The fact of the matter is this: there’s no better way to search the bathtub-sized bucket beneath that half-exposed root wad, or that frothy piece of pocket-water that is the bane of all dry fly drifts. You know there’s a big cutthroat down there that’s just been waiting—almost begging—for some tasty morsel to drift three inches from its head. It would almost be offensive if you didn’t try. As we all know too well (sometimes, admittedly, to the point of frustration) trout do most of their eating under water. So pull out that bright pink bobber you’ve been hiding in your pack all summer, or drop a pheasant tail off that sad hunk of foam that no trout has looked at in months. Let your freak flag fly—and catch a damn fish.
It doesn’t always have to be hard. Doesn’t have to be work. And though an argument can be made for the value of a fish caught after a five-mile bushwhack uphill through stinging nettle-ridden bear country, an equally persuasive case can be made for the trout caught five miles from the boat ramp, from the comfort of a padded seat, with dry feet, and with the added benefit of a bubble of plastic to let you know when it’s time to lift the rod. It’s a matter of values—some prefer to pay in cash, some in crypto, and some in trade. The payoff is almost always worth it—unless you’re the one on the oars.
PERFECT SETUP | BOAT NYMPHING
When drifting down your favorite trout river, having a setup that can easily control the line - keeping it tight to the indicator – is extremely important. Additionally, having a powerful fly line to easily lift and reposition a nymph rig is equally as important. The R8 CORE 596-4FB paired with a TROUT 4/5/6 and RIO Xtreme Indicator WF5F line will allow you to be the most successful when fishing nymphs while in a drift out of a boat.
There are days when you just want to sit by the river and let the fish come to you. And then there are the days when you want to move, to see some country, to see how many miles you can push it while still making it back to the car or camp before dark (because of course you forgot the headlamp in your other pack). It would be hard to argue that there’s any better way to cover ground than with boots in the water and a pair of nymphs at the business end of the rod. Drift fly, catch fish, change pools, repeat.
PERFECT SETUP | WADE NYMPHING
“Over the years we figured out these big fish don’t eat dry flies – they’re on the bottom, they’re nymphing. Our fish tend to feed horizontally in the water column and you need to nail ‘em in the face with flies or you’re going to have a really tough time fishing. Jung rigs – we live and die off the junk rig. It’s our go-to technique, we’re fishing a lot of split shot – big bobbers, when we do the hopper dropper we’re fishing very deep tungsten beads underneath that hopper and it proves effective more times than not. I’m looking for a rod that has the backbone to land a truckee river trophy number one. And then the biggie with the tip of the rod it’s got to be sensitive enough to pick up mends off the water, I don’t want those mends to splash. I need a rod that’s going to be able to load heavy junk rigs very efficiently that’s still going to be able to shoot them, but I still need the sensitivity of reach and mending and feel to be able to detect anything. Add the extra reach with the R8 CORE 5100-4FB, the balance of the ARBOR XL 4/5/6, and the line control with the RIO Elite Indicator WF5F, this setup is perfect for my home waters of the Truckee River.” - Guide Matt Heron / Truckee, CA