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Joe Humphreys | Nymphing Techniques

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Joe Humphreys | Nymphing Techniques

welcome everyone to the new fly Fisher I’m your host Colin acuity in today’s show it’s my great pleasure to have with us one of the true legends of the fly-fishing world Joe Humphries Joe is considered a master of many fly-fishing disciplines but is probably best known for his love of educating anglers of all ages especially children and young adults in this episode Joe will share some of his expertise and reflect on a life dedicated to the sport this promises to be a great show so stay with us and get to know the master of fly-fishing Joe Humphries let’s go back to the live another day Lagos great fish Oh baby look at that fish stop wiggle on the way down the new slide Fisher has been made possible thanks to the support of Orvis sporting traditions Islander precision reals scientific anglers rail riders outdoor clothing the toughest clothes on the planet net stop the world’s first waiting staff and net in this special episode of the new fly Fisher we’re going to pay homage to one of the true masters of fly-fishing Jo Humphries jo lives in beautiful State College in Pennsylvania with his wife Gloria he is an internationally known angler conservationist author and educator he taught fly-fishing for more than 40 years including directing Penn State University’s angling program for nearly 20 years his books and videos have helped educate thousands of people on the essentials of fly-fishing even today in his mid-80s people flocked to hear him speak and learn from the master Joe has guided many celebrities including former President Jimmy Carter Joe recalls that President Carter had a strong willingness to learn and joke that nymphaeum was much like dealing with Congress one celebrity joe remembers fondly is actor Liam Neeson we took the Spruce Creek for the famous Green Drake hatch Joe speaks about his early years of fly-fishing and how he discovered where trout eat most of their food when you think about a trout diet 90% of us underwater and so we have caddis you have may thoughts you have stone cross you have minnows you have a myriad of things and they’re all downstairs now what really led me into nymph Inc was this the limestone streams of central Pennsylvania we had hatches but the spring fed streams had the greatest portion of what pressed bugs freshwater shrimp and these were year-round the trout fed year-round on him and so when I went fishing and I wanted to try to catch a fish the first thing I learned was what was there and how best to imitate it a trout was feeding I couldn’t catch him I came back later I scared the fish came back later grabbed a handful of vegetation it was alive with freshwater shrimp some of them had a touch of orange so the smallest hook I had was a 16 I got some some thread orange thread from my mother’s sewing box i fashioned what I thought was something like it came back the next day saw that same fish feeding through them another shrimp at him and it wasn’t even close to him but he moved over picked it up and I caught it but that was a start of limping for me and I realized the more more i could imitate the depressed bugs in the shrimp and and get it to the fish wherever they were then i could catch fish in catch more fish i jumped on the bicycle put the fish in a basket and sung a song to the top of my lungs the whole way home I was so excited so the moral story it goes like this I found that what I looked at and what it what it really really looked like I went after it took it home and stayed with it till I got basically what it was then I realized also and when I was casting the arm had to be out of it the wrist had to be there and so I learned to shorten a stroke and with the shortened stroke I developed line control and the more line control I had the more proficient drifts the more fish I cut so it was an ongoing process and I’m still learning at 84 you in central Pennsylvania we have many spring Crick’s and my plan of attack today with in these waters we have freshwater shrimp and cress bucks because it is spring fed the water temperatures are conducive and the water quality is conducive to these insects but also at this time we have mayflies hatching this is the time when the solvers are popping and the fishermen are keyed to the sulfur hatch and this is their mentality and rightfully so however this morning there are our nose solvers moving and to try to go on top of the sulfur or even a salt from them they may not be turning on too but these fish see press bugs and freshwater shrimp daily 24 hours a day day in and day out throughout the whole year they’re here and that is the basis of their food supply so that’s my plan of attack today I’m gonna put a press bug on I’m gonna work these waters and see if I can find a trout that’s willing to take one I’m using a double taper fly line my leader is a little over nine and a half foot it’s tapered from 17 thousands down to 3 X 8 thousands when you’re fishing and I’m not using the suspension system I’m going to rolling the bottom after him today and so what happens is this if your nymphs are going by you too fast add weight if you’re hanging up every cast delete and when the waters you’re fishing let them be the guide relative to how much weight because and I each area does change with depth and speed and I know it can be a pain to constantly change but the name of this game is flexibility with this casting stroke watch my hand I stop it here straight up I take my hand forward and I tap and that little tap with the squeeze and the thumb pushing down gives me this cat they call it the downer and then the upper meaning I’m driving the nymph down while the rod tip stays high so my cast is here there the nipson enter the water forcefully and I lead the dance through the drift with the rod tip you’re going to look for depth and so I have great great control from broad tip to nymph the whole way through the drift and this tape can be so subtle you’re lying can just hesitate it can just stop slightly so it’s difficult at times because the bottom and the trout can be synonymous you say well I’ll know it stop them on the bottom though its top because they try to intercepted it or it could be the bottom but you don’t want to take that chance so your strike Hohhot without catching fish so that’s the name of the game take it I didn’t see that