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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 12:24 pm 
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I've been reading a classic book: Charles Brooks' "Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout." First published in 1976, it was perhaps the first systematic attempt to tackle that aspect of fly-fishing. In it, he describes a number of different techniques for fishing nymphs, and his mantra is that you must fish the right artificial in the right place with the right motion. He also provides a fascinating historical perspective.

N.B. Not one of the techniques involve thingamabobbers or other indicators. Quite a few, in fact, apply deliberate motion to the fly to imitate the natural movements of different species. And about half involve sink tip or sinking lines.

I'm wondering if anyone uses any of the methods he describes?

Some of them, particularly what he calls the Brooks Method, seem like they would clean up in many of our rivers, which are much more like the western streams he fished than the classic eastern trout streams of the Catskills or PA. The Brooks Method employs a fast sinking line, a big heavy stonefly nymph, and the deep cascading runs where plenty of big fish hold.

As someone who can't stand lobbing weight and watching an indicator, I'm eager to try out some of these methods.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 12:36 pm 
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I'm going out on a limb not having read that, but I'm assuming it's in line with what Joe Humphreys has been employing for years with tight line nymphing, and what a lot of us in the states have blended with Euro nymphing. Whether the two techniques have been bastardized or not it's proven effective.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 1:30 pm 
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Actually, no. Most of the methods in the book have little in common with tight line/euro nymphing. That seems to be a more recent development and not one Brooks practiced in the deep, strong rivers of the Yellowstone area.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 1:44 pm 
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There are a few fisherfolk around that I know of that blind nymph. It's effective, though not as much so as watching the bobber. One of the more interesting methods was one Joel Anderson detailed in a post a few years back- using a hot pink segment of leader material between the flyline and the leader. That allows bobberless nymphing while still having an indicator of sorts. I've been meaning to try that technique on smallies.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 2:35 pm 
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Old is new again. I've actually NOT used an indicator at all this year. still catching fish. In fact, I predict, future flyfishing will revert to many of the older styles and techniques. It's not supposed to be as easy as worm fishing.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 2:49 pm 
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DaveS wrote:
Some of them, particularly what he calls the Brooks Method, seem like they would clean up in many of our rivers, which are much more like the western streams he fished than the classic eastern trout streams of the Catskills or PA. The Brooks Method employs a fast sinking line, a big heavy stonefly nymph, and the deep cascading runs where plenty of big fish hold.

As someone who can't stand lobbing weight and watching an indicator, I'm eager to try out some of these methods.


Humm, versions of this I have seen... I call it lazy fishing. Guy is, almost always, stilling on the rocks with a full sink like and a super heavy fly (buggar, stonefly, thin mint.. what have you) chucks it out and just let's it bounce along the bottom with the current them jigs it back and repeats. Overy and over again, hardly moving up or down stream. Very few fish come to hand, at least not many from what I see. I'm sure this method fished ACTIVELY could work quite well. I don't overly enjoy nymphing, but it catches fish so I do it frequently. I don't dislike nymphing by any means, but I'd rather catch fish any other way. I have been have a lot more fun tight line nymphing this year, you actually feel the strike which is what I love the most.

Peter

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 3:58 pm 
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I read the book many years ago and still have it on the book shelf. I have used the Brooks Method of fishing stone fly nymphs in deep fast powerful runs to good effect and it has accounted for many nice landlocks. Of course swinging a cast of flies thru a riffle/glide is an old tried and true method. It is a good book and if any one takes it seriously it can expand your techniques and you will be a better fly fisher. On today's crowded streams it is good to have a variety of techniques up your sleeve so you can fish what some consider more marginal water, often yielding some nice surprises.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 4:07 pm 
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"you must fish the right artificial in the right place with the right motion"

Wow, who wudda thunk? Glad Brooks is an expert


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 6:26 pm 
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Years ago when I read it I did try to employ the methods, I was pretty young and a bit of a hack but I did manage to catch fish-but I did not get to employ it on a regular basis and dropped it. It seems conducive to certain rivers like the Madison.....his home some sections of the K and A seem like possible candidates. I may pull out the book before fall and give it another go.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 6:48 pm 
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Nope Peter, the Brooks Method is not lazy and not the technique you describe witnessing. It involves precise casting angles and line control with a sinking line to get a deep dead drift and seems a very active way to fish the way he describes it.

And kmudgn, Brooks was an expert--one of the best students of trout and trout fishing of the 20th century. His book covers an historical review of fishing literature as well as the results of his own on stream studies (including countless hours spent observing under water in trout streams) and his research in the scientific literature of aquatic entomology. The dude knew his stuff and could catch fish.

Thanks, Granger, for confirming my suspicions.

Whether or not anyone's read the book, I'm curious if anyone fishes nymphs with sinking lines or applies motion to your nymphs (beyond a swing through a riffle or run) in a deliberate attempt to match the behavior of specific insects?


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 8:06 pm 
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Again, it's difficult to question a technique in a book you haven't read, but please explain the difference between fishing a heavy stone off of presumably a 7.5-9' leader and sinking line and fishing a heavy stone or any other heavy nymph as a point or anchor fly. The angler has to manipulate the rig to some degree, while the current does the rest. How deep are you fishing to need a sinking line? If you are using a heavy point fly and sinking line, there is going to be some bellying of the leader between the two.
I'm not calling the technique into question, just pondering the subject.


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 8:12 pm 
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DaveS wrote:

Whether or not anyone's read the book, I'm curious if anyone fishes nymphs with sinking lines or applies motion to your nymphs (beyond a swing through a riffle or run) in a deliberate attempt to match the behavior of specific insects?

I fish sinking lines, sink tip and full sink. Mostly for streamers. In high water I will fish streamers exclusively with a full sink.
With nymphs, I prefer floating line, long leaders and light tippet. In my experience most of the takes come on or near bottom in the heart of the dead drift. But I do move my nymphs, sometimes quite a bit. Stones particularly are terrible swimmers, so if they are caught up in the current and trying hard to get toward shore to crawl out, they are probably moving a lot. Most movement for me comes at the end of the drift with an up or up-and-across motion. Quite a few strikes right there. Lots of movement also occurs if I am tight lining and know drop offs/shallows/obstructions and I am trying to maneuver around/up/down.
I am interested in checking out this book though. Always great to add another arrow to the quiver.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 9:09 pm 
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Maineangler, I can think of a couple places, one in particular where knowing the bottom and current is key. Like you mentioned (and I can visualize this as I type) lifting the rod with a tight line up and over a rock and dropping the tip of the rod to reposition the fly in the drift and on bottom results in a hookup one in every 8-10 drifts, more frequently depending on conditions or until the pool figures out what's up. I've done some experimenting by moving below the obstruction and starting the drift there and the results are no where near as effective. The take is usually 6-8' downstream of the lift, and I start my drift well above the point where I need to lift the rod. In short, if any new/beginner anglers are out there reading this, the lesson is put your time in on the water and continue to learn techniques and refine them, adapt to conditions, and eventually you will have the ability to fish "dialed in".


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PostPosted: July 19th, 2017, 10:33 pm 
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Brooks was and remains an acknowledged "Stonefly" expect. Hard to get that recognition if you're lazy. Brook's Stone is still one of the best patterns available today.

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PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 10:14 am 
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Roundabout, I may or may not know that rock! What you describe is similar to my approach and one of the reasons I don't like using floating indicators. They don't allow you to change depth on the fly (pardon the pun) and make it harder to maneuver around boulders, etc. I only use an indicator when it's absolutely necessary. One of the first fish I ever hooked on a nymph was a large White River (VT) rainbow which took a hare's ear way across the river. I just watched the fly line and when it bolted, I had it. These days, when I get well out into the river, I use an indicator.
Sinking lines might help you hook a large fish, but they also might doom your chances of getting it to the net. The inevitable belly in the line makes your leader very vulnerable when/if the fish goes airborne. Lots of times, this means a mid-air break off. Been there more times than I care to count.

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