I am a “Nymphomaniac”! I am confessing. Now before you get embarrassed, let me explain. I love to catch trout on Nymphs!
Now a lot of you “Dry Fly Purists” are probably gagging at this moment. They only fish for rising trout during the perfect hatch which happens just 10% of your fishing time.
90% of what a trout eats is subsurface and Nymphs are what’s for dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy dry fly fishing too, but I am not the guy that sits on the bank waiting for the hatch to begin.
Remember, most fish begin feeding on the nymphs and emergers before the surface hatch begins. Trout are opportunistic feeders. Many of the “pigs” are full before the dry fly action is in full swing. Big fish became BIG by not exposing themselves to predatory birds and feeding on the most abundant foods that require minimal energy to eat.
I often tie a small dropper nymph off of my dry fly to catch fish that are more picky or lethargic. This presentation is a great combination to stimulate a bite.
If you go fly fishing to just go fishing, then enjoy the day. If you want to actually catch fish, you need to constantly adjust to changing conditions. Considering that trout are eating nymphs 90% of the time, then go with the flow.
Watching a strike indicator is kind of like watching a dry fly. The presentation and drift must still be perfect. There is something zen-like when anticipating the next bite, rise, or strike.
Eventually, even a “Dry Fly Purist” may confess to a desire to catch more fish. It’s alright to be shy, but the fighting fish on the end of your line will make up for the embarrassment. Becoming a true “Purist Nymphomaniac” will make you a better fly fisherman.
(image courtesy of Montana Grant)