Question...is Euro nymphing actually fly fishing?

LilCutts

fish & whistle
Premium
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?
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Fly fishing would be wayyyy bigger if it could ease up on the tradition-worship.
It was before the spinning reel and monofilament came along. If you fished, you used a bait caster and picked out backlashes, or used a fly rod and had to deal with the silk line BS. If you were a good fisherman, you used the fly rod with night crawlers or minnows. My grandfather used a fly rod for panfish and bass (bait and fly) until nylon line and spinning reels came along.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
Premium
Really, it's more like this:

1. stripping streamers
2. stripping streamers
3. stripping streamers
.
.
.
.
47. dry or die
.
.
.
107. swinging streamers
.
.
.
136. nymphing (they're all combined in my model)
137. worm/bobber

It should be noted that I do all of the above except for 137, but if my kiddo shows any sort of interest in fishing, you'd better believe that'll be utilized.
 

Salmo_g

Premium
Fly fishing would be wayyyy bigger if it could ease up on the tradition-worship.
And there in we get at the crux of the problem. Why make fly fishing bigger, let alone wayyy bigger, unless you're trying to make a buck by commercializing it? Fly fishing was a perfectly good small niche market until somebody decided they could make a lot more money by expanding the universe that fly fishing has become.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
And there in we get at the crux of the problem. Why make fly fishing bigger, let alone wayyy bigger, unless you're trying to make a buck by commercializing it? Fly fishing was a perfectly good small niche market until somebody decided they could make a lot more money by expanding the universe that fly fishing has become.
Good point. Niche is good, obscure is good. I guess the best export of fly fishing to the greater world of sport fishing is possibly the stance on conservation and responsible C&R. Obviously, it is likely better still to have as few people as possible fishing vs hordes powered by internet hype.

Maybe: if a smaller slice of all people fished with rod and line and a greater share of them did so on fly gear, that might be pleasant. Who knows?
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
I’ve been absolutely crushing it with euro nymphing on the Deschutes all winter and spring. I was anxiously awaiting the big stone hatch in May, yet all month I have been flipping big stone dries around for a bit without success then switching back to nymphing to start catching fish. This May I haven’t caught a damn thing on dries.

This week I actually bought myself a real nymphing rod.

Nymphing has been so effective for me that I’m a little worried that Oregon will outlaw it on the Deschutes.

I also wondered if euro nymphing would be legal in fly fishing only waters in Washington. So I found this thread.

I looked it up in the definitions section of the Washington regulations pamphlet, and I’m not convinced it would be fly fishing. But then I started thinking that the places I fish in Washington are moving waters with Selective Gear regs, and I think euro nymphing would pass even with two nymphs tied on. Euro nymphing in lakes wouldn’t work that well, I‘m guessing, but the way some fish chironomids is close to euro nymphing. I can’t think of any moving water places that are fly fishing only, unless you count Rocky Ford. I was having a hard time coming up with a search for fly fishing only waters in the reg pamphlet.
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
It is super effective on the Deschutes because there are lots of trout in there. I don't worry about it being "too effective" because it's such a big river, and with the "no fishing from a boat" rule, there are lots of fish in there that will never ever see any fly or lure.
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
Can you elaborate?

It would be funny if indicator nymphing was allowed, but euro nymphing wasn't. Under FIPS rules, indicator nymphing is not fly fishing, but euro nymphing is.
Page 16, under Definitions and Terms:
Fly Fishing Only In “Fly Fishing Only” waters, an- glers may use only the following gear: up to 2 flies, each with a barbless single-point hook, not to exceed 1⁄2" from point to shank, knotless nets, and conventional fly line or a conventional “Tenkara” fly line. Other line can be used for backing or leader if attached to conventional “Tenkara” fly line or at least 25 feet of conventional fly line. Anglers may not use: fixed spool reels, bait, or weights.

It seems to be written to exclude a euro nymph line while careful to include Tenkara fly line. A euro nymph line might not be a ”conventional fly line” since its weight isn’t involved in the cast. I think there are fishers that fish chironomids on fly fishing only lakes with a long straight mono leader and an indicator, and they get away with it by tying the mono to a conventional line, although they might not use the line to cast it.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
Premium
A euro nymph line might not be a ”conventional fly line” since its weight isn’t involved in the cast.
I think your over analyzing the rule. The intent is pretty clear to me, but obviously it could be written better, as everybody should come to the same understanding without explanation.. I think many jurisdictions add a front leader length component, but then you may cut off the mono-rig folks. I think the whole point of the rule is try and elicit an ethos when fishing those waters and keep out the crawler folks who would clear it out in no time.
Saturday I fished a 4wt with a 14' leader. 25% of the time I was dapping or drifting with only the leader out. I have a level euro line, and a DT too. Both are castable, and I'll do so frequently even when I set out to "euro-nymph.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
Why are you calling it Euro-Nymphing when you are fishing in America. I nymph fish in the winter time with two nymphs. I just call it nymph fishing. I don't give credits when one don't need them.
 

East Coaster

Active Member
I think the whole point of the rule is try and elicit an ethos when fishing those waters and keep out the crawler folks who would clear it out in no time.
Seems to me that if the intent was to "keep out the crawler folks", it would be regulated as artificials only, not fly fishing only, so I don't think @Paul Huffman is incorrect in parsing the wording of the regs. By the way the regs are worded, someone using spinning gear and a casting bubble to fish a dry fly is not allowed to fish there - not sure that has anything to do with "ethos".
 

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