Stillwater Nymphing Help

R-W

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Nov 23, 2021
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Staveley
Hi,

I need some advice on fishing in my local small Stillwater's.

The tarn where I fish most is around 10ft deep and stocked with Brown trout up to 5lbs. I cast only from the bank. The rod I have is an Agility 2 10' 4wt with Aircel floating line. I'm only casting one nymph but would like to eventually fish 2.

I have read that in order to reach the deeper parts with nymphs I need a leader length of 1.25 x the depth of the tarn. So 12.5ft. I use 9' tapered fluoro leaders with 3ft of tippet, 4X for beaded size 14, 5X for beaded 16.
I used Loon tip toppers as an indicator when I'm retrieving, they are set anywhere from where the flyline and leader meets, to 4ft down the butt section to vary the depth, they are great for spotting bites but they cause too many problems casting, there is a hinge effect and the leader struggles to turn over.
I then tried fishpimp indicators which are infuriating to put on, but better, however still difficult to cast.

My questions are:

Is the problem I'm having due to casting technique?
Should I be using 2X/3X leaders and tippet instead?
Is it because the the 4wt line?
Would a 6wt rod & line be better to turnover an indicator and 2 nymphs? (Looking at the Scierra SRX V2)

I tried not using an indicator at all but the fly line tip sinks and I've no idea what depth I'm fishing at.

I was tempted to try the Airflo Kelly Galloup Nymph/Indicator floating line. It says it has a small front taper for turning over these rigs and is more buoyant at the tip. But didn't want to pay £50 if I needed a heavier setup anyway.

Any help would be much appreciated

Thanks

Ross
 

running bear

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Firstly, don't go buying amy new kit yet, a 4wt and an aircel to match will cast just about any team of nymphs you are likely to need on a small water, granted it would not be my first choice, but isnt far away. Money would be better spent on casting lessons that a new rod.

If you want to get 10' down, with any retrieve or drift at all on an indicator setup, 1.25 leader length probably wont make it, but dont worry about that initially.

I'd start with a fairly heavy tapered leader, which sounds like you already have, and again, you are fine with either the 4x or 5x, although if you can manage it, maybe use 4-5' especially if going to two flies. If you struggle with this length, then cut back a bit of the tapered leader at the tip.

Here's the main difference i'd reccomend, ditch the indicator. When retrieving or drifting in the wind, keep the rod tip 9" off the water and watch the flyline between tip and water. When it moves forward or drops etc, strike. This is one of the biggest shocks for beginners, how many takes they are actually getting, but don't feel. Look on youtube for examples.

You will also notice heavy flies take your flyline tip under, thats not a problem either as you will be counting your flies down anyway before retriving (or rather just keeping pace with a drift) not relying on a rigid setting of your indicator.
If you want to fish shallower, use lighter flies/something with a little more hackle. Deeper, use heavier beads, slimmer dressings.

BTW, the gallop line is for turning over really heavy stuff, when yanks talk about nymphs and indicators, what they are really talking about is closer to a mackerel fishing setup, ie a float and a heavy lumo of lead.
 

R-W

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Nov 23, 2021
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Staveley
@running bear

Many thanks for your response

So tippet of 4-5ft on a 9ft leader and cut back the leader rather than the tippet if I need to shorten it? Would I be better with 12ft leaders?

Ok, I'll try ditching the indicator and count the flies down. Casting lessons are a priority I agree.
Just out of interest what weight/length rod would you suggest for this? I got a 10ft rod because the tarn has high grasses around it and one day hope to use use the rod from a kayak.

Thanks also for the info about Kelly Galloup line, wasn't aware
 
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running bear

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@running bear

Many thanks for your response

So tippet of 4-5ft on a 9ft leader and cut back the leader rather than the tippet if I need to shorten it? Would I be better with 12ft leaders?

Ok, I'll try ditching the indicator and count the flies down. Casting lessons are a priority I agree, just out of interest what weight/length rod would you suggest for this?

Thanks also for the info about Kelly Galloup line, wasn't aware
Yep, cut back the leader, many 9' leaders have a fine level tip, if you lose this, it may help turnover. Some tips are deliberately very fine and limp to give drag free drift on a river. After a lesson, 12' should be easily manageable. Lengths beyond this usually best left until you've more experince/practice.

I use a 9' #5 for nearly all small stillwater methods as an all rounder, but if i were going nymphing and unlikely to fish dries i'd probably take a 10' #5, but then again, if it was a lovely calm day, i'd use a 10'#3. Then i do have too many rods.
 
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chrisrfoster

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Hi Ross, I see your in Staveley is that Cumbria ? Only I live in Cumbria and fish WADAA waters, I may be able to help. If it is Cumbria I can also recommend Vee Carlson for lessons
 
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R-W

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Hi Ross, I see your in Staveley is that Cumbria ? Only I live in Cumbria and fish WADAA waters, I may be able to help. If it is Cumbria I can also recommend Vee Carlson for lessons
Thanks Chris, it is staveley in Cumbria yeah. I'm fishing the tarn at kentmere currently because I'm just starting up and didn't want to commit to the WADAA membership price! Got a Staveley Angling membership for now 👍 I'll have a look at Vee Carlson lessons
 

R-W

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Yep, cut back the leader, many 9' leaders have a fine level tip, if you lose this, it may help turnover. Some tips are deliberately very fine and limp to give drag free drift on a river. After a lesson, 12' should be easily manageable. Lengths beyond this usually best left until you've more experince/practice.

