pros and cons of nymphing with a fly rod?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by dragonslayer, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. sleestak240 Active Member

    Posts: 107
    WA
    Ratings: +53 / 0

    Quite frankly, if you want to drift fish...a 9-10.5' gear rod (or a centerpin outfit) is hard to beat. I'm not sure there are any true advantages to the fly rod in this scenario. Personally, I enjoy the "feel" of the fly rod more, and I enjoy fighting fish with the fly rod; I think that's generally what it amounts to for most people. The mass of the fly line gives me a certain "comfort" I don't get with a bunch of hydrofloat out the rod tip. A lot of the guys steelhead fishing these days come from an extensive trout background...there are definite advantages to nymph fishing for trout that you can't get using other tools...that doesn't quite translate over to steelhead fishing, but old habits die hard.

    At the end of the day, use whatever works for you and makes you happy.
    SpokaneFisherman and Ed Call like this.
  2. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,684
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,095 / 1
    As someone who has used gear and extensively indicator fished for steelhead, I will say that effectiveness ultimately depends on the river system you are fishing. For small to medium rivers where you can cast most of the way across or work about every seem, then I honestly believe that nymphing with an indicator is truly an effective technique and I've done better with it than I did with gear. I also find that I tend to catch more fish than guys with gear who essentially do the same thing I'm doing. In fact I've gone as far as to set gear guys up with the same flies and then drifted behind them and I've caught more fish. I use heavily weighted flies and I rarely use split shot, so maybe that has something to do with it. When the gear guys are set up the same way, they can not cast the same flies without adding weight. They are also not able to mend their line the same way I am able to, so I'm not sure if they achieve the same drift. I've set gear people up for both steelhead and trout in rivers and the fly rod has always worked better. Now is it possible that the gear guys simply were not that good? Absolutely just as I've done the same for other fly guys and they also haven't caught anything.

    Hope this helps, if not, feel free to ask more specific questions, and I'll see what I can come up with.
  3. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,569
    Quesnel, BC
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    One of the pro's is that some people on the river will weep, softly to themselves, every time you hook a fish..

    One of the con's is that some of the people on the river will openly hate you for not wanting to validate their fishing method..

    One of the con's is that you don't feel the bite..

    One of the pro's is that you get a visual queue..

    One of the pro's is that you can fish deep slot water more efficiently..

    One of the con's is that you can't cover the wider holding water as easily..
  4. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,471
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +530 / 0
    I once put my garcia mitchell 300 spin reel on my berkely glass fly rod and threw a royal coachman with a pautzke red fire ball egg all on 8 # mono. Eh gawds! the fly fishing gods rewarded me with a 18" red band from the williamson river, or. ;) Adapt, overcome, improvise....do what Sgt. Gunny Highway would do.

    .....as long as its legal.
    Irafly likes this.
  5. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,795
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +320 / 1
    The amount of effort and emotion people put into this subject will never cease to amaze me.
  6. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,635
    Ratings: +648 / 2
    Well the steelhead forum is good entertainment in the winter!
    louis and Andrew Lawrence like this.
  7. tkww Member

    Posts: 467
    WA
    Ratings: +69 / 2
    This. The size and the kind of water are definitely factors for how effective or efficient nymphing is. Haters gonna hate, but it has its place. As does swinging.
    Irafly and Jeremy Floyd like this.
  8. underachiever !

    Posts: 695
    suburban hell
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  9. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,684
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,095 / 1
    This made me realy think about the kind of water I tend to focus on. In all honesty I have never really thought about the fact that swingin certain types of water would be more effective than indicatoring, I've just always made the indicator work in all types of water. Hmmm sopflyfisherman there might be hope for me yet. I might have to start swingin more often. Hell that last fish I caught swingin I would say I landed in not so good of swingin water.
  10. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,772
    Kirkland
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  11. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,355
    m-ville
    Ratings: +736 / 0
  12. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 1,002
    Vancouver WA
    Ratings: +398 / 0
    fly rods are not designed to cast bobber and or split shot
  13. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,535
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,504 / 9
    I believe some of them may be designed to deliver that type of rig, as are some fly lines, optimizing the users nymphing experience.
    Travis Bille likes this.
  14. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,569
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    I agree Ed, especially those old silk lines.. Hundreds of years of research went into them to be able to throw a thingamabobber properly!
  15. TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

    Posts: 870
    Vancouver, WA.
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    These threads are great. My response.... Just read my signature. ;)
  16. Jeff Sawyer Active Member

    Posts: 450
    Tacoma WA
    Ratings: +249 / 0
    As long as it's legal fish however makes you happy.

    For me nyphing under and indicator is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I don't enjoy it. I know that in many (most) cases it is more effective if your goal is to catch more fish. I've been fishing for 45 years, the number of fish I catch, stopped being my primary goal in fishing a long time ago.

    Now I want to catch them, the way I want to catch them, and for Steelhead that's on the swing. It's hard, and I don't catch many, but that challenge is part of the addiction. When you do find that player, there's nothing better, than knowing you put the time in and have worked your ass off for that one fish. And I personally don't care if I could have caught 100 on gear while I was swinging for that one. That 1 means more to me than all those on gear would have meant.

    But that's me. If pulling plugs or chunking bait, or indicator fishing gives you that thrill, go for it. If you get that same rush I get with a tug on a swung fly, you won't need anyone to explain the pros.
    rustybee likes this.
  17. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,704
    The Salt
    Ratings: +866 / 0
    pros
    - your writing and debating skills will improve as you use mental gymnastics to make a square peg fit in a round hole when trying to call side drifting beads "fly fishing" ;)

    [IMG]
    Chris Johnson and NateTreat like this.
  18. CLO Royal Wulff Pack

    Posts: 877
    PT/EDMNDS/TWSP
    Ratings: +424 / 0
    [IMG]


    [IMG]
    jake-e-boy likes this.
  19. dragonslayer New Member

    Posts: 17
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Why are all of the spey dudes on here such drama queens?
    sopflyfisher and jake-e-boy like this.
  20. jake-e-boy Banned or Parked

    Posts: 507
    Ratings: +227 / 0
    i'm a "spey dude" and i see nothing wrong with either tactic, do not think spey rods were originally designed for skagit heads and x amount of t14 but i still chuck and duck with my half chickens. tried nymphing once and it wasn't for me, now if i could get steelies to respond to streamers... that could get me to dust off my one handed 7 wt