1. Set, Set, Set! – When nymphing, often times as a beginner you’re not sure when to set. As a professional fly fishing guide, I can’t stress this enough: set anytime you even think you have a strike. The reason being is that you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. I find it unusual that people come to fly fish and when everything indicates they have a fish, they are hesitant to act. Who cares if it’s not a fish, right?! Have faith in the setup (especially if you have a guide) and that it really is a fish taking the underwater fly. After you hook up on a fish when you set when you really thought it was a rock, you to will become a believer…Set, Set, Set!
2. Enjoy bringing in the fish (the tippet is tiny) – Remember that tippet is tiny line. We are fishing with tiny tippet that you have to be gentle with. What this means to you is that you should enjoy bringing the fish in. Enjoy the catch, smile, relax, have some fun. After all, you have succeeded at what you came to do but if you are to eager and unwilling to play those big fish they’ll break you right off. So remember, enjoy the catch!
3. Extra weight – Getting down to the bottom when nymphing is an important strategy that every expert fly fisherman I know uses. The fish hover the bottom waiting for food that has plunged free of the rocks and are rolling along the swift current.
4. Good tippet – Making sure you buy good tippet, such as Rio is a must. I have seen more beginners buy crappy stuff from Wal-Mart and then when they get a big fish on the line…SNAP. At that point, I don’t know anyone who would not be willing to pay top dollar for what they could have got for 10 bucks a spool.
5. Stay till dusk – Unless you have other obligations, don’t leave until you can’t see. You would be amazed at the opportunity I see when everyone else goes home. The rivers start make noise and the waters look like they are starting to boil with the fish when there are flies on the water starting to lay eggs before dust. The fish go crazy and you’ll wonder why everyone left 30 minutes ago.