Nymphing for Steelhead...why are folks against it?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by jroni, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
  2. Sageman Member

    Posts: 609
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    You must not talk to anybody on the river. Actually, if you are swinging you aren't going to see it. Trying nymphing for a season, you'll meet lots of elitist fishermen.

    My favorite was the guy who came through my hole on the Methow in early October one morning. I had landed a steelhead dead-drifting an October caddis pattern, and brought 6 more up on a skater, landing 2 of them. I had literally made about 2 casts with a nymph setup when he came by and started flipping me crap about nymphing and preaching to me about how someday I'll learn the real joy of flyfishing and swinging for steelhead and I'll never go back to "watching bobbers."
  3. kjsteelhead Member

    Posts: 157
    Bellingham, Washington
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Swing vs. Nymph
    Spoon vs, Jig
    Shrimp vs. Roe
    Snagging vs. Netting
    12 Volt vs. Blasting Caps
    Damming vs. Logging
    Lakers vs. Yankees
  4. Sageman Member

    Posts: 609
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I think you are exactly right on this point. I think that since the historical steelhead authors were swingers, and wrote about it, that it has become the "pure" form of steelheading. Kind of like Columbus "discovering" America. Since they described it before nymphing really became a common technique, it carries more of a romantic quality for a lot of people.
  5. rainbownater New Member

    Posts: 19
    La Grande, Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have to comment on this post because I am purely tired of "hoity toit" fly fisherman who buy the latest gear and spend a fortune decking out their spey rods with the most technologically advanced lines, reels, etc. Most of which are walking billboards that can't cast their $2,000 dollar set-up. All the while they claim that they are the elitist badass "Swingers".
    Give me a break, learn how to cast, and until you judge others for using nymphs. Take a look at the equipment your wearing, the rod your using, the technology that aids you into propelling your "so-called" TRADITIONAL wet fly.

    Don't hate on other fly fisherman that use nymphs because their catch rate is 10 to your 1.
  6. slim Fish or Ski...Fish or ski....fish!

    Posts: 208
    Spokane Washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Mumbles, that's funny #@$% Sageman that description was perfect. I've taken a lot of that stuff for granted over the years. On a trip to the Ronde earlier this year I was teaching a couple of my buddies how to nymph and alot of what you said is so much easier to say than to teach especially trying to get into specific seams and rocks. I really do think there's specific water to target for the swing and nymphing.
  7. bobduck Whiskey Tastes Best from a TIN CUP

    Posts: 61
    vancouver, washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You can nymph without an indicator and catch fish, with an indicator and catch fish and swing flies in traditional style runs and catch fish. I think the idea is to have fun. But to be honest, the take on a swinging fly is the most gratifying and exhiliarating of all.
  8. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,288
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +542 / 0
    I'm really glad I don't hang out in the same haunts that you do. I honstly never meet these popele that you speak of.
    This whole elitist hoity toity thing is really a myth to me.
  9. inland Active Member

    Posts: 595
    .
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Sageman,

    Matching a food source while nymphing for non-feeding fish = the same as swinging a green butt skunk. Neither are 'pure'. Neither are right. Or wrong. NON FEEDING FISH. VERY small percentage of them actually ingest items- cig butts, birds, leaves...are those the food sources you are talking about???

    Swinging is simple. Very simple.

    The technical side of nymphing is more difficult. So what? I spent so many years (nearly singlemindedly) nymphing for trout...I would rather break my fingers with a ball peen hammer then try to catch another fish that way. Ask knowledgeable gear fishers what they think it is? Nearly to a man they call a spade a spade. It IS gear fishing with a flyrod. So what? Does that in some way diminish what you like doing? I see don't why you (or anybody) would, or should, care.

    Catching fish with the method is neither right or wrong. Obviously a lot of guys enjoy it. Just like guys sidedrifting roe from a sled, pulling plugs, pinning, swinging spoons, float and jig, or whatever.

    The only conflict comes about when people take and grow roots in runs. ESPECIALLY when this is done in the buckets. Effectively stopping other anglers from fishing through. No different from anyone else that does this.

