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Farmington River Connecticut

Farmington River Connecticut

welcome everyone to the new fly fisher in this  very special episode we’re focused on learning   the basics of european nymphine also referred to  as tightline nymphy joining us is jessie haller   from vermont who’s a passionate fan and instructor  of this style fly fishing we’re on the farmington   river in connecticut fly fishing for trout and  learning about this super deadly way of being   successful even in tough conditions stay with us  for this truly educational learning experience today we’ve traveled to beautiful  connecticut in early october   to fish the famous farmington river usually this  is a perfect time for fishing the farmington   as water levels should be low and quite reasonable  but unfortunately the region was hit with a major   sustained rainfall days before we arrived and  storm systems continue to blow through the region   the river is high and somewhat murky very  tough conditions for any angler thankfully   we’re here to learn about european nymphing also  known as tightline nymphine from jesse haller   jesse is helping me to understand the  principles of this deadly type of nymph fishing   which is becoming increasingly  popular throughout north america   jesse is a product development  specialist with orvis and has been a major force with the company  for developing european nymphine products   jesse is also on the board of directors for  afta and is passionate about the growth of   fly fishing in america i’m very excited to spend  the next several days with this exceptional angler so jesse here we are we’re on the farmington river  a really nice run there’s some other anglers down   below us but you’re going to teach me a technique  which you know i’ve been hearing about for years   it’s another tool to have in the tool kit can  you talk to me about this and what’s the type   of fishing we’re going to be doing well this  european style nymphine technique has been a   really popular technique as a recent simply  because it’s an extremely effective way to   nymph and the reason why it’s really effective is  that it uses heavier flies and light tip it and   what that does is allows us to penetrate the water  column much faster get our flies into the strike   zone and give ourselves more opportunity the more  time in the strike zone the more time at the cafe   the more time to get you know an opportunity to  get some food this technique also allows us to   stay in relatively close contact with our flies  unlike a suspension device or an indicator where   we’re actually creating some slack in between the  indicator and the flies below as well as slacking   between our rod and our indicator we’re running  under just under tension right now with this rig   and that allows us to instantly register  what’s going on with our flies down below so if   fish are a little more finicky and they touch the  fly we’re going to know about it through the cider   well i think one of the first things  we talk about that’s really important   are the tools that we’re going to be using to do  this and you just mentioned a cider so can you   explain what the tools are to get started here so  typically you’ll see a lot of people use a three   weight rod in this situation but a ten foot three  weight rod it could be ten and a half foot eleven   foot but the three weight seems to be this kind  of sweet spot and the way these rods are actually   designed is have a very sensitive tip a pretty  sensitive mid and a nice strong butt section   why this tool is so great is it creates a lot of  tip sensitivity and when we’re tapping along the   bottom with our flies it allows us to register  what’s going on underneath and once you’ve kind   of dialed in the technique you’ll actually feel  the flies ticking on the bottom which gives you   the kind of next level of sensitivity that  you don’t necessarily get with a suspension   device the longer rod helps a lot with reach  and kind of getting across as you can see   it’s a relatively decent sized piece of water on  right here and because we’re typically fishing   a little bit closer to ourselves and not throwing  a suspension device out there and mending to it we   typically work a little bit closer so the extra  length of the rod does help quite a bit with   you know manipulating the flies over complex  currents and keeping them in straight paths   so you were saying before like typically you’re  going to fish out like twice the length of the   rod at most like 20 so you’re inside of 20 feet  you know two times the length of the rod is really   the maximum we may try to stay right under our rod  tip as much as possible that allows us to be much   more in control of what’s going on the further we  get away that’s a little bit less easy to control   so the closer we stay in the higher the ability  to dissect the water in much smaller portions   like gridding off the water and working small  portions versus kind of throwing something out   there and hoping you’re in the right spot never  really knowing exactly where your flies are this   technique and with the leading of the flies allows  us to really stay in those small channels and   really effectively cover water the leader you’re  using here i mean it’s kind of unique you’ve got   some colored line up here and it’s a fairly long  one you’ve got a tag you’ve got so you’re using a   two-fly system obviously legal here in connecticut  what is the general rule for the leaders well   you can kind of break a european nymphine leader  down into two sections kind of your upper leader   and then your slider and then your lower leader  there’s a million different formulas in the world   on on how you build your upper leader very simply  you can use a nine foot two x or a nine foot zero   x leader and then you’re going to attach about  an 18 to 24 inch piece of cider material which   is the colored monofilament that you noted that’s  our kind of strike indicator if you will it’s   also really gives us a good idea what’s going on  with our flies we can follow our cider down and   it tells us where our flies are below that i have  a tip and ring tied on a two millimeter stainless   steel ring and that’s just for ease of rigging uh  ends up the cider material and then starts a piece   of fluorocarbon tip it below it that fluorocarbon  tippet below it is all one diameter and that