AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT LEADER CONSTRUCTION FOR SUPER ACCURATE PRESENTATION AND THE BENEFITS OF ULTRA-THIN FLY LINES IN ORDER TO SUCCEED ON RUNNING WATER
In the first part of this article, we looked in-depth, at RIO’s ‘ready to use’ Euro Nymphing Leaders and constructing our own nymphing leader with a level line. Both are super effective and allow you to cover all aspects of ‘nymphing’. However, this part is all about progression and constructing a more dynamic leader.
This is my simplified version of Jerome Brossutti’s world champion Frenchman’s ‘nymphing leader’ from way back in 2002.
A tippet is then attached, 0.12mm or 0.10mm in diameter sometimes thinner, no indicator but a spot of bright, coloured grease a meter behind the tippet ring. As per the previous article I use a barrel knot and some Loon UV Knot Sense to keep everything neat and tidy, this knot also allows the line to travel through the rod rings easily, and the Loon Knot Sense smoothens this even further.
After construction, attach the RIO Tippet Ring, and then it’s a case of connecting the tippet, keep the knots 50cm apart! I love the RIO Suppleflex Tippet, as it’s soft and very thin, allowing my flies to move naturally, the way they should!
This leader construction is one that offers so much more in terms of accuracy and fly delivery over a standard level leader. Until you try it, you can’t believe it! Being tapered, it transfers energy a lot more effectively and so can put your flies exactly where you want them to go. There are, of course, more straightforward ways to do it, but for out and out accuracy, this leader construction takes some beating.
RIO FIPPS EURO NYMPH LINE
We are so lucky with the continual development of fly line technology we now have a line designed specifically for this style of nymph fishing!
It’s super thin, supple, has very little in the way of stretch and features a contrasting orange tip section which aids take detection, an ideal vehicle for delivering nymphs on rivers. I used this line RIO Euro Nymph exclusively in Iceland to target some monster trout. It was too windy to fish a conventional nylon leader, but this line allowed me to fish in the same manner, despite the conditions! This is fully approved and endorsed by FIPS, ‘Competition legal’ fly line, as it fits through the competition fly line gauge!
For me, there are two ways that you can utilise this line.
First up is with the traditional long leader that we have already discussed here. You attach the leader loop-to-loop to the end of the fly line, as the line has such a thin diameter, it can be fished outside the tip ring. The thin line is easily pulled through the rod rings with weighted flies and this, in turn, allows for more reach. More reach means more water and of course, fish can be covered! As it’s thin, it’s light, so there’s no real sag either, something you can’t avoid when it comes to conventional lines, and no-sag dictates better sensitivity for take detection!
Secondly, is attaching the tippet, to the end of the micro pre-looped line. This method is excellent for anyone on a chalk stream or indeed and shrunken summer river, the HUGE benefit of using this thin fly line is that I can cast my nymphs a lot further upstream, which helps me avoid spooking my quarry! The normal leader we would employ would have a negative impact as often you’ll scare far more fish than you’re likely to catch, as you’re just too close.
Another little tip here that can be employed on slower moving sections of the river is using a short length of thick mono between my fly line and tippet as an aid to both turnover but also for take detection. I use two or three feet of 0.40mm and attach a tippet ring for your tippet. I wind this short section around a small cylinder quite tightly – puts memory in the line – and take a black permanent marker to one side. This creates a banded effect that you can see very easily. By applying floatant to this short section, the memory and the floatant allow it to sit on the water’s surface, which is a great visual indicator.
RIO EURO NYMPH SHORTY
There’s also the new RIO Euro Nymph Shorty, and I love it. A fly line, only 20ft long which can be added, loop-to-loop to the standard fly line. So you fish as you would with the regular fly line, but come to some ‘nymphy water’ and you just slip this on. Its thin diameter allows for a great presentation with your nymphs. There’s no need for two rods or reels, a simple idea, but one that really makes sense to me!
As you can see from the two-part article, I have purposefully covered a fair amount of ground as there’s more to this fishing style than meets the eye. However, I have simplified things, where I could, so that even if you’ve never done it before, you can pick it up quickly. Nymphing is incredibly effective, there’s an old saying, “dries for show, nymphs for a pro!” If you want to have ‘consistent sport, then nymph fishing is where it’s at!