|Antonio in the zone|
Though Euro nymphing has its own limitations, I believe it solves most of the above problems.
Besides the fundamental issues with drift, there are some other issues with indicator nymphing which Euro nymphing solves.
- The typical indicator rig involves split shot above unweighted flies. A hinge forms at the split shot further inducing slack between flies and thee indicator. This slack must be removed before a strike is detected. Fishing weighted flies without split shot on a Euro rig eliminates hinges especially if a heavier fly is fished on the point (end of the leader) and a lighter or unweighted fly is fished on the dropper tag above.
- The indicator creates a splash when it hits the water. Obviously this has the potential to spook fish. The only splash created by a Euro rig is the entry of the nymphs. Their small splash has much less potential to spook fish.
- Indicator rigs don't fit in small pockets. If your indicator is 5 feet from your flies, then a pocket must be nearly that diameter to fit flies and indicator within the pocket. Even if your flies are only 3 feet from your indicator, the same rule applies. In many pocketwater sections I fish, pockets that large are few and far between. Only the space between flies limits the size of pockets a Euro rig can be cast into. If you fish a one fly rig then only your casting accuracy limits the size of pockets you can fish.
- Lastly, in order to adjust for depth, the position of an indicator on the leader must be repeatedly adjusted and split shot must be added and subtracted with increasing or decreasing depth. Most depth adjustments on a Euro rig can be made simply by raising or lowering the elevation of the sighter or adjusting the angle of the leader either on the casting entry or during the drift. If these adjustments aren't enough, a quick change of fly weight usually suffices.
- Low velocity pools, runs, or flats with fairly uniform currents create conditions where many of the problems with suspension rigs are nullified. In these water types, approaching fish within a Euro nymphing radius may be difficult without spooking them.
- If deep water prevents wading within proximity to an intending holding lie, suspension rigs may be your only hope of reaching the fish.
- If wind is above around 15 mph, controlling the drift of a Euro leader becomes very difficult. In windy conditions, the anchoring nature of the indicator becomes beneficial as it prevents the wind from blowing your flies and leader around.
- Lastly, if the fish in your river only eat flies size 22 and smaller, it will be hard to tie flies with sufficient weight to attain depth. This situation may be countered when Euro nymphing by fishing a sacrificial heavy nymph to allow other micronymphs to attain depth, However, I find that a lot of anglers and guides today assume that fish only eat small flies in their river when it certainly isn't the case. I've fished a lot of picky tailwaters the last few years where size 12-18 flies worked just fine. There are exceptions but I don't believe most rivers require only microflies most of the time even when the fish may be focusing on minutiae.