There is no denying the effectiveness of nymphing. Sure I would rather throw floating flies but I also like catching fish and oftentimes, the most productive way to do this is by nymphing. There are countless ways to set up a nymph rig and over the next few weeks we are going to share a few of our favorites. This is a set up that I have heard people call “hinged leader nymphing”, “right angle nymphing”, or “level lining.” The key to this set up is using your leader construction to achieve a faster sink rate.
You take the butt section of a leader or just tie a few feet of heavy mono off of the loop of the fly line. You then tie the other end directly to the indicator. You can use either a clinch knot or a loop knot to the indicator itself. Next you will take a level thickness of tippet material and tie it onto the butt section of the leader, just above the indicator. I use a clinch knot for this and after you tie it, it usually slides down against the knot to your indicator. You want this length of line to be the same as the depth of the river. This level line will sink faster than a thicker diameter line from a normal, tapered leader. Not only will the flies sink faster, the flies will ride directly below your indicator thanks to the hinged system as it forms a right angle. In a standard nymph rig where the line is looped over the indicator, the flies are often a few feet upstream (behind in the drift) of your indicator causing a slight delay in responsiveness of strikes.
The major negative with this set up is the extra time it takes to change depths. If you want to simply shallow up your rig, that is easy as you can trim off some of the level line to shorten up. If you want to go deeper, you have to either add on an entire new length of tippet, or add a section by blood knotting it onto your line. Both work but do take more time than simply sliding your indicator up as you would be able to do on a standard nymph rig. The effectiveness of this rig makes it worth it for me but if you are fishing a river where you frequently change depths, it might not be the best set up for you.
Check out the video below filmed by Chris Daughters as he shows how he sets up his right angle nymph rig. If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to be redirected to the video on our website.
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