    There is a 'public' access stretch on one of the most famous salmon rivers in Scotland. Where an angler may use a fly. Bait. Lures. One could even nymph if they choose. Pools are marked at the head and tail. All anglers begin at the top and WORK through the pool. Stepping between each cast. Since this 'beat' is unlimited access this is a very fair and efficient way to ensure everybody gets a crack at the fish = pool rotation. Failure to follow these rules results in your being removed from the property.

    A foreign concept for most of America. PNW included. Pool rotation...what a clever idea to let everybody get a crack at the fish. Do you teach your students to rotate? Or park?

    William
  10. floatinghat Member

    Posts: 294
    near enough to Seattle
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Because nymphers have a reputation for camping on water, not moving and if they move they move against the grain and fish upstream. It goes counter to tradition and can really f up the flow in certain rivers. Take the NFU, nymphing is effectively outlawed, because guys would plug productive pools all day and not move.

    Is the reputation justified? I guess that goes by personal preference.
  11. Blake Harmon Active Member

    Posts: 1,030
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    I primarily nymph for steel (the way I learned) and use Streamers when im not nymphing. I just wanted to know, From a few different members. Is there really no difference between bait guys, and your average nymphing fly fisherman? Really????

    If a fellow flyfisherman came up to me spouting about how i was practically bait fishing, I wouldnt be very happy, In fact id be insulted.

    I have admiration for all fellow fly fishers, no matter what the tactic. And one day I hope to be on big water enough that I can swing 100%. But I am an eastsider, who spends most the time on Tucannon, so thats just not an option at this point.

    And from an outside perspective, A true "elitest" fly fisherman wouldn't bitch and nag about other ways to fish, He would absolutely and unequivocally be content with his own method.
  12. g_smolt Recreational User

    Posts: 916
    58°19'59 N, 134°29'49 W
    Ratings: +161 / 0
    I'm so cool that I don't even swing for steelhead anymore, much less nymph.

    I just stand on the shore, exuding an elitist attitude, and damn if the fish don't just swim up to my feet, just to be near me...

    But here's the catch: I'm so elitist, I just shun them away. After all, why have a bunch of fish ruin my experience in the river?
  13. rainbownater New Member

    Posts: 19
    La Grande, Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Where do you see nymphers camping on water? They must not be very successful. The most active fly fisherman I have seen are "nymphers".

    I think the reel reason you or anyone else has a problem with "nymphers" is that they out fish you. :rolleyes:
  14. Sageman Member

    Posts: 609
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    So how is swinging a fly different from a gear fisherman letting a spoon swing across the current? Or swinging a corky or spin and glo across the bottom?

    Not sure what your point is here and I'm not sure why you are taking such a hostile tone here.... I usually methodically work through a hole/drift/run regardless of which method I use.
  15. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +216 / 2
    In my previous "rant" (about as much ranting as I'll do here anyway) on the centerpin thread, I was so focused on the elitism of fly guys towards gear guys, I totally forgot about the elitism of fly guys on other fly guys (swingers vs. nymphers). Yes, they are out there. With any luck I won't come across them during a day of fishing.
  16. John Wallace Active Member

    Posts: 552
    Bellevue,Wa.
    Ratings: +61 / 1
    I don't know, maybe I'm just to old, but I fly fish because I have fun and it gets me away. Just because I fish the way I like doesn't mean anyone else has too. They should fish how they have fun.
    The idea is to go out and have fun!
  17. koolminx Member

    Posts: 305
    Gorst, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    OK I get it now.... :D
  18. Blake Harmon Active Member

    Posts: 1,030
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +138 / 0

    Sageman, you are my idol. everything you say, I agree with.
  19. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,288
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +542 / 0
    There's quite a few people getting worked up here about things that aren't being said. Very odd.

    Go Red Sox,
    cds
  20. jroni Member

    Posts: 88
    North Bend, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The most common thing I'm hearing is once you've caught one on the swing then you won't switch back. I guess I disagree with that notion since I've caught them on a dry, nymphing and on the swing and would rather catch them on a dry first. The other thing is I don't really see that much of a difference between nymphing and swinging. When you nymph you pretty much swing the second half of the cast anyways? I've caught fish on the dead drift part, the swinging part, and on the strip return. The nostalgic argument makes some sense I guess but so much has changed in all aspects of flyfishing that unless you are using a bamboo rod it only makes a bit of sense to me.