Question...is Euro nymphing actually fly fishing?

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Supporter
I've heard arguments on both sides from guides and anglers on the east and west coasts. Some think it is, some think it isn't. Seems like a matter of opinion and where you draw the line on the definition of fly fishing. Thoughts?
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Most of the dry fly purists that I know only fish during optimal conditions. Trying to fish all four seasons changes ones ideology very quickly.
I spent way too much time fishing dries when I only got to fish occasionally. Led to many frustrating outings.
 

BullerRiver1

Active Member
I'm confused by the OP's question. How is euro nymphing substantially different than 'high sticking' a nymph drift - other than the rod length and line? Not sure why it wouldn't be 'fly fishing."
 

D C Brenna

Member
No dry fly purist is critical of the wet fly, or even nymph fisher. But ad hominem attacks on what we think is the best way to catch a fish is an attack. It’s up to us. You want to regulate dry fly fishing? We’re not suggesting laws against nymph fishing. Why can’t you accept we have a different standard for enjoying fly fishing? Do nymph fisherman get to see the fish come to the fly? I like that! So go your own way. Us purists still enjoy the sport more.
 

D C Brenna

Member
The dry-fly-only purists just haven’t fished enough: they’ve been limited to trout in streams, and that’s pretty boring compared to what’s out there in the wider world. It’s kind of like arguing that rodeo or mounted archery aren’t equestrian sports because they aren’t dressed like tools and jumping cute little weenie obstacle courses.

We’re dealing with the ultimate fuddy duddies. Have these English-tradition gatekeepers ever heard of Atlantic salmon fly fishing? Prolly can’t hear well, what with the twisted knickers and all.
You are trying to define the sport on your terms. I didn’t call you a “fuddy duddy”. I didn’t condemn salmon fly fishing. Don’t judge me, I didn’t judge you.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
You are trying to define the sport on your terms. I didn’t call you a “fuddy duddy”. I didn’t condemn salmon fly fishing. Don’t judge me, I didn’t judge you.
Sorry, but narrowing the definition of fly fishing to dry fly fishing and then putting an asterisk on all the other presentations using materials tied on a hook/shank/tube and delivered with a fly line and rod is far more restrictive (to the point that the tail is trying to wag the dog). I’ll back out on the fuddy duddy bit.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Most of the dry fly purists that I know only fish during optimal conditions. Trying to fish all four seasons changes ones ideology very quickly.

I spent 15 years being a dry fly purist. I fished year around, all over the country, in all kinds of conditions.

You can be successful doing so but it is challenging. I started that way because that was how I learned to fly fish and kept it going with few exceptions because I saw it as a challenge to catch fish on dries every month of the year. I was able to do so in all the places I have lived since becoming a fly fisherman with Montana being the lone exception. I never pulled it off in February in 5 winters there, though I missed it a couple time by a week or less. That said, I never fished tail waters or spring creeks when I lived there.

There is a difference between catching fish and catching nice fish when dry fly fishing in poor conditions though. It’s easy to catch 9 inch trout feeding on midges. Tough to get nice trout to move much for a meal like that unless the hatch is really heavy or long and you can’t count on those. Even on tailwaters in January/February in places with hard winters.

I have now become a more refined gentleman and fish the best method I know for the conditions faced. However, I’m still a guy that will go to a dry fly too early and stick with it too late a lot of times. I just really love the visual aspect of it.
 

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