Nympho: Weight Adjustments

The weight added to a nymph rig is often overlooked but can play a huge role in catching more fish.  The purpose of adding a weight (split shot, putty, whatever) is to get your flies in the strike zone, keep them there as long as possible and to allow your flies to drift naturally in the current on the bottom of the stream.  There are many variables that come into play when you are talking about adding weight.  The depth of the feeding activity, the speed of the current, size or weight of the flies, bottom of the water, water levels, even the amount of hackle on a fly affects the sink rate.  This means that even fishing one stream may require multiple weight setups through a day.  When you fish a new spot it is best to reevaluate your set up.  I recently have run into a few people on streams who have been fishing similar set ups with drastically less success.  As I have looked over their set up the glaring difference was the amount of weight on the rig.  In all those cases there was far too much weight on the line.  Unfortunately many people will only drop weight when they are tired of snagging the bottom of the stream…but even then they will try to change their drift or even move to a new spot before considering the weight change.  Here are some tips to help you adjust the weight on your nymph rig appropriately which will lead to more fish caught and released.  Remember: reevaluate the rig’s weight every time you fish a new spot on the stream.

1.  Buy non-toxic egg shot from size 10 up to AB.  Have these with you at all times.
2.  If the current is slow start with a very small amount of weight.
3.  If you are getting hung up on the bottom each drift move down a size.
5.  You want you indicator to be moving at relatively the same speed as other objects naturally floating on the water.
6.  It’s good for your rig to find and even bounce on the bottom of the stream as it moves along.  
7.  Use as small an indicator as possible, this will react more to fish and to the bottom of the stream, which will help you react in tune as well.
8.  If the current requires a lighter weight but you are still struggling to get your flies down in time cast further up stream.

Add your weight adjustment tips in the comments!

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