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Post Info TOPIC: Putah nymphing rig tips


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Putah nymphing rig tips
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My last 2 trips have come up short, and I need some help/tips.

I fished a 9ft 4x tapered leader and put on my first fly(wolly bugger or large nymph for weight). I put 2-3 small split shots above the first fly. I tied 12 inches of 5x to the bend of the hook and tied on a 2nd very small fly (wd 40, PT, etc). I used a white thingamabobby strike indicator.

I fished deep runs and riffles in a couple sections. I struggled to get to the bottom in the deep runs, but was hitting bottom for the most part elsewhere. Any tips for alternate nymph set ups/flies would be appreciated.

I even tried a sink tip with a black wolly bugger but no takers. Some of Putah's holes are so deep and thick with debris it's impossible to get a fly down. Must be some lunkers down in those depths. Lastly, trying to wade and move around the creek is challenging with silt(quick sand) and quick shelf drop offs. It's stating the obvious, but after fishing other places the last year or so, it's humbling to come back and fish this creek.



-- Edited by kbarn on Sunday 13th of May 2018 08:51:45 PM

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Don't be afraid to use as much split as is needed. With the flows above 400 cfs, I find it effective to use 3ABs (or more). So long as I keep slack out of the system, I don't get hung up on the bottom very much (except for the rogue branches that clog up a run every now and then). Something to consider.

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Tungsten shots make a massive difference. I nymph using spinning tackle occasionally which is more difficult to get down and they have been a huge improvement.

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The bite was kind of off on Saturday for some reason, if that's when you fished. I ran into one fellow who did well, but the guide I ran into and his client didn't even have a bite by mid afternoon. I had one bite (10 AM -2:30 PM). Maybe it was because of the pressure change (very windy) - some people say barometric pressure changes matter - I dunno.

I use a lot less weight than that. Personally, I find that with one medium split shot, my BH flies are getting down just fine. I would rather not dredge bottom than get hung up on weeds and rocks and lose my rig or constantly have to pull weeds off the flies/knots. As long as your flies are down a good bit, a feeding fish will come up for it - you don't need to be on the bottom. To test it, just cast right up stream of you and watch your rig. One SS and beaded nymphs will get down pretty quickly. Plus, this gives you the ability to fish the shallower runs much more easily with some extra tension and line control. Just keep searching. You'll find them. Your set up sounds fine to me.

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Very good tips. Much appreciated. Yes, I fished Saturday during the day. Makes me feel better that it was a tough day overall.

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So the main point of using more weight is to keep your rig as vertical to the indicator as possibile. If your setup is just going every which way in current the strike indicator will not be as effective and you’ll miss a lot of strikes. That’s why tightlining is so effective.

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If I were you, I would skip all the complicated rigs. Try using one size 20 fly with as much shot as you need to snag a little Moss. This will help with line control and strike detection. I would say equally as important as the split shot is line control and mending, visualize the Flies drifting perfectly into the mouth of the trout. With a one fly rig you can also change flies every few minutes or so, until you find the magic one for that moment. That always works for me. Another secret of mine is to keep the split shot very close to the fly, about 8 inches. This keeps the fly from drifting up and down the water column and it keeps it right next to the bottom. Also if you're using an indicator this will lessen the chance of a missed strike from slack in the line between the shot and your fly. With the same rig you can also remove the indicator if fishing quick pocket water which disrupts the natural drift of the fly. Just high stick it, and lead the fly just slightly with the rod tip. Also if you have access to a 10-foot rod taking the indicator off and fishing in this ways is completely awesome. I may be giving away too many secrets all at once but I guess that's how I'd like to do.

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And use green shot. It makes a difference on this Creek.

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Another tip. Try to use a 12ft leader and long 5x fluorocarbon tippet if you can manage it. Keep the fly line fully inside the rod unless you need to reach an area that's on the other side of the creek for instance.