tape I just did exactly what I said I was going to do I was going to strike impulsively this is a nice fish and here we have a fish and The Adjustment one adjustment oh yeah pays the difference and so to me this is exciting the fact that I adjusted the fact that I thought through the food chain the fact that I have a fish that intercepted and cooperated with me the drift was so short in the productive area I simply lift it take it and that’s a good tip because sometimes with strike indicators and you’re watching for it to stop or Barbara’s a wonder it doesn’t happen the trainer’s already picked it up and dropped it the split shot on the leader are divided and for a reason when they’re divided they roll on the stream bottom and and give your Deneb a much more natural look if they’re pulled together tightly and they’re all balled up together in one bunch then they have a tendency to drop behind rocks and you’re gonna get far more hang-ups so you want that natural nice bottom rule so I’m gonna divide now the other factor is if I and I do have a little overhand knot at it’s right here at the at my thumb and it will not hurt earlier and leader with leader strength ah but what it does now the split shot will not slide down and it gives you that separation that you need now my I will use my arm here I’m gonna extend the cast I’m gonna reach a little bit because I want to cover this pocket so I will drift my hand and arm probably a little bit further forward much better fish that’s blind control from the get-go back to me and so as I play this fish which is the larger fish side pressure side pressure we want to have the fish spend as much energy as quickly as it can this is one pretty brown trap I will show him briefly to the camera real great shot but this is just a gorgeous fish the only way since he was a young boy Joe has a lot fly-fishing on the small mountain streams of Pennsylvania these little creeks are filled with wild native brook trout which are like gems in the forest Joe speaks about his early education and learning on these mountain streams spring fed stream that is was my classroom this is where I learned so many things about the fishing game where trout was I the pecking order the food chain and so this was my classroom and it was a wonderful classroom as a young lad and I remember catching a 14 inch trout and I was so thrilled and I put that trout in my basket on my bicycle and sang to the top of my voice the whole way home because that was a thrilling day for me to take a trout on my own homemade patter small stream fly fishing can be very difficult the overhanging branches snags and the need for stealth and cover these are but a few of the difficulties that face small stream anglers through the decades Joe has developed many skills that have helped him deal with these small stream challenges today his techniques are used by thousands of fly fishers who love to fish in these little gardens of Eden let’s listen to the master as he teaches us some essentials you’re gonna have to shoot some distance here and I’ll stay back I’m not in the best of position but I’m gonna use the rod as a bow now I’m going to figure eight the leader and the line with a hand and twist coming up the leader coming up to the fly line I’m looking at what I have to shoot the distance the Memphis hanging below in the leader now the long fingers here’s my cast in my hand the long fingers come over here’s your power not just thumbing first finger the long fingers come over there’s your power okay and you want always your hands together on the fly rod in prayer fist to fist and pull this cast the whole way back to my ear and release it right now once the the fly is in the water now I have the tension in a cast that I can start working up strength and we have a beautiful little brook trout yes I got a couple of decent drifts in that gut who might have already spooked him here I don’t know but I know one thing I’m not getting down nearly deep enough in there so I’ve got to get a little split y’all on here to get down so here’s an adjustment when you’re working a thicket the caste stroke has got to be no more than a squeeze because if you start to push and shove you’re gonna hang on everything because your fly lifts you do this your fly lifts with weight if you do this you have a shot at it so it’s gonna be a very very very short casting strokes so I’m gonna do flip take the line in the water get control here there he is there he is that’s a brook trout of the year right here what a I lost my god that was great that was a great room Joe Humphries is truly a fly-fishing legend who has given more to the sport than he has taken Joe had some final reflections on his life of learning and teaching that are quite profound one of the things that I have done in the past and if I think in a way created something some cast I called it down or an opera as they call it today high-sticking we were doing this and I was doing this when I was even in my high school years and in my collegiate years I started a really fine tune it and I was able to fish the bottom and really work a trout stream proficiently and I think I passed a lot of that off I like to think about what this board has given to me it’s given me a wonderful way of life it’s the greatest therapy I could ever have and through its tuition I’ve met a lot of wonderful people people that have given to me people we’ve had exchanged I like to think that I’m helping the younger generations now I like to work with with children it’s the future of this game we’ve got to work with these kids we got to bring them along and you get so much back this section is such a giving thing and you you receive whatever you give when you’re working with people and particularly children you’ll get it back a hundredfold it’s so rewarding and it’s so much fun and I’m too old and that’s just I’m going down the other side of the mountain and when I’m too old and I can’t make that role cast or I can’t fish that brush the only thing I have left are memories and I’ve built these wonderful memories over a lifetime so when you see me sitting in a rocking chair with a smile on my face you’ll know that I’m still catching that trout on Thompson rung and reliving that day riding on my bicycle singing to the top of my lungs that’s probably what I’m thinking be sure to subscribe every Monday Wednesday and Friday we’re putting out new videos just for you

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