Nymphing for trout in New Zealand is an effective way of catching fish all year round. Quite simply, it's fishing using artificial flies to imitate aquatic insect larvae and sub-aquatic worms and crustaceans.
There are a number of different methods, and we will cover some of them in this post.
Nymphing with a "bomb" nymph combined with a smaller nymph (or two)
Using a heavy "bomb" nymph in conjunction with a smaller one is a widespread method in New Zealand. It involves using a larger, heavily-weighted nymph to get a smaller fly down to where trout naturally feed.
Note: Some anglers will use a "bomb" with two smaller nymphs. However, for the less experienced caster, this can produce horrendous tangles!
The "bomb nymph" is typically tied using one or two heavy tungsten beads tied on a size #10 hook. The smaller nymph is generally size #14-18, or smaller. The two are often connected by a length of tippet tied between the smaller nymph(s) and onto the hook of the bomb nymph. This allows the angler to get the nymphs deep into the water column and into the strike zone quickly.
When nymphing in this way, an indicator is useful to help the angler identify when a trout attempts to eat the fly. The indicator can also help to keep the flies from dragging along the bottom. This is why many New Zealand trout anglers prefer an indicator that is moveable. It allows them to match the depth of the water.
Check out some of the bomb and smaller nymphs, along with indicators, available from the NZ Fishing Flies shop.
Bomb Nymphing with Globugs and Cleardrift Eggs
Using a bomb nymph in combination with a Globug or egg imitation can be incredibly effective on New Zealand rivers. Again, the bomb nymph is will get the Globug or Egg deep into the water column.
Dry Dropper: New Zealand-style Nymphing
This is one of the most popular, enjoyable and successful ways to fish for trout in New Zealand and around the world.
A dry fly acts as both fly and indicator. The angler ties a short length of tippet (for example, 12 inches) to the dry fly hook, and through the eye of a smaller nymph.
Note: Again, some anglers prefer an extra nymph. Refer to our earlier warning about tangling!
New Zealand anglers fish the Dry Dropper system when trout feed on or near the surface, and/or when river flows are lower and slower (Late Spring, Summer). The setup allows the chance to catch a trout "on the dry", probably the most exciting version of a strike. It also places a nymph into the water at a depth that allows the fish to see it.
Obviously, choosing a good size Dry Fly (#10 or #12 is common) and pairing it with the right weight of nymph (typically a #14 and smaller) is key.
Shop NZ Fishing Flies' proven range of Dry Flies, Nymphs Lures and more here. If you're looking for guidance, just ask! Fly Tying Guru Rhys Hogg has a wealth of trout fishing experience around New Zealand, and will happily recommend a likely combination for you.
There are many other forms of nymphing which can fall under the blanket title of "Euro" nymphing. This would include Czech, Polish, Spanish and French nymphing.
Generally, these styles include using a specialised fast-sinking leader and various combinations of heavy and not-so-heavy or light nymphs. It will be well worth investigating to see if one of these styles suits where you're fishing. A useful description of each of the various can be found here.
New Zealand Fishing Flies supplies flies and lures for all styles of fly fishing. Check out some of the Euro-style nymphs on offer here.