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Thread: Mountain streams - dry or nymph for prospecting?

  1. #1

    Default Mountain streams - dry or nymph for prospecting?

    Approaching and fishing a berg stream is often a daunting task.What fly would be best to prospect for trout - a dry or a nymph?Would a brown/rainbow be keener to take a dry or a nymph?
    Ideas please?

  2. #2
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    it all depends if you are a dry fly fisherman or a nympher?
    I would say nymphs are better, if you dont see any visible rises, but the best will probably be dry fly with a nymph dropper.
    Once you catch your second fish on either dry or nymph, you will know what the fish are feeding on.
    I would suggest an #14 or #16 Awesome Possum Tabanas, with a small GRHE with a gold bead, or a Gold Bead PTN. If I follow Pascal Cognard's advice
    Last edited by Korrie; 12-12-13 at 01:49 PM.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  3. #3
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    Another interesting factor with the dry-dropper setup of the French.
    the "norm" for the dropper length is SA is 1,5x the water depth.
    The French fish it 1,5 to 2 meters behind the dry fly, even in shallow water.
    They change the weight of the nymph to fit the depth of the water, so not to get stuck.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  4. #4
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    Mate, the New Zealand truck and trailer rig is pretty damn effective.

    Fish a good dry fly that floats high and is easy to see and attach a weighted nymph below this on a 30-40 cm section of tippet.
    Tie a uni knot directly to the dry fly shank and pull tight.

    It wouldn't be unusual to tie and re-tie different flies and rigs up to 50 times a day depending on the stretch of water I fish.
    For deeper pools and runs a double nymph rig works well as does a single big dry.
    Don't limit your thinking to simply one rig that works for all conditions.

    The rainbows love the faster riffles and the browns the slower back waters in general.

    Go get 'em mate.

  5. #5

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    great advice there dogtooth...thanks

  6. #6

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    My approach to dry or nymph is normally influenced by water depth, speed and clarity amongst other things. As a rough rule, if the water is deeper than my knee I will often fish a dropper as the fish will not always move up through the column to eat a dry. If the flow is fast I will fish a dropper as it usually gives the dry more time in the upper zone and offers them a nymph closer to where they will usually be feeding. In very clear water I will often fish a dry on its own as the fish will see it from far and if the right fly, they will move for it. If strong wind from behind, a dropper will anchor your dry when casting and allow for a better drag free drift. If strong headwind, a dropper will help your dry punch through the wind. About the only time I don't fish some kind of dropper is if the bottom is very weedy and I am hanging up a lot (not something you often encounter in the berg streams) or with very spooky fish where the plop of the nymph will often scare them (again, not something you often encounter in the berg). Droppers result in more tangles if you are not used to fishing them so bear that in mind. Sometimes it is better to catch fewer fish and have a tangle free, relaxing day.

    Rainbows usually are found in faster water than browns but I have found a lot of the berg browns act like rainbows and will sometimes rise through 2-3m of fast water to eat a dry fly, something that they don't often do in the Western Cape. Fly choice when prospecting should be big enough to attract their attention but not too big so that they think twice before eating it - size #14 is a good starting point. Long legs on a fly scare less fish than bulk. A dry fly causes less commotion through a run and you can always fish the same run afterwards with a dropper if you have had no action. Nymphing a run first will usually disturb more fish, especially if you are fairly new to river fishing which I gather you are by the question you are asking? Hope I haven't confused your more ;-)
    “Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” ― Lemmy Kilmister

    Reap the Whirlwind - WM

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  7. #7
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    My view, having spent more than my fair share of time fishing some of the 'berg streams, is that i will always prospect with a dry. If the water is high & fast i will use a buoyant pattern (hopper or humpy), if water is low i will use a EHC or parachute adams.

    This is mainly because i enjoy fishing a dry fly.

    When i have fished with someone who is nymphing i have noticed they mostly (but not always) catch more fish than me. So nymphing seems the more effective technique ...

    My advice, fish the style you enjoy.
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  8. #8
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    @Korrie, very interesting....almost like using your dry as a strike indicator ala-Vaal style
    Last edited by Bryan; 13-12-13 at 08:24 AM.
    Bryan Williams

    “My Biggest worry is that my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it!”

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  9. #9

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    Great advice thanks guys...Darryl you mentioned something which id like you to expand on further..." Long legs on a fly scare less fish than bulk"
    I think thats interesting...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by saflyfish View Post
    Great advice thanks guys...Darryl you mentioned something which id like you to expand on further..." Long legs on a fly scare less fish than bulk"
    I think thats interesting...
    Ryan, when searching water I look for a pattern that is big enough to attract fish but small enough that they will not hesitate to eat it. With larger dry flies, fish will sometimes refuse them at the last moment (looks like a missed take) or if smaller fish they will often splash the pattern to try and drown it first before eating it. In these instances if you can resist the urge to strike they will often come back and eat the pattern after splashing it. A fly like a RAB or para-RAB creates a large silhouette with its legs but lands gently and has a small body. This is less likely to scare spooky fish, particularly larger fish. No hard and fast rules with these things though, I have also had many days when a large (size #8) foam bodied cicada slapped on the water will pull fish from all over the river. The big difference is that in my experience if a fish (particularly larger fish) has refused a small dry it is easier to get him to eat something else whereas if I have slapped a big pattern on the water and he has refused it, it becomes a lot harder to coax him/her to eat something else.
    “Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” ― Lemmy Kilmister

    Reap the Whirlwind - WM

    Paradise = A 3wt Rod & a fist full of someone else's #32 parachutes

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