helps   a lot with helping the sink rate here you have 5x  tip of material on so that should sink relatively   fast combined with the heavier tungsten flies  you’re going to put on below as you come down   the tip material there’s a tag end where we  use a double surgeon’s knot to create about a   smaller four to six inch tag and then 18 to 20  inches of the remaining material so you can put   two flies on it one of the biggest problems i  have when i’m indicator fishing whether it’s for   steelhead on a great lakes tributary or it’s on a  trout river like this is that the indicator what’s   happening at the top yeah the water flow versus  what’s happening down below yeah is completely   different speeds and i know the velocities are  impacting my presentation and this gives me a   lot more time in the kill zone as we call it the  eating zone absolutely can you explain a little   bit about that what that velocity change does and  what what the advantages of what we’re doing here   compared to using an indicator absolutely as if  we were to kind of cross section a piece of river   looking at our top flow kind of the middle and all  the way down to what we’re calling the strike zone   or the kill zone down there on the bottom they  would be moving at different velocities the top   is typically almost some of the fastest water and  as you come down just uh just a little bit that’s   basically the fastest portion of the river so we  need to make sure we get through that top portion   as fast as we can because the bottom part is  considerably slower when you know you’re in   the strike zone as you’re watching the bubbles  move much faster than your strike indicator or   your cider material and that’s already telling  you that your flies are moving much slower than   what’s going on on the surface of the water this  technique with the weighted flies and the thin   tippet really helps it get down simply because  the thinner the diameter of the material the   faster that it’ll sink and certainly with that top  portion of the river we want to really get down   as fast as we can through that with a traditional  leader you have a much thicker butt section   up there on the top and that’s considerably faster  than the bottom so with a traditional leader with   that thick butt section that’s going to get caught  up in that faster water much easier because it’s   a much thicker diameter material with using  one single diameter like we are today with 5x   that’ll get through that much faster not to  mention it’ll also be much more resilient as the   current pulls on it and keeping our flies lower in  the water column and much more in the strike zone small yummy looking water yeah i can just  start wherever i mean it’s there’s only   you know a few defining characteristics throughout  the you know the stretch here you’re kind of   looking for yeah look at that pan there it keeps  coming up there’s a there’s some rocks there yeah   yeah so for the cast um it’s not all too different  from how you would traditionally cast one of the   challenges that people kind of first kind of come  across when they start fishing this is just simply   that we have a long leader we have a thin fly  line and we have some heavy flies on the end   um we may choose to just come and do a traditional  kind of forward cast just being a little bit more   patient for allowing the flies to come front  and back and once we’ve kind of set our distance   and we’ve kind of said this is the distance we’re  going to fish within towards the end of the drift   rather than coming straight back up and just doing  another forward cast we may choose to just simply   do a flip cast in which case we’re just going to  kind of point bring it forward and there we go   and we’re back in the game the rod tip basically  leads the the line right that is correct yeah so   with the drift unlike a you know traditional  infrared or an indicator rig where we might   actually you know lay some slack on the water  we’re going to keep our line up we’re going to   have just a little bit of sag in the line notice  how there’s just a little bit of a sag in the   cider material and you’ll notice it ticking the  bottom every once in a while get down to about   right there that’s about the end of your drift if  you go much further you’re actually going to start   pulling your flies closer to the bank it’s going  to cause a little bit of drag so you’re fishing   about 45 up and maybe 25 down so a little bit  kind of kind of like that not a full 90 70 degrees   let’s call it but that whole drift you’re pretty  much on the bottom of the hole that’s correct   absolutely so with that the light tipping material  and that those heavy flies it allows us to get   down pretty quick and i’m simply just leading  that cider maybe collecting a little bit of slack   kind of leading it down just staying right in  front of it so the second we’ll just try to get   snagged here you can see the cider want to stop  the second that it makes contact with the bottom   and what are you looking for in terms of a strike  i mean you’re going tick tick tick tick and all   sudden thunk or a stop right so the cider does  resonate a whole lot because we’re leading in   front of it the second that something happens  it’ll resonate through the cider through a tick   or a stop or whatever um sometimes it’s a very  aggressive shot forward that’s very clearly fish   sometimes it’s just a stop in the cider that will  just indicate that a fish is eaten and they may   not as aggressively take as as in some situations  so as we’re leading the flies we really want to   make sure that we’re not pulling them too fast  that’s why we try to look for that subtle drape   in the line we don’t want to be completely taut we  simply want to just stay in front of it if we’re   moving too fast you’ll notice that the cider  stays really tight that means we’re probably   pulling our flies a little bit too fast  if we go too slow our cider will kind   of start to loop underneath us and we’ll  actually lose sensitivity with the flies   so what we are trying to do is just match that  current flow and just let that cider be just under   tension and wait and you should be able to feel  slight resonance of the bottom through the rod   and certainly the leader the cider material  will tell you if anything does happen   so we’ve had a couple emerging insects and a few  rises so i switched over to a couple soft