as its profile lends itself nicely. I also like it for fishing downstream for for the same reasons.
    To use that line, on an 8'6 rod doesn't align with my interpretation of the FL method.
    [I][ Insert philosophical waffle about fly fishing here ][/I]

  3. #3

    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    Nope, me neither Luke. I appreciate that FN can be adapted to smaller stream situations but I have always thought that FN was generally about a delicate presentation using a long mono type leader with a long rod (on standard/large rivers anyway). He does mention boissons longish leaders but I thought the fly line was for the reel in FN, not on the water.

    Anyone read the book yet? Any good?
    Irish by birth, Munster by the grace of God.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    It was reviewed in Eat Sleep Fish recently, see the link:


    Book Review | Eat, Sleep, Fish

  5. #5
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    Its difficult to answer the question without the context but you can have fly line out of the tip without the FL laying on the water, it depends on the length of the FL and does help with casting. I've not tried it with the 9 metre leaders yet. I made up my own of about 11ft for using on the Avon this autumn because the flows have been low and at times I have let the line lie on the water as well, the results have been very good.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    I've been using a 'competition-legal' nyphing line recently and have had very good results. Mainly because you can get a fair distance cast (+30') and even though you cannot hold all the line off the water at this distance the very delicate presentation has helped especially on very skinny glides where you cannot get to close to the fish and a 'normal' fly line landing spooks fish too easily.
    Fishing long glides where there aren't any real conflicting currents docent really require such good drift control as you would need in more turbulent water especially if you fish mainly directly up-stream, fish short drifts and add a mend if necessary.
    I suppose that this is moving more into Spanish Nymphing territory but modern nymphing is a broad-church and I seem to catch a lot of fish.

    Cheers

    Andy
    GAIA Casting Instructor & Fishing Guide

  7. #7
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    Personally I think there is a great deal of tripe and bravado written about many methods and the FL is one of them. Anybody who has tried to hold any length of line off the water and obtain a drag free drift will know there is only so much you can do with a nylon leader and less if it's fluorocarbon before either a) the line sags due to gravity or b) the flies are accelerated downstream or pulled off line, in the attempt to keep the line off the water.

    Last week on the Avon fishing a full french leader because of the debris on the bottom, (weed not yet flushed through and lots of leaves on the bottom), I had to fish a light single nymph, (single fly only allowed). This is how the FL was designed to be fished, the only thing was I couldn't see the fish as there was very slight colour in the water, (it looked crystal clear until you were in 3ft of water).

    I was lucky if I could hold more than 1.5 - 2 rod lengths of leader outside the tip ring off the water and that was in good conditions, without accelerating the nymph forward or pulling it off line. The best tactic was simply to cast, lay the indicator on the water and hold 1.5 rod lengths of line off the water, keeping in touch with the nymph and watching for the indicator to jag or move sideways as fish took the nymph. It was easy to spot takes on the drop and it was a very sensitive set up which saw very few takes missed.

    When I spoke to the river keeper who has many years of experience on the water, his view was that too many people complicate it and he simply uses a standard line on the water approach, watching the end of the line like a hawk. His view is it's worked for years, hes fished with some of the best chalk stream and river anglers and he sees no need to change it.

    I've spent quite a few sessions nymphing this year and now that I've seen how simple it actually is and how sensitive it can be, I'm quite happy to fish it at range and cast it like a normal fly line watching the indicator without trying to hold too much line off the water as I know from experience that providing you get a drag free drift and keep in touch with your flies, it is a very effective way of catching fish.

    As the flies get closer you can lift the line off the water however on many clear shallow venues, by time you get within this range, the fish could very well have drifted out of reach.

    With heavier nymphs it's far easier to hold more line off the water but there is a very delicate balance and that is the key because putting it simply you can't defy gravity and you can only hold line off the water if the anchor has sufficient weight to support it, without imparting any undesired movement forwards or sideways.
    Last edited by dave b; 17-11-2016 at 06:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: French nymphing a la Jonathan White

    I tied Red Ice into my home made leader, it's easier to see than the line tip and nearer to the business end. I suspect we're fishing the same area.

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