Hatches Made Easy:

Quill Gordon - Emerging Nymphs
2/3/08

Emerging Nymphs:
Remember that the nymph changes to a dun on or near the bottom of the
stream and rises to the surface of the water with open wings that are sloped
back near the abdomen of the dun. They don't stand upright until they have
dried but this only takes a very short time. During the hatch,
a wet fly imitation
of the dun rising to the surface of the water to dry its wings, works great.
Emerger Presentation:
This process is fairly simple to imitate. Remember that the duns are not hatching
in the fast water. They are hatching in the slower water which is usually pockets
behind larger rocks and boulders - not the slower water such as found in pools.  
The water in the pockets is carried away by two current seams, one on each
side of the obstruction or boulder. When the duns are rising to the surface of the
water, they are caught in one of these current seams and carried downstream.
You want to try to do the same thing with your wet fly imitation. Cast it in
the pocket inside of one of the two current seam formed where the slower water
of the pocket meets the fast water coming around the boulder. Allow the current
to take the fly downstream.
One way to do this, is to approach the boulders or other obstruction in the water
moving upstream, making short cast placing the fly into the inside edges of the
pockets in the current seams. You would do this the same way you would fish a
dry fly.
Another way, and the best way, is to make a short up and across presentation in
the pocket and allow the fly to drift downstream in the current seam. This usually
requires that you mend you line to get the fly down and to keep a drag free drift.
Stay as close to the pocket as possible and try to keep as much of your line off
of the water as you can. This helps to keep a drag free drift.
Remember, a fly should drift drag free where ever you present it - on the surface
or under the water. Don't be guilty of thinking that just because you are fishing a
wet fly, that it can be brought through the water differently than the dun would
drift downstream and rise to the surface.
When the fly gets downstream from your position,
stop the rod and allow the
fly to rise to the surface in the current seam.
When it reaches the surface,
recast it a little upstream of your previous cast and repeat the same thing. This
is a lot like the normal way you would fish a nymph (high stickin) in the Smokies.
You just allow the wet fly to rise to the surface before casting again. You can
detect the strike by watching the end of your fly line and leader.
If it jumps,
stops or makes an unusual movement, set the hook.
If they hit it when you
have stopped the drift and are allowing the fly to rise to the surface, you want
have any problem detecting the strike. It will jar your rod.

Coming Up Next:
Quill Gordon Duns

Copyright 2008 James Marsh