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Welcome back to the new NEFF. Take a break from Twitter and Facebook. You don't go to Dicks for your fly fishing gear, you go to your local fly fishing store. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving and a help request.



Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and fun holiday.

I learned so much this spring, summer, and fall fishing on the
surface. I hit a bunch of backcountry wild brookie streams in PA, and of course a few in the SNP. This was the first year that I fished almost every weekend, and sometimes both days. So, while I still have much to learn about fishing on top (I mean, it's of course a life long process), I'm pretty happy with where I am, at least as far as wild brookie streams go (how hard can they be?).

What I want to learn, between now and that first warm, long weekend that my buddies and I will spend down in the SNP, is how to fish underneath.

I've always just given up and not bothered. If nothing's working on top, well, I can just sit in the sun and puff up, or go back to camp and drink, or go explore, etc.

I want to get beyond that, and my plan is to spend the next 4 months trying to get some reasonable, practical working knowledge of fishing underneath - with bead heads, I guess.

So, if anyone, or better yet, a bunch of people, want to write out a short paragraph of how to start - how to rig up, how it's different than surface fishing, common pitfalls and frustrations, that would be cool! Just enough info (and hopefully from different people) to get me in the water, I can spend the whole winter trying to actually figure it all out. I do have books, but there's obviously a lot richer info to be had here.

And has anyone had any of the 2003 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, yet? I'm enjoying one right now.

Your friend,
Mr. Rapidan

Hopefully, come April, I can call myself Mr. Silver Beadhead.
Nymphing is very productive fishing, once you learn how to do it. Here are some thoughts;

Try to find out the size and shape of the nymphs in the water. Pick up some flat rocks from the water and see what's on them. Seine net the water to see what's drifting in it. You can easily make one from fiberglass window screening and a couple of dowels, or buy one. A product called QuickSeine, that fits over your landing net is really great in cold weather as your hands stay dry.

Drift your fly very close to the bottom. If it is not bumping on rocks occasionally, you are not deep enough. Be willing to adjust your weight and the position of your indicator as water depth varies.

As mentioned previously, strikes can be very subtle. Set the hook on every slight pause or unnatural change in direction of your strike indicator. Many of these will just be your fly hitting a rock, so you'll have lots of false strikes. Unlike with dries, trout rarely hook themselves on nyumphs,especially in cold weather.

Remember, in cold water, trout will move very little to get their food. They'll tend to be in the deeper water. So be very patient in covering any given spot, with multiple drifts through the same potential holding water.

You really have to concentrate on your strike indicator or the end of your fly line for nymphing but, heck, that keeps your mind from working on less enjoyable things.

Good luck with it!
You may want to call Housatonic River Outfitters in Cornwall Conn.
He puts on a nymphing clinic one or two times a year.
Hey Oldfrat, good to see you again. All very good advice. What i would add to that is really try to work on your short Tuck Cast. Find a Joe Humphries video or two, on nymphing. NO ONE can teach you more about it then Joe. NO ONE. Case closed. But the guy up in Cornwall, on the Housie is real good. He guided me once, and was the first guy who ever helped me with a two fly rig. He knows what he's doing, and is a real nice guy. Gave me a Monte Cristo too. HELLO! mark(willow)