Nymph Fishing: “That’s not even fly fishing”

When I first moved to Colorado I spent a fair amount of time fishing tailwaters and my favorite, at the time, was the Taylor and to this day I still really enjoy fishing the Taylor top to bottom. One particular year I rented a cabin for a couple nights and went on a solo trip to Almont, CO.  As you know getting to the Taylor early in the morning is often necessary to find a decent “spot” on the River. Well my spot is a little further down river from the ” Hog Trough”  so I posted up early and started nymphing the crystal clear water in front of me. All was going well and I was keeping the rod bent pretty consistently. Then around 10 am an older gentlemen perched up next to me, I am talking about 4 rod lengths next tome me and started to rig up. I figured the old bugger was just going to analyze the run and move on. Nope he started casting right next to me. Fair enough I understand that it is a busy river and what did I care, I was hooking plenty of fish and this guy was no harm. So I thought. Turns out that this fella was kind of a dick and start to give me grief about nymph fishing even though he was (poorly) casting a prince nymph anywhere he could land it and swinging it through about 6 inches of water. His buddy was fishing the other side of the river casting small dry flies into insanely turbulent water and having no luck. I stayed true to my bobber set-up and continued to hook trout in can-of-wormsfront of these “experts.” Finally the two got together and started to have the usual conversation, How are things going? what are they eating etc.. I could hear their entire conversation as I continued to Nymph. I heard his buddy say ” oh well what he is doing is not even fly fishing, he might as well be using worms.” I bit my tongue and just as their conversation was over my bobber danced and I laced into a big Rainbow Trout. The fish danced all through the water jumping and splashing until I successfully netted the trout (thank god because I don’t think I would have lived it down if I had lost it). My audience watch as I let the fish swim out of my net and with a smile on my face I looked up and asked ” do you guys want some worms?”

I bring this story up because it seems that fly fishing has become all about how you are fishing. For trout, dry fly and streamer techniques seem to out-weight the common nymphing practice and if you do happen to catch a fish of a lifetime on a nymph anglers turn a cold shoulder. For Steelhead and Salmon it is all about the swing I see hash tags on people’s images #swingorgohome and if you are nymphing for either of the above mentioned you might be cast straight into hell.

I do not care how you choose to fish whether it is fly fishing, live bait or spin gear, in fact I have done all three and like all of them. I do prefer the feel of a fly rod but I will still be your friend if you choose the latter. I hope as anglers we can move away from how you catch fish and look at it as FISHING. We all (well most) started with a worm and a bobber, I am pretty sure your parents didn’t have you throwing a snap t and swinging for your first sunfish. It is all about having fun let’s make sure to keep it that way.