Fishing a nymph rig can be down right confusing and intimidating for anyone who has never used one before. Learning any new skill will be hampered without a level of commitment. That word, commitment is the secret to successful nymphing. It may take more than one season to build the confidence you have with other techniques. Stick with it. Nymphing has saved many a day for us. You will read water better than ever before. Lastly you will extend your season by at least a few months.
- Purchase some Thingamabobbers in sizes 3/4" and 1". These are the easiest to use, float well and everyone can see them.
- Use a hand tied or extruded 9' leader to start. Mono is fine. Later when you become a true nymphing geek you can move to fluorocarbon, Amnesia and mixed hand tied.
- Go to your local fly shop and look for the nymph patterns that are on sale. The ones nobody buys. Clean them out. You'll be surprised how important depth and speed are compared to pattern. Pick up a few sizes of non toxic(unleaded) split shot also.
- Tie up easy patterns in 10-18. Add tungsten beads. Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, Princes, Brassies and Caddis worm will suffice anywhere.
- Search out water that you know holds fish. Adjust shot, indicator and mends until you start getting hits. The last change should be your fly. Notice I said fly. Start with one. Casting an indicator and shot can take a bit to get used to. Small steps.
- Casting. Think short and accurate. Double hauls and hero casts will help you get good at re rigging and macrame.
- Here's the best bit of advice I ever received in regards to learning a new fly fishing skill. If you want to really become a proficient nympher bring only nymph patterns, shot and indicators to the water. Don't even leave a "just in case" box in the truck. Using only what you have forces you onto a more committed level. It's like tough love.