After a year of fishing solo, recently I’ve enjoyed fishing with friends again.
We were on the upper reaches of a high desert river in Oregon where the trout were fussy. No Chernobyl size bugs.
Nothing buggery looking. Dries and droppers were the ticket with the business end of the set up in a size 18. It was
perfect water to test my ability at Euro-nymphing.
I’ve read the stories in fly magazines and watched all manner of Euro-nymphing videos. I was intrigued and last year I
bought a TFO Euro-nymph rod, a delicate 3wt that seemed way to long. I brought it out on a couple of trips with
modest results and then there was last week.
There had been a few experienced Euro-nymph fishers on the river earlier in the week and a good friend, Don Kohler,
had spoken to one. Don is retired from a career in the produce business, but I suspect that was a cover for his real job
as a secret agent. His ability to get information out of strangers is impressive. When I met up with Don later in the
week, he broke down in detail the precise way the nymph fisher he had met had tied her leader and tippet. Two flies
were tied to dangle less than 3 inches from the tippet like jewels on a necklace and size 18 was the biggest. Size 20 or
22 would be better. Instead of a terminal fly, there was tin weight pinched on the line.
By the time I managed to put the rig together my friends were off to new waters. I geared up and headed down river
alone to a spot that had produced nothing that morning. It was a gentle tail out that eased into a deeper channel on
river right. It looked promising, but it had looked promising that morning too. Over the next hour I became the largest
10-year-old on the river that day.
A Euro-nymph presentation isn’t a natural motion. High-sticking the rod through a run takes practice. The tip was
always several feet above head height as I led the line through the run, searching for the bottom, then lifting the rig
over snags. But so many of the snags turned out to be trout I got used to it. And big trout to boot. I had landed a single
14-inch fish in the prior day of fishing. In the first hour with the new Euro-nymph rig all four fish I landed were
around that size. I worked my way down the river bend hooking up every 10 or 15 minutes. When the catch changed
from trout to white fish I reeled up and headed downriver. I whistled as I picked through the rocks to the next hole.
We learn from others and its something we do best in person. Tying a fly, watching a cast, learning a technique are all
way more fun and effective in person than online. That’s why I’m excited for later this year when there is a good
chance the Washington State Council can resume in-person events around the state.
Washington health officials are optimistic that group events will be safer with each passing month this year this year.
This summer the Washington State Council will be putting together a plan that may include regional events by fall
and a new Washington State Council Expo in 2022. You can contact any board member with your thoughts on future
events or contact me directly at email@example.com.
The re-launch will be possible thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated to the Washington State Council
during GiveBig Washington. We raised $4,750 during the two-day campaign. The money allow us to offer events
again soon and in more places around the state. Special thanks goes to members of the Washington State Council
Board of Directors who created a matching fund for GiveBig. Knowing their dollars would be doubled was a big
enticement for donors.
Also with this newsletter, director Larry Gibbs is taking over newsletter responsibilities. Thanks to Larry for the new
look of this edition and thanks to all the directors helped steer the Washington State Council through pandemic and
beyond. We hope to see you all, soon.