By Mike Hodge
Summer's heat has arrived. Let's face it, the fishing is tough. So what to do here in Western N.C.? You can chase smallmouth bass. Or fish the closest traditional tailwater. Or get up earlier to fish at first light.
But I have a solution.
For the past few years, I've resisted dipping into the Euro world. The allure of actually bending the rod and the feel of traditional fly line was too hard to dismiss until I went on a guided trip where indicator fishing wasn't an option. The water was to deep, too fast.
This blog post is not a how-to on Euro-nymphing, but rather a reason to at least try it. By and large, summer fish hold in the deeper pools or the faster, deeper riffles. Both spots are difficult to fish with an indicator rig. A traditional fly line and indicator float creating an unnatural drift. Your flies, in this setup, simply don't get to depth fast enough or long enough for effective presentations. You can mend, you can add split shot, but if the fish are hugging the bottom and a bit sluggish, indicator fishing can be a chore.
Euro-nymphing, because the the line is thinner, you can curb drag and present the flies deeper faster, which is crucial in the summer. In the fall and spring, when water temperatures are more favorable, fish are more willing. Indicator fishing will work just fine.
But when the fishing is tough, try Euro-nymphing. You might be glad you did.