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
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?

LilCutts,

Are you an agitator at heart?

The short answer to what you seek is NO! Any damn fool with a sense of history and tradition knows it's not fly fishing. Fly fishing was defined a long time ago, in a land far away (England, which is pretty far from here), by some notable authority by name Halford, if I recall at all correctly. Fly fishing consists of natural fibers and feathers fastened to a hook, fastened in turn to a natural gut or horse hair leader, which in turn is fastened to a fly line made made of braided silk, which may be tapered at the ends. Said fly line may have a backing line of linen to help fill up space on your fly reel, which is made in England, naturally. And the fly line is cast with a fly rod made either of split bamboo (preferred) or greenheart or lancewood if you're a pauper or just plain cheap. Said fly may only be fished by casting upstream and dead drifted while floating. The fly may be dressed with any natural grease - the fat of red deer is most preferred - to aid its floatation.

Let that fly drag and swing around, or any other deviation from the above, and you are NOT fly fishing; you're just a dirty azz bait goober pretending to fly fish. So there!

And BTW, all fly fishermen are elitist pricks. I thought everyone knew that.

You're welcome.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
I still want to know why fly-fisherman are entitled to special exclusive waters?
It's not a matter of entitlement. In WA state, fly fishing only waters dates to 1940. The notion of catching and then releasing fish unharmed was practically unknown. Therefore, since fish that were caught were killed and removed from the population, the practical response in order to create a higher quality angling experience and or to better conserve a fish population, regulations were lobbied for by the Washington Fly Fishing Club to set aside Pass Lake and the NF Stillaguamish River in the summer season to fly fishing only. The premise is that fly fishing was less effective than bait fishing and would result in fewer fish being caught, thereby lending conservation of the resource while providing higher quality angling recreation by fishing over a higher concentration of fish than would be present if they were caught at a higher rate. Fly fishing only was expected to attract a smaller population of anglers, which would also contribute to a reduced harvest, thereby conserving more fish.

Nowadays, fly fishing only is generally less necessary for conservation because we have catch and release regulations, reduced catch limits. The primary reason today for fly fishing only regulations, in my opinion, is to create higher quality recreational fisheries by reducing the number of angler participants. Think of the crowds of fly fishermen on a fly fishing only lake like Chopaka. Now think of the crowd of fishermen if it were open to all gear and bait use. Of course that crowd would have a short season, as the fish populations would be thinned out rapidly and not worth fishing over the full season.

If you think fly fishing only is discriminatory, you would be right. And it is intentionally so. Elitist prick fly fishermen have the right to organize and lobby for decent quality fishing in a few bodies of water in this state when the alternative is to degrade all fishing to the lowest common denominator of mediocre or just plain crummy quality fishing, which is the preferred alternative of WDFW because it is so democratic and fair and . . . easier.
 

D C Brenna

Member
I just simply believe that casting and presentation are messed up when fishing nympHs and terminal “tackle”. I’ll support any methods as long as within the rules, but I’ve never enjoyed sub surface fishing as much as dry fly. I’m ok with swinging an occasional wet fly, and Steelhead/Alaskan rainbows pretty much require wet flies: although I had one of the best days ever taking big AK rainbows on mouse patterns.
 

D C Brenna

Member
LilCutts,

Are you an agitator at heart?

The short answer to what you seek is NO! Any damn fool with a sense of history and tradition knows it's not fly fishing. Fly fishing was defined a long time ago, in a land far away (England, which is pretty far from here), by some notable authority by name Halford, if I recall at all correctly. Fly fishing consists of natural fibers and feathers fastened to a hook, fastened in turn to a natural gut or horse hair leader, which in turn is fastened to a fly line made made of braided silk, which may be tapered at the ends. Said fly line may have a backing line of linen to help fill up space on your fly reel, which is made in England, naturally. And the fly line is cast with a fly rod made either of split bamboo (preferred) or greenheart or lancewood if you're a pauper or just plain cheap. Said fly may only be fished by casting upstream and dead drifted while floating. The fly may be dressed with any natural grease - the fat of red deer is most preferred - to aid its floatation.

Let that fly drag and swing around, or any other deviation from the above, and you are NOT fly fishing; you're just a dirty azz bait goober pretending to fly fish. So there!

And BTW, all fly fishermen are elitist pricks. I thought everyone knew that.

You're welcome.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
Well, the was GEM Skues, though careful examination of his work was more about non-weighted wet flies and emerger patterns. Skues contribution certainly led to better knowledge of the aquatic insect life.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Well, the was GEM Skues, though careful examination of his work was more about non-weighted wet flies and emerger patterns. Skues contribution certainly led to better knowledge of the aquatic insect life.
OK, just don't make the mistake of thinking that I always know what I'm talking about . . .
 

KillerDave

Have camera, will travel...
Well the way I Euro Nymph is not fly fishing. I use a heavy tool fly, jig or slinky on the point and let that drag along the bottom to slow the drift of the two tiny maggotty looking nymphs that no trout or whitey can resist as they jiggle slowly in their face. Mostly, I lob cast so essentially my technique is noodle rod fishing without a spin reel. Still, it's perfectly legal on Fly Fishing Only streams and thus aligns with the number one unwritten rule of modern fly fishing: bend the rules as far as possible without breaking them. This does that.

ON THE OTHER HAND...

I went to a presentation by Devin Olson and the way he does it IS FLY FISHING. His leader is balanced with the flies he's using and THE WEIGHT OF THE LINE CASTS THE FLIES. He even uses dry flies. He's carefully working the water, casting at targets and thinking about his quarry.

My conclusion is it can be fly fishing if you take the time to perfect your technique so that it is, or you can beat the system with it too.
 
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Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Well the way I Euro Nymph is not fly fishing. I use a heavy tool fly, jig or slinky on the point and let that drag along the bottom to slow the drift of the two tiny maggotty looking nymphs that no trout or whitey can resist as they jiggle slowly in their face. Mostly, I lob cast so essentially my technique is noodle rod fishing without a spin reel. Still, it's perfectly legal on Fly Fishing Only streams and thus aligns with the number one unwritten rule of modern fly fishing: bend the rules as far as possible without breaking them. This does that.

ON THE OTHER HAND...

I went to a presentation by Devin Olson and the way he does it IS FLY FISHING. His leader is balanced with the flies he's using and THE WEIGHT OF THE LINE CASTS THE FLIES. He even uses dry flies. He's carefully working the water, casting at targets and thinking about his quarry.

My conclusion is it can be fly fishing if you take the time to perfect your technique so that it is, or you can beat the system with it too.

We don't have room for common sense in these parts....
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
I still want to know why fly-fisherman are entitled to special exclusive waters?
WDFW does not set aside those handfull of waters for a class of people.
Anyone with a license may fish those waters with fly gear, just as anyone can fish special regs water with single barbless. It's just a different set of gear regulations meant to create a few higher quality, low harvest fisheries.
Nowhere on my license does it specify that I'm a fly fisherman.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
If i knew back then what i know now about all the protocols that go along with fly fishing, i never would have started. It’s too much. And it’s also why i don’t want to go fishing with anyone.
I'm fortunate to have a couple of fishing buddies that virtually always catch more fish than I do. One of them taught me to fly fish 45 years ago. I learn something from watching them every time we go out together. I in turn have another friend that I think learns from me when we go out. It's a fun, low-pressure way to learn with friends I like to hang out with.
 

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