French Nymphing. Fishing Technique and Tips on long line nymphing

Origin and new secrets not yet revealed by French and Spanish competitors of the most refined nymph fishing technique of the old European continent.



Ernest Hemingway when in the 1920s he visited the Spanish Pyrenees to fly fishing he would not have imagined that the waters he fished would be the scenarios where competition fishermen would develop a novel, sophisticated and effective nymph fishing technique that would revolutionize the world from fly fishing.



The French competition fishermen in their desire to improve the fishing technique to nymph in order to capture more fish adapted the essence of fishing to Czech nymph but using a long leader or fishing exclusively with tippet.
Throughout this last decade, Spanish anglers have incorporated some variations and improvements to achieve what is now considered one of the most effective nymph fishing techniques.
Thanks to this method in recent years Spain and France have obtained the best results in the international fly fishing competitions.


In certain European rivers, with wild fish that are very difficult to fish, nymph fishing consists in getting deep into nymphs of small size. Achieving the greatest possible depth and a natural drift of the nymph.
This is how techniques like Czech Nymph emerged that would evolve into Spanish / French Nymphing. Briefly consists of fishing according to the Czech model (the tip of the rod moves accompanying the drift of the nymphs with the arm of the stretched fisherman) but without the line touching the water, a big difference with the fishing techniques nymph in the USA.

This modality has kicked the essence of fly fishing, since the cast is not achieved thanks to the weight of the line but to the weight of our nymph, so to start in their practice it is necessary to temporarily forget the basic guidelines about the fly cast.

On this basis, experienced fishermen have refined the method using “perdigones” nymphs, spiral indicators, boiled leaders, long rods with parabolic action, improvements on the reels … We present you some of these little secrets:


Fishing with fine tippet helps to catch more trout, but not only because of their lesser vision, but also because they exert less resistance to water and make it easier to go deep.

This fact has a big problem: the finer the tippet is, the more possibilities there are to break the thread. This reality has been tried to solve by the fine Spanish competition anglers using long soft action rods (very flexible), which cushion the strike and fight with the fish and using very elastic leaders (this is achieved by boiling them in water a few minutes ).
Novelty nymphs “PELLETS”

The essence of the Spanish / French Nymphing originated when detecting the need to present small nymphs at great depth so as to be able to cheat the difficult wild Zebra Trout from the Spanish Pyrenees.

“Perdigones” were designed with this intention:

1 キ Great weight and small size.

2 キ Manufactured with materials that do not exert water resistance and they favor its sinking.

3 キ Striking colors that change underwater.


Assembly video of a shot:


Among the rules of competition, fishing is prohibited the use of Strike indicators. The bite of the fish can only be detected by observing the tippet.
Initially, some competitors ruffled and denatured colored tippet with a great memory and later greased them to try to float and exert more resistance to the rupture of the surface tension of the water. These functioned as false indicators.
The technique was refined with the invention of the elastics coiled indicators, consisting of a colored thread as a spring that acts as an indicator. In the following video we show its manufacture and operation:


In certain occasions when there is a high environmental humidity or fishing in the rain the tippet sticks to the blank of the rod due to surface tension and it is very difficult for us to run through the rings, making the set difficult.
For this, we wind a thread on the last section of the rod as if we were ringing it. This is how we get the tippet not “stick” to the blank of the rod.

Tip: we should not use tippets that favor adhesion due to their composition (high gloss tippet treated with wax or siliconized products).


When we fish with a lot of tippet in our reel they usually cause problems and entanglements due to the very wide entrance mouth of the line and with joints that hook the tippet. The solution can be small artisan inventions like the following, in which we have used for its confection a ceramic ring, a piece of PVC pipe and epoxy resin:
We hope this article will be useful and help you explore new fishing formulas. If on any occasion you are encouraged to visit the Spanish Pyrenees from Pyrenees Fly Fishing ( it will be a pleasure to guide you in these amazing mountains that have us spellbound and if you are interested I we will help you to know better this way of fishing.


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