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?
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
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
WFF Supporter
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".
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
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.
blame al gore, he invented the internet
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
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.
A euro nymph line is a conventional fly line. That is the whole point of it. It is putting a conventional fly line that is as thin as possible on your reel to stay legal. Otherwise you would just use 30 feet of mono and call it a day. Anglers in Europe who aren't following FIPS regulations have no problem spooling up the whole reel with mono.

The funny thing with people who don't regard it as "real" fly fishing (not you, Paul) is that this whole style (excluding actual Czech/Polish nymphing) was developed within the confines of a set of rules to make sure people were still "fly fishing". A fly line no less than 0.022" must be used, no indicator can be used, leader cannot be more than 2x the length of your rod, dropper flies cannot be tied on the bend of the hook. There are other rules I am forgetting. Anglers who are following FIPS regulations are using a stricter definition of fly fishing than most anglers in "fly-fishing only" waters. There are methods allowed in "fly-fishing only" waters that would not be allowed in a FIPS competition.

If Washington or Oregon regulations were written to specifically exclude French or Spanish-style (competition) nymphing it would be incredibly obvious and ridiculous. If you started talking about regulating the use of a fly line, then fishing a conventional fly fishing style with just the leader out the rod tip would arguably be illegal. Besides, I think it is too popular for them to ban it.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
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.

It sounds tenuous to me, to assume that "conventional fly line" wouldn't include a euro nymphing line.

In any case, I don't use euro nymphing lines; I use a 30 foot leader, which is attached to a 4wt line. The 4wt line never comes off my reel, but it is there if I want to put a normal leader on. It sounds like my setup, despite not being FIPS legal, meets the regulations.

Interestingly, the regulations say you "may only use the following gear" and makes no mention of strike indicators. Thus, it sound like strike indicators are not allowed.

Maybe the title of this thread should be more like...
"Is using strike indicators and/or split shot actually fly fishing?"

:p
 
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