I use a 9' #5 for nearly all small stillwater methods as an all rounder, but if i were going nymphing and unlikely to fish dries i'd probably take a 10' #5, but then again, if it was a lovely calm day, i'd use a 10'#3. Then i do have too many rods.
Understood, thanks

Last question, is there a good fluorocarbon tippet you could recommend for tying dropper rigs? Currently use Airflo G5 and it feels a bit limp
 

codyarrow

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Personally I'd count it down. Keep counting until you feel the bottom. Then you know how long it takes to get 10ft down. Not that I would be fishing 10ft down all the time. Trout will be feeding at all levels.
Might be easier for you putting a heavy nymph on point and then a lighter one on the dropper.
'Mastering the nymph' by Gorden Fraser is an old book that will not cost you the earth. The patterns are old but a lot of the theory will be useful to you.
 

icejohn

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G5 feels limp... that's a good thing means your flies have more natural movement.

Use brass beads tied into your fly patterns that will get you down if you really worried about depth.

Personally 10ft leader from the tip of the flyline with two flies will get you fishing in the zone. Better to be above bottom than hooking it imho.
 

GEK79

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Firstly, don't go buying amy new kit yet, a 4wt and an aircel to match will cast just about any team of nymphs you are likely to need on a small water, granted it would not be my first choice, but isnt far away. Money would be better spent on casting lessons that a new rod.

If you want to get 10' down, with any retrieve or drift at all on an indicator setup, 1.25 leader length probably wont make it, but dont worry about that initially.

I'd start with a fairly heavy tapered leader, which sounds like you already have, and again, you are fine with either the 4x or 5x, although if you can manage it, maybe use 4-5' especially if going to two flies. If you struggle with this length, then cut back a bit of the tapered leader at the tip.

Here's the main difference i'd reccomend, ditch the indicator. When retrieving or drifting in the wind, keep the rod tip 9" off the water and watch the flyline between tip and water. When it moves forward or drops etc, strike. This is one of the biggest shocks for beginners, how many takes they are actually getting, but don't feel. Look on youtube for examples.

You will also notice heavy flies take your flyline tip under, thats not a problem either as you will be counting your flies down anyway before retriving (or rather just keeping pace with a drift) not relying on a rigid setting of your indicator.
If you want to fish shallower, use lighter flies/something with a little more hackle. Deeper, use heavier beads, slimmer dressings.

BTW, the gallop line is for turning over really heavy stuff, when yanks talk about nymphs and indicators, what they are really talking about is closer to a mackerel fishing setup, ie a float and a heavy lumo of lead.
Great advice. 👍👍
 
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running bear

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Understood, thanks

Last question, is there a good fluorocarbon tippet you could recommend for tying dropper rigs? Currently use Airflo G5 and it feels a bit limp
I'm not the one to ask for detailed flouro advice. When i get a leader material i like, I dont experinent with new ones. I used Fulling Mill flouro for years when fluro first came out, then i switched to Berkeley after a dodgy spool. I will probably stick with that unless it changes or goes out of production.
I do tinker with just about everything else tho.
 

BobP

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R-W

I'll outline the set up I've used for many years on Farmoor in the early part of the season. I know Farmoor is bigger and deeper that the water you fish, but the trout at that time of year patrol along the bank at around the 10' level which is the depth you are aiming at.

Rod is a 10' #5 with a WF5 line. The leader is 18' of straight through 8lb mono. I use one of the premium brands which are as thin as most of the top fluoros. Early season I fish two flies because the fish are deep and there is little to be gained from having a third fly that will fish at most 4' down. The two flies are 6' apart. The point fly is a size 12 pheasant tail buzzer with a 2.5 - 2.8mm tungsten bead. I tie a thorax of olive seal to which I have mixed in some red seal. The dropper fly is usually a size 12 UV coated quill buzzer that has a thorax cover of red holographic covered with a pearl holographic. Traffic light buzzer. No bead is necessary.

I use indicators and mine are bright red egg yarn attached to an 8" length of fly line backing using the New Zealand method, The backing has a loop at one end but not at the other. This means I can attach it to the loop of the fly line and the leader gets tied to the loop at the other end of the backing. The yarn indicator needs to be trimmed so that it will pass down through the rod rings.

Thereafter it is a matter of casting out across the breeze and fishing it slowly. If I drop the flies 20 yards out then it takes me around 4 minutes to fish out the cast. If the breeze is pushing the indicator round too quickly an upwind mend with slow it down. Takes are obvious because the indicator just slips under, though when you get fully tuned in to the method you'll find yourself lifting into fish purely because the indicator looked "odd" on the water and your instinct kicked in.

A 4# is perhaps a trifle on the light side, but as long as you don't try casting into the wind with this set up you should manage OK. The indicator, like all of them, will affect your casting slightly. I just slow things down a little and it works out just fine. If you think about the weighted flies, the length of the leader & the fact that it is not tapered or the indicator & where it is positioned you will struggle. Just fish with it and put your whole attention on that tuft of wool out there on the water and where & how the flies are fishing. Do not take your eyes off that wool even for a second while it is fishing. Remember, THEY know when you aren't looking, and that's when you look back & wonder where the indicator has gone. Two seconds later the penny drops but it is too late. Been there and done it, and seen many others do the same.
 
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