Naked Nymphing

Here is a cool video on a technique that can work on clear and shallow water. It works best when you’re below the fish and can see their behavior.

It is similar to the “sight nymphing” technique about which noted guide Ed Engle writes in Fishing Small Flies: no indicator, a weighted nymph, and you watch the trout react.


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9 thoughts on “Naked Nymphing

  1. Very cool! I used this technique last year during the drought. I was mostly fishing to fallfish, sunnies, and bass but I did get into one surprise trout.

  2. This is the only kind of nymphing I really enjoy doing. I will use bobbers if it’s my only option, but I prefer not to whenever possible. When fishing “naked,” under certain conditions, especially in faster water and when you can’t see the fish very well, I find that holding the rod tip a bit higher and “guiding” the drift (but without dragging the nymph) can improve hit detection and hook set (which should be directed downstream, since this drives the hook into the fish’s mouth, rather than out of it). It takes practice, but it’s very satisfying when you hook one! I loved the video–great footage! I confess the title of the post gave me pause, since, um, there have been sightings on the Swift of a naked guy, who was not nymphing in any usual sense of the term. Tight lines!

    1. Wow, Naked Guy? LOL.

      Glad you’re having success! This is a tough technique, but, as you wrote, it is immensely satisfying when it works.

  3. I have not personally had the dubious pleasure of encountering Naked Guy, but I have heard many reports. Kind of like Big Foot, maybe?

    Did I say I was having success? LOL. Well, sometimes! I like the challenge, and I like any technique that has me actively engaged/connected with the fly. Not the same thing as trout, but I once pulled a 20″ striper out of the Charles right below the falls in Watertown Square fishing a small wooly bugger this way. Imagine my shock! I’d never pulled anything larger than 10″ out of there, which is why I was using a 3 wt (but with a heavy tippet).


    1. OK, that’s pretty cool (not Naked Guy). There are so many fishy spots along the Charles.

      If you like maintaining contact with your nymphs or streamers, you might like Euronymphing? For me, it has been the #1 method for volume and big fish.

      It has been fun to devote most of my time this year to wet flies, but I still go back to tightlining (and, dries) on occasion. #ABB: Anything But Bobbers, as much as I can. My 2 cents.

  4. The Charles is full of surprises, not all of them good. I once caught a little smallmouth, and as I was holding it up by the leader, it rotated around until I could see that it had only one eye. Yikes!

    I have the euronymphing gear, but I haven’t really committed to learning it. I think the big hurdle for me is that I prefer the versatility of a 9-ft 5-weight. Hitting the stream with such a specialized rig feels limiting. But I really should give it a chance!

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