How to Start Euronymphing

Are there cheap and easy ways to start Euronymphing? Absolutely. In this post, I’ll share a few options.

How to start Euro-Nymphing

Blog reader Nate posted a comment in a prior post with some great questions about how to start tightlining (thread of comments here). So, in case it is helpful, I’ve put down my response below.

I’m very passionate about the Euro method, as I think it is the best way to catch big and savvy fish during every-day conditions. It also generates tremendous numbers. That’s why our national fly-fishing team, shown above, Euronymphs. So, I always am happy to answer questions!


So, my approach was I went straight to a Euro rod and made my own rig and tweaked it, about which I’ve written here. I was already into fly fishing with my other gear, and I was committed to investing in a set up that would catch more fish and bigger fish and savvy fish. Man, did it ever.

I fish the Thomas and Thomas Contact 11’3″ #3 and a Syndicate 10′ #2. But, if you don’t want to buy specialized gear, here are some options:

Plan A: If you want to be open to that approach, you can call Torrey or Grady at UpCountry in New Hartford, CT. They will ship for free. But, it’s a real expense. They sell a starter outfit (rod, reel, Euro line, Euro leader) for $420 or so. I’m happy to send an email intro to the guys if that will help. Orvis Dedham’s Pete Kistner also knows the Euro scene quite well. He’s a great guy, too. I’ve heard great things about the 10.5′ Orvis Recon #3, which is a specific Euro rod.

Plan B: If you want to dabble in Euro without first committing, see if the folks at Bears Den or Orvis Dedham have Euro demo rods that they will lend out. Many fly shops will.

Plan C: Buy the $9.95 Rio Euro leader (which comes with a built-in sighter), some tungsten Euro flies, and some fluoro tippet. Hopefully, your fly shop will have all or most of these items. Add that to your 9′ #5 and fish with it. Frankly, it isn’t ideal, as the rod is likely too stiff to pick up soft takes and the heavy fly line will cause sag, leading to some potential drag and dampened sensitivity. But, it can work. And, that’s all you want before shelling out major bucks, IMO.

Regardless of which Plan you choose, I’d buy the digital version of the Modern Nymphing video (15% discount code here). Another great resource is George Daniel’s Dynamic Nymphing, but that is pretty dense, although is a “must have” for those who go down the Tightlining Rabbit Hole.

What do you think? I love answering these questions, and so, feel free to keep askin’….

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4 thoughts on “How to Start Euronymphing

  1. I would add option D: Hire a guide for a 1/2 day intro to Euronymphing. Then you will have an idea of what its about and the advantages of specialized rods.

    Regarding option C you could add a really long section of mono before the leader to eliminate the line sag. Using a heavier anchor would allow you to cast and fish some methods but not all. I do this on occasion when not carrying my nymph rod.

    1. Great advice, Steve! The Rio Euro Leader is a 15# test at a .011″ diameter. So, if using Maxima Ultragreen, I’d go for 12#, which is at .013″, to create tapering for better casting. A spool goes for about $4, and so, that should be do-able.

  2. How long of a mono section should I attach from the line before the leader and do I need to shorten the Euro leader by that amount or will the extra length not matter? thanks!!!

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