In nymph fishing, as in other aspects of fly fishing, the devil is in the details.
Sometimes the difference between catching trout and going home skunked can be blamed on something as small as one split shot.
Mostly, however, it's about having the right terminal tackle for the situation at hand. That's because the angler who is organized and has the right gear, keeps his or her fly in the water more often and adapts to changing conditions quicker.
I learned this lesson the other week while nymphing on my favorite trout river. I was catching fish but I was also spending a lot of time re-tying nymphs and tippets.
Several previous trips had depleted my stock of vital components that allowed me to fish more efficiently. When I got home, I immediately corrected this failing.
Here are three minor items that will make you a more efficient nymph angler.
#1. A good selection of round split shot. This is something I was sorely lacking on that last outing. Instead, I had reusable split shot (with the ears), which is fine in most situations but not in the rocky bottom I was fishing. It constantly hung up in places round shot wouldn't have. Worse than hanging up on bottom is the fact that the ears on reusable split shot often create messes in your tippet when you strike and there is no fish there. Round shot eliminates most of these headaches.
Consider this: Non-Toxic Camo Double-Cut Split Shot
#2. Leader links or tippet rings. I've only started using these recently but my experience with them has convinced me they save a lot of time on the water and allow you to re-rig a tippet quickly. The best part is, you don't shorten your leader every time you have to re-tie a tippet.
Consider this: Anglers Image Tippet Rings
#3. Magnifying lenses (if you need them). There was a time when my eyes were good enough to thread tiny flies quickly, but those days are long past. Now, whenever, I forget my magnifying lenses at home, I regret it, and waste a lot of time trying to tie on tiny nymphs.
Consider this: Carson Clip & Flip Clip-On Eyeglass Magnifier
Make sure you have these three items on every trip. They'll save a lot of angling headaches.