tackles   i’m just popping it along just off the bottom  trying to give a little bit of a movement with   some soft tackles and it did just induce a strike  so we’re going to try to continue doing that and   see if that does anything as we kind of work  back across this water where we saw some fish earlier the rain kept coming down off and on  throughout the day despite this and   the rising water i was learning a great deal  from jesse about the techniques for european nymphing we’re in a little bit deeper water  here so i’m fishing with a little bit more   weight trying to get my flies down into that  lower part of the river so casting just a little   bit further than i normally would once those  flies set up i’m just simply leading my rod   right out in front of the flies really carefully  trying to match that current speed i’m doing a   little bit of hand tending here as the flies come  down the stream at me and that allows me to keep   my rod at a good hook setting position if  i move my rod too much i actually lose a   lot of my hook set so i don’t have as much  power but if i tend my line right here just   very carefully as i’m moving the rod slowly i  can preserve a lot of the hook setting power   as it comes down the river the other  great thing about the cider material   is that because everything’s in a straight line if  i was looking down my slider i know my flies are   following right down that so i know exactly which  part of the river my flies are coming down so when   i reset if i want to move a little bit further out  i just simply go out a little bit further and that   cider will tell me yep i am a little bit further  out so i’m not covering the same water but really   breaking down the water into a much smaller  portion thus covering the water much better so when you look at a run kind of similar to  what we’re fishing here you know i got a quick   glance it’s relatively uniform what we try to  do is break it down into grid and we might take   our casting distance maybe 15 20 feet out in  front of us and kind of pick that as our lane   and kind of just work our way out into the river  fishing that lane and with this technique again we   can be relatively precise with where we’re casting  and where our flies are so we may kind of choose a   little lane a little bubble line and we’re going  to work that once we feel like we’ve covered that   bubble line well enough or that six inches or that  12 inches really well we’re just going to take   that next little lane that looks pretty good and  start running cast down that and then simply wait   out a little bit further and try to keep that  lane kind of coming straight across the river   and once you get to a point where you can’t wait  enough or you don’t want to disturb that far   water maybe you’ll come back and fish it from the  other bank you’ll come back slide upstream another   20 feet or so 25 feet so you’re kind of creating  a new section and then fish that exactly like we   were talking about just going right down that lane  picking all those little micro seams and kind of   coming out just gritting the water allowing  you to really effectively cover all the water   and if we fished a lane and didn’t have a lot  of action we may make some subtle adjustments   like flyweight fly selection uh tippet diameter uh  to improve our opportunity maybe on the next lane   we were fortunate to be able to find  accommodations literally right on the river during   our stay legends on the farmington river has  become well known to anglers for their wonderful   accommodations and convenient location on some of  the best trout waters in the region it’s a great   sportsman lodge for families friends and even  large groups during the remainder of the day and   into the night we were hit with another downpour  of rain and the river went from a normal 540 cfs   to 1700 cfs the true meaning of tough conditions  but i had faith that jesse would be able to put us   on some fish and use european nimping techniques  to catch trout even in these high water conditions on our second day jesse and i were joined  by professional guide and orbit shop manager   ed fowler ed is a consummate angler and  passionate about the farmington river   best of all he’s a really funny and  entertaining person to spend the day with so normal flows most people will kind  of fish this pool trying to get out   toward the tree over here and that far  bank but when the water comes up like   this you’ll kind of see that softer water  up here on the left and most of the fish   will actually slide up onto this kind of  gravel and sand where jesse’s fishing here   and it’s a great opportunity to capitalize on some  of those bigger fish we got the high water going   on right now try to go to the high water game get  some heavy flies something that they could see   larger protein snacks so we went with a large kind  of crayfly catas a lot of imitation called the mop nice big protein look and fly get their attention yeah right oh that’s a good one there he is nice nice fish yep there we go i just kind of prospecting across  it gridding off that water trying to find uh   kind of work through the fish all right there you go pretty little fish like every sport fly fishing has its innovations  and right now one of the biggest the most   productive is european style niffy fly fishermen  in czech slovakia poland and france perfected euro   niffy and today anglers throughout north america  are learning to embrace this style of fishing   so why should you try it out the next time you  hit the water it’s really quite simple because   euro nymphine is absolutely one of the best and  most effective means of breaking down sections   of a river and allowing you to fish virtually  every inch of it as jessie holler has taught   me these past two days once you get the hang of  european knifing not only will you learn all the   small differences on a river’s bottom but more  importantly you’ll become a far more effective   and successful angler we hope you enjoyed this  episode and our thanks to jesse haller for   helping us learn more about this wonderful means  of fishing take care and we hope to see you on the   water soon hi i’m tom rosenbauer for videos like  the one you just saw and more subscribe to our   channel you don’t want to miss our weekly uploads  of educational videos exciting trips and much more do you


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