Gear Needed for Fishing with Nymphs
Now that we've covered what nymph fly fishing is all about, let's next take a look at what sort of fly fishing gear you're going to need to do it. While nymph fly fishing uses pretty much the same gear you use when dry fly fishing, there is a few small items that any successfully nymph fisherman will want to have. These items are strike indicators, some small weights, and a good pair of fly fishing sunglasses.
Strike Indicators for Nymph Fishing
First, you will need some strike indicators. Strike indicators are generally bright orange, ungodly looking things that get put on your leader well above the fly or on the fly line itself, at the junction of the fly line and leader. These strike indicators are what you look at when nymph fishing - not the fly itself. With practice and patience, you'll eventually be able to tell when "unnatural" movements occur in the strike indicator - which most likely indicates that a fish just took your nymph fly imitation.
Exactly where to put the strike indicator is a matter of some debate, but ultimately boils down to what you are fly fishing for and where you are doing it. Wary Brown Trout in heavily fished waters, like the Missouri River, are not likely to be real wild about seeing a bright orange object just a few feet above the fly. On the other hand, more gullible trout or trout that receive less fly fishing pressure could probably care less about it. In short, use your judgment, erring on the side of caution (placing the strike indicator as far away from the fly as possible, for your abilities).
Small Weights for Nymph Fishing
The second thing you'll need for many rivers will be some small weights to add to your fly line or leader. In many, if not most nymph fly fishing situations, a floating line is still used. However, to get the fly down to the depth you want it to go will require weighting it (at least in faster water).
This is best done with the newer "twist on" non-toxic weights that are now available. Using these types of weights, an angler can put on as much or as little weight as needed to bring the fly down to depth, while at the same time preventing the fish from inhaling toxic lead (which can kill them).
Should you plan on fishing in really deep or fast rivers where even a weighted leader will not get the fly down to depth fast enough, then you will also want to look at investing in a sink-tip fly line. Sink-tip fly lines have the tip of the fly line weighted to sink, thus allowing it to sink the nymph fly more quickly.
Fly Fishing Sunglasses for Nymph Fishing
Another item of heavy importance is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. It's absolutely imperative that you be able to see the strike indicator, and polarized sunglasses are very effective for this.
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