Flyfishing for trout with nymphs

Fly Fishing for Trout with Nymphs—Everything You Should know 

It’s no doubt trout feed underwater in more than 90% of their life. That’s why it’s quite a good idea to learn and master the basics of different nymph fishing techniques. For anglers starting out in fly fishing, nymph fishing is one of the most exciting techniques that though appears tricky and furtive at first can prove quite fruitful and fun. Nymphs are simply flies that look like immature insects or flies commonly used by anglers to bait trout into their traps. Fly fishing for trout with nymphs is one of the angling arts that every angler should know and master.

Common Nymphs For Trout

You can be sure your moments in your favorite angling spot will be fun if you know what to fish.  There’re a great number of nymphs anglers who can hunt, but the success rate depends on the fish, location, and the time of the day. There are many nymph patterns that have been tested and confirmed to work in different trout waters and here are the main ones.
  • Pheasant tail – this is an effective yet simple all-purpose mayfly nymph that can be used in any water body.
  • Hare’s ear – this nymph pattern is considered the most versatile and deadliest. Quite often, it’s fished as caddis larva or mayfly.
  • The prince nymph—this is one of the standard stonefly patterns for trout.
  • Copper John—this great stonefly pattern resembles a prince nymph but has more color and flash.
  • Pat’s rubber legs—this nymph pattern is also known as a girdle bug.  It’s one of the biggest stonefly nymphs available commonly used in big rivers.
  • San Juan worm—as for this nymph pattern, it’s ideal for high-water days with off-color and heavy water flows.
  • Zebra midge—this is an all year nymph pattern available in most places.

Common Fly Fishing Techniques for Trout

Nymphs can be efficiently fished in a variety of ways, which mostly depend on how they are presented.  Stay around to learn the basic nymph fishing techniques for trout.

The Indicator Nymphing Technique

Indicator fishing is a versatile and flexible way to catch nymphs for trout.  An indicator is simply a small and lightweight bobber version that moves at an equal speed to the water current.   There are several indicator fishing variations though dead drift is the most popular.


Tightlining is an advanced fly fishing technique that is more effective and reliable when compared to indicator fishing. It’s the most efficient technique to get good drifts using a nymph at a closer range. This nymphing technique entails holding the rod tip a big high in order to keep the fly line away from the water, which creates a drag-free drift.  Unfortunately, it does not use an indicator meaning it’s the angler’s job to stay alert so they can feel the strike, see the fish as it opens its mouth, or notices a twitch at the fly line’s end before they set the hook.


Swinging is another amazing fly fishing technique for trout.  The technique is used mostly with soft hackle flies and it entails throwing out the nymph into the water current and allowing the line to pull tight, which causes the swinging of the fly across and down the angler.  It’s the most common method of covering a run as the fly’s wide arch reaches every part of the water.


While it’s possible to strip nymphs in rivers, it’s easier to strip them through still water. That’s obvious since not many aquatic insects have the strength to handle the stress of moving water. The technique works best for those who want to strip insects in ponds, lakes, and other bodies with still water.

Trout Fly Fishing Tips To Know

Everyone knows that fly fishing is heavily dependent on a quality rod and fly reel. Successful fly fishing, however, requires using the right technique for the right trout. You can increase your success chances by mastering these tips for successful trout fly fishing.

Know About Different Trout Species

Different trout species have varied patterns and preferences. And with so many trout sub-species and species, there are some picky preferences you must understand.
  1. Brown trout prefer calm and slower conditions. They are mostly found in calm and slow areas of streams as well as deeper sections of water pools.brown trout
  2. Rainbow trout love rocky fresh and swift water which has rocky riverbeds.rainbow trout
  3. Brook trout prefer streams with more shade and moderate water flow.  This trout species mostly hang out in calmer water but fear slow-moving pools.brook trout

Identify the Lies

Lies or lingers are specifically the hiding places of fishes.  Lies can be categorized into prime, feeding, and sheltering lies.  Prime lies describe the core areas where fish feed and seek for shelter to keep safe from natural predators. Fishes found within the prime lies are the healthiest and fattest choices. In identifying fish lies, avoid areas in which the riverbed is illuminated by light as birds can easily see the fishes and so they try to hide the farthest possible. If your target fish is brown trout, look for them in areas with submerged logs where there is minimal current. As for the rainbow trout, they hide in shadows of big rocks and riverbeds with medium to small rocks.  In other words, the best fish lies are waters with slower current, which is mostly riffles, banks, larger rocks, or under submerged logs.


Nymphs count as the most effective and reliable lures for fish that increase the odds of a bigger catch. Fly fishing by the use of nymphs is the most common and efficient technique used in catching most trout species. It has been used for a while and has proven to be one of the perfect methods to identify trout in their hideouts. Nymphs sink deep into the water and since they mimic larval stage aquatic insects, they allow you to lure and catch trout easily. Regardless of your angling skill level, it’s strongly advised you master the art of using the right lures and angling techniques. You must as well know how to identify the hideouts of different trout species as your angling success also depends on how best you can access your targets. In some cases, you may even want to use a spinning rod for trout instead of the bulkier fly combo. As always, good luck and happy fishing!