There are many methods to fishing nymphs. More often than not I opt for a shallow nymph approach.
The old rule of thumb …….. “fish 1 1/2 times the water depth below your indicator” has not proven to be a great technique in my repertoire.
Assuming you as an angler are able to fish slack line drifts, shallow nymphing can be very effective. Throughout the year, all rivers experience nymphal drift. Nymphal drift can be caused by a few factors. For example, water level changes or optimal temperatures for nymph maturity and emergence. What this all boils down to is that nymphs are consistently drifting in the water column.
Often times the water may be 4-5 feet deep yet I will fish at only 2-3 feet deep below an indicator. Certainly, one advantage of this is less bottom hang-ups. The other advantage is of course the replication of nymphal drift.
I have noticed that During peak bug activity/migration or emergence, the shallower, the better. Remember Stoneflies migrate to shore to emerge. They are terrible swimmers that frequently get knocked loose from there position and ‘tumble’ through the water column trying to gain position again.
Shallow Water Nymphing – Try it some time, you won’t be disappointed.
Water is low and predictable. Clarity is at its best. Hot bugs lately include…
1-A variety of San Juan Worms ….The possibilities are endless with San Juans. Color combos to inlcue but not limited to
Red, Red and Pink, Pink, Brown and Red, Wine, Wine and Brown, Orange, Ornge and Brown, Brown
….With beads or without. #6 -14
2-Green Caddis larvae #14-16
3-Stoneflies; Here again, the possibilities are endless. However, you can’t go wrong with the Pat’s Stone. Currently I would suggest #8-12 in Brown, Brown and Black or Olive.
4- #16-20 Brassies
5- #14-16 Pheasant Tails and Lightning Bugs.
6-#4 to 10 Streamers – possibilities are endless here as well – Favorites for retrieving and swinging include; Sculpzilla, JJ Buggers, Dali LLama, Thin Mint, Sheila, Pat’s stone
Every day is different but fishing has been good lately. The best of the day is generally during the warmth…. 11-3