-- Edited by Bflyguy on Monday 14th of May 2018 10:46:13 PM

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I think using more split shot makes your rig less vertical to the indicator, Ross - requires more mending. This is because the surface current is generally much faster than the current at depth. So, the more weight you use, the quicker your flies get to depth and stay there, so they are traveling slower than the indicator at the surface and will drag. Thus, you need to mend much more often to keep a fly first presentation. Also, the more weight you use, the less life-like the presentation. This is because the weight will keep the flies from moving in the current naturally the way an actual bug would be affected by the current.

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Skol Bandit wrote:

I think using more split shot makes your rig less vertical to the indicator, Ross - requires more mending. This is because the surface current is generally much faster than the current at depth. So, the more weight you use, the quicker your flies get to depth and stay there, so they are traveling slower than the indicator at the surface and will drag. Thus, you need to mend much more often to keep a fly first presentation. Also, the more weight you use, the less life-like the presentation. This is because the weight will keep the flies from moving in the current naturally the way an actual bug would be affected by the current.


 That’s why I add weight 18” minimum above the fly When using heavy shot. 



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I like the idea of going to just 1 fly. Anyone use the Euro nymphing set up? The challenge I see with this is the very limited reach. And my experience on Putah is you need to cast because often times silt and depth of water near the entry from shore keep you from fishing the water fish are holding.



-- Edited by kbarn on Tuesday 15th of May 2018 11:18:42 AM

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Skol, I agree with you if the water is quickly moving. However, in that case I just remove the indicator all together. When the water is slowly moving I think it's best to have a lot of weight and use an indicator to get long drifts. Keeps everything very vertical and easy to detect strikes.

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The reason why your flies aren’t getting deep enough is the current. The current is either putting pressure on the leader lifting your flies off of the stream bottom or your fly line is moving too fast lifting the flies off of the bottom.

 

One way to minimize the current’s pressure on the leader is to design the leader so that only the tippet is underwater. Greg Schuerger, a former PC guide, ties a short butt section (20#) to his fly line. He attaches a poly indicator to the butt section. He then ties his tippet directly to the butt section. Thus, the only part of his leader below water is the tippet.

 

To address the current’s pull on the fly line and indicator, you can use a conventional mend. However, there are two other mends described below that can help get greater depth for your flies.

 

Stack mend - There are actually several versions of the "stack mend" but all are designed to achieve greater fly depth and a more natural drift. The original "stack mend" was introduced by Doug Swisher in his video "Advanced Strategies for Selective Trout". His "stack mend" is achieved by a hard "flick" of the wrist which shoots line out that stacks is a small pile of line upstream of the indicator. Other versions of a "stack mend" can be found on Youtube videos. If you Google "flyfishing stack mend", you will find several videos that demonstrate a "stack mend". The "stack mends" shown differ slightly from one another but all result in putting slack flyline above the indicator.

 

Roll cast mend - This mend is used on upstream casts. Immediately after the cast is made, you make a hard roll cast in the direction of your indicator. If executed correctly, the flyline attached to the indicator will be upstream of the indicator. The indicator will stall momentarily allowing the flies to descend quickly. To achieve even greater depth you can do several roll cast mends in succession.

 

Another approach is to look for seams between the faster and slower water. Many times the larger fish will lay in the slower water and pick off food drifting by in the faster water. Thus, a seam is a great place to drift your flies and you’ll have less problem getting your flies down.

 

The last approach I want to mention can only be used when fishing large areas. Most anglers fish an area from below or from the side. Another approach is to fish from the top of the area casting downstream. When you cast downstream, the current pull on the flyline actually introduces slack in the tippet and this allows the flies to descend quickly. In contrast, when you make an upstream cast, the current pulling on the flyline introduces tension on the tippet pulling the flies in an upward direction.



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This is years of knowledge. Thank you.

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To answer your question about Euro style rigs yes I do use them quite often. The problem I found with traditional Euro Riggs is that they're too long and have too many knots for putah Creek. Many of them are 20 to 30 ft long and incorporate 5 to 10 knots. This poses significant problems when fishing for trout over 2 lb. It makes it extremely difficult to strip in the leader while fighting the fish without breaking the tippet or shaking the hook.

I usually use Maxima chameleon monofilament for the main leader. I used to start with 20 lb and step it down to 12 pound a few times, but now more often than not I just use whatever length of 12 pound that I need and tie a sighter directly onto that. Your Leader configuration will largely depend on your length of Rod, depth of water, number of flies, and fishing Style. If you don't intend to cast very far and you mainly do high sticking with a longer rod you can get away with a single strand of 12 pound which is the way I prefer it. After the 12 lb I like to add a piece of 6 lb fluorocarbon which is the line that will be cutting the water column. I like to use Berkley vanish fluorocarbon because it's 1/100 of the price of Rio. At the end of the 6 pound fluorocarbon I like to use a tippet ring which is where I will place my split shot above. On to the tippet ring I will tie the appropriate size tippet usually 5 pound fluorocarbon Rio. This is where people will disagree on the length of tippet, a lot of people are going to use two feet of tippet for instance. Myself, I like to start off with a 1 foot section and I replace it when it gets down to about 8 in. As I mentioned before I use green split shot and I keep it extremely close to the fly that I'm fishing. I have many reasons for this but other people will say that it's wrong. With this rig my catch rate went up 5 X as compared to using an indicator.

It's also nice and simple and easy to fish. With a one fly rig you can easily swap it out 3 to 4 times before changing your tippet and with this rig your tippet spools will last a nice long time. Another thing I'd like to mention is the knots you use on the tippet ring and the Fly. I personally like to use a regular clinch knot as opposed to the improved clinch knot. I will then leave a very small tag on each usually around 1 mm. This gives me extra confidence that the knot won't slip. When using the improved clinch knot I have found too many stress points in the knot that cause twisting kinking burning and ultimately knot failure. This is the rig that took me 30 years to figure out. I hope it doesn't take you that long now that you've heard my story.

I thought I was done rambling but I'd like to make one more point about leader length. In my opinion you want your man leader long enough so that your fly line never leaves the tip of your rod. If you build your leader in this way you will have zero drag from the fly line either sagging in the air or, which is even worse, touching the water. This leader configuration I would consider more of a California high stick nymphing Style as opposed to a european-style. Funny thing is, my dad used to use this style of fishing back in the 1950s but instead of a fly he used a salmon egg on a fly rod. Just imagine the catch rate you would have in the 1950s using this style with a salmon egg!!!! Haha.

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I've been euro nymphing with three flies since March. My catch ratio has changed drastically! My set up has been 24-feet of 20# Maxima to 3-feet of 15# to three feet of 12#. Each blood knot get a good coating of Loon Knot Sense (try to achieve an oval shape over the knot). At the end of 12# I tie in 18-inches of bi-color line (10#) with tippet rings on both ends. From there I run a total of 5 to 6 feet of 4x to the first fly then every 18-inches with a big anchor in the middle

Rarely do I strip out the to the 15#...

I got rid of the strike indicator due to missing too many fish. There's no mistaking a fish now!

Haven't been to the creek for over a week... I've been on the Upper Sacramento.



-- Edited by PC20 on Friday 18th of May 2018 09:18:00 PM

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Man, you guys must slay fish. I can't wait until next weekend to try out the first, simpler set up.

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If you like euro nymphing, high sticking, Czech nymphing...you should give fly fishing a shot.

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Berryessie, that sounds like fun!

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I started out fly fishing in 1980, and it took me 35 years to figure out that I was doing everything wrong. Haha, just kidding. I love double tapered floating Fly lines, long tapered leaders, and dry flies. Problem with all that jazz is the efficacy. I have to say I like catching big trophy trout better.

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Berryessie wrote:

If you like euro nymphing, high sticking, Czech nymphing...you should give fly fishing a shot.


I recall watching a "certain" guide on Youtube utilizing euro style on the creek...  :) 

 



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I’ve tightlined at PC several yrs now. It’s nothing new there and has its place.



-- Edited by Rossflyguy on Sunday 20th of May 2018 08:16:27 PM

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