View Full Version : How to get true dead drift nymphing?
12-16-98, 05:29 PM
I usally cast up stream and use a indicator. I fish mainly fast free stone streams like Smith Creek and Dukes along with the Hooch and Chatooga(unsure of spelling). It seems to me that when I fish the runs and deep fast pools that I cant get my fly down at the head of the pools. So i usally add weight to my bead head then I start hanging bottom at the tail of the pool. What is the proper tech. for this kind of fishing? I dont think that I am getting down fast enough. Can you fish down stream dead drift with indicator?
I usually make every attempt to fish from one side of a pool instead of downstream or upstream. When you fish upstream you have a greater risk of spooking fish with your line and downstream is difficult on smaller water. If you can get a good position from the side you should be able to cast up above the head of the pool to get your nymph down before it hits the feeding lane.
Mend, mend, mend. That and high sticking are the 2 best ways I have found to prevent drag.
Mend by making your initial cast at 45 degree angle or so up stream. When the line starts to straighten out, you slightly roll the wrist and toss a bit of slack into the line.( I wish I could show you this, since it is easier to demostrate than it is to write about it). It takes ton of practice and patience, but mending line is the key.
High sticking is best for the tighter/smaller streams. I use a smaller leader @ 7 1/2 ft. And the object is to only have the leader in the water. You utilize the rod to keep as much line off the water as possible and this leads to non drag drifts.
I do not mean to contradict Aaron. But in heavy riffles where you are nymphing the seams I cast
upstream as you would a dry. When you are concentrating on the seams in heavy water, you either have to cast upstream or you highstick over the harder riffles in order to get a drag free float.
On Smiths and Dukes in order to get your fly down deeper quicker. Use a tuck cast. Your line will go out and then go tight while still in the air. It will force a downward hook into your line punching your fly and weight into the water. It works best by "punching" your fly into the white water at the head of riffles. Do it in one of the pools and it usually scares the crap out of them.
Or make a cast so that the fly lands above the pool you want to fish. Then it will already be going deep when it gets into the pool you wanna fish.
On last tip, on the bigger waters. As soon as you cast out your nymph follow up immediatly with a slight roll cast. It will instantly throw slack into your line allowing less mending and less drag.
Hope this helps!
As Jeff stated mending and High sticking are two great ways to get a natural dead drift. Myself I fish the drift the way Aaron does from the side, but casting up into the tail out and slowly working my way to the head of the pool. Its kind of hard to mend line when you are directly up or down stream and the high sticking works better for me on the sides (Not directly on the side, but down stream and on the side...somewhere around the 2:00 position.) As Aaron stated...direct up or down stream casting will line the fish and in most cases spook them away...a good example is places like Dukes Creek.
When I mend line on an up stream cast I usually try to keep the line behind the leader by back mending 2-3 times, this put little or no drag on the leader which in turn lets the nymph sink faster. As far as a lead weight goes I will us that in cases where the fish are not as picky and presentation is not as important as just plain getting the nymph down to the fish. The bead head does add some weight and if you really need to get down to picky fish try a tungstun bead head nymph. You don't have to get it to the bottom where the fish are just close as fish tend to feed on whats above or in front of them.
Good luck and let us know what worked out for you.
Great advise from Aaron and jeffg always try to use the smallest weight you can get away with so your fly will tumble and drift natuarlly along the bottom. I too like to make those quartering cast above my intended target in order to let the nymph sink and as jeffg says mend mend mend. You cannot get a good drift without a proper mend, once your fly is in the water a perfert cast does you no good if you don't mend your line. Mending line is an art form all it's own.
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