European nymph fishing uses pretty simple equipment in most cases. Here is a list of what I use when I’m out on the river….
Most 9’ to 11’, 2 or 3 weight rods tend to be the most effective for this style of fishing. My favorite is a 10’ 3 weight for my own fishing. Sage, Echo, Beulah and Fenwick all have rods that fit the bill and the budget. FFP offers Fenwick at the economy level, and Sage at the varsity level. Echo and Beulah in the middle both make awesome rods for a great price. Any of these manufacturers 10’ 3 weight models will take you Euro Nymph Fishing any place you want to go and do it well!
To balance a 10’ or 11’ rod you’ll likely want to upsize your reel just a little bit. I like a smooth disc drag reel and feel drag is important in fighting a fish well. Abel, Bauer, Lamson and Galvan all make very good reels to balance a European Nymphing rod.
This is the most important part of the system! Euro Nymph lines are special tapers and they are built on ultra light cores. An ultra light line will not sag and will detect the strike better than a standard WF or DT line. Rio, Cortland and Airflo all produce excellent Euro Nymph specialty lines and are worth the investment to do it right.
- Czech Style #1
FTB King Snake Sighter. Easy to use and set up, just loop it to the line and add tippet.
- Czech Style #2
Umpqua Bi Color Sighter .03X. Easy, loop to the line and tie on a tippet ring and add tippet from there.
Umpqua .03X & Umpqua or Rio 2x or 3x Bi Color Sighter
- French #1
Quite a few things will work, but the .03X UFM Bi Color is a great choice, Green or Gold Stren Nylon in 15 to 20 # is also excellent to make a slinky with.
- French #2
Umpqua or Rio 2x or 3x Bi Color Sighter
For attaching 4x, 5x or 6x tippet to a heavier sighter it is the absolute best way to secure a good connection. Cortland/Climax and Rio make excellent rings that are standard of the industry.
It’s all Fluorocarbon in this game. Fluoro is over 90% invisible in the water and is stronger than nylon material in the same diameter. There is no other choice for effective nymph fishing. 4x, 5x and 6x will be all you really need in most cases. Rio and Trout Hunter are my 2 favorite fluorocarbon tippets. 4 pound Seagaur makes an excellent and cheap tippet section but has inconsistent measurements so beware if you need to really be spot on with tippet diameter.
Rio Euro Nymph Leader
Rio makes a leader that is a Hybrid type so you don’t have to. Basic in design, and perfect for fly fisher’s who don’t want to tie up their own. You know who you are!
Snake River Mud
Rub some on your tippet to help it sink and be even more invisible. When the fishing is tough this makes the fish more confident your fly isn’t a fake.
Micro Shot or Soft Weight
Not often needed because a long, light tippet with 2 bead head nymphs goes down and dirty pretty quickly, but every once in a while a little extra weight does the trick.
There are so many nymphs that will do the trick for this style of fishing. Check out the Euro Jig style flies and the Double Tungsten Micro nymphs. A fly called the Frenchie is a commonly known pattern for this technique, but don’t forget about your old favorite nymphs like PT’s, Micro Mayflies, Prince, Rainbow Warrior and Possie Buggers.
When you are landing a large fish on 5x tippet you quickly realize how much easier this is done with a good net.
You will wade in some faster water than you are used to, so you can fish that one perfect pocket. A staff will give you confidence to be there.