Best Jig Nymphs For Trout

At the Missoulian Angler, the jig nymph has positively changed fly fishing success rates to such a point they outsell standard nymphs a pace of 3:1. They are considered to be some of the best trout nymphs by many. Unless a very specific hatch matcher is needed, it’s rare for anyone in the fly shop to recommend a standard nymph. Why has the jig nymph so quickly and