Let’s face it, nymph fishing can be a complicated and confusing technique to many anglers. While in theory it seems amazingly basic and rudimentary, the actual process can be overwhelming and the results may not always imply success. This is often due to the multidimensional nature of nymphing. Unlike fishing dry flies, where all you have to worry about is whether you can see the fly on the surface, nymphing involves many factors that the angler can’t see like varying currents, underwater objects, and the general contours of the river bottom. The most common mistake that anglers make when nymphing involves how much, or how little weight they are putting on their line. So for this weeks Trout’s Tips & Tricks, I wanted to go over some strategies that I use when it comes to weight selection and use.
Lead or Tin, which is better?
When it comes to purchasing weight, I always prefer split shot as apposed to putty. I find it easier to apply and use, and I find that it tends to stay on my leader much better than any putty I have ever tried. Now that said, many people ask whether they should purchase tin or lead. The answer to this question comes down to ethics really. Lead was the original material that split shot was made out of, and although works great because of its density, it is toxic to fish and waterfowl. Tin on the other hand is a non-toxic alternative, but it isn’t nearly has dense so it require more split shot to equal the weight of lead. Whether you want to use lead or tin is entirely up to you, all I ask is that if you use lead split shot, please be sure an pack out what ever you packed in.
Introduced in 1971, fluorocarbon quickly established itself as a superior product to monofilament for three main reasons. First, fluorocarbon is more transparent underwater than monofilament. Water to air has a refraction index (a numerical value assigned to how light is bent when something extends from air to water) of about 1.33. Air to fluorocarbon has a refraction index of 1.42, while air to monofilament has a refraction index of 1.62. From these numbers one can conclude that fluorocarbon refracts light closer to water, thus making it more difficult to see when under water.
The second benefit to fluorocarbon is that it is more abrasion resistant than monofilament. This comes in handy when you have a nice fish on that is trying to run under a rock or around a submerged log. While using fluorocarbon won’t guarantee that you will land the fish, it will certainly increase your chances of keeping it on.