I got this email yesterday and wanted to share. These are great questions about nymping at Pyramid
On my last trip to Pyramid (May 9) the conditions were very tough (calm winds, no chop on the water, clear skies). Almost everyone around me had either gotten skunked or caught one fish. I was doing better myself. I hooked 4 fish, landed 3 and lost one at the net. The 3 fish I landed were caught on red Mahalo Nymphs while retrieving my line very slowly like I was nymphing without an indicator even though I was using one. I have three related questions: 1) Given the calm water conditions, do you think I might have done better taking off the indicator and fishing the “no cator” style? 2) I caught the first two fish using an 8 ½ ‘ tippet and the last fish using a 7’ tippet. If I used the “no cator” technique, how long of a tippet would you suggest? 3) With the “no cator” technique, do you still use a dropper fly? I’ve never used the “no cator” technique so I’d just like to know more about it.
Glad you caught some fish! Also great questions.
I personally don’t like using the indicator rig when the lake is glass. Actually I really don’t like fishing the lake when it is that calm. Sometimes we are forced to and have to make the best of it. So to answer your questions,
1) Anytime the lake is calm and I am using the indicator rig I like to do some form of stripping the flies in as you say you were doing. Usually one long slow pull about 2 feet or so. Let the flies sink again and repeat after about 15 seconds. Lots of the grabs will come right after the pull. You kinda have to create your own motion on the flies when there is no chop to work your indicator. Sometimes it does help to take off the indicator and sometimes it does not. There are anglers who prefer to feel their grabs and not use one at all. It is probably the best time to take off the indicator when it is calm. Both ways work for sure.
2) When you are stripping nymphs with a floating line the depth of the water and how deep you want to fish your flies will dictate your leader length. At Pyramid most of us want to have the flies close to or right on the bottom so your leader needs to be longer than the depth of the water. The nymphs will sink to the bottom and if you are stripping them in slowly they should stay there. The closer your leader length is to the depth of the water, the more your flies will work vertically when you retrieve them. The longer your leader is in relation to the water depth the more horizontally they will move along the bottom. For most of the beaches we fish at Pyramid I tend to start out with about a 10-12 foot leader unless I know I am fishing in water that is deeper.
3) I would certainly use two flies in this set up. Mainly to get your flies down quicker and with a little more weight I think it makes it easier to cast a longer leader. Try to put them at least 2 feet or even 3 feet apart. I also like to use nymph style flies over midge style flies when I am doing this technique. I personally think they just look better when they are being retrieved instead of hung under an indicator.
I hope that helps a little and good luck trying out some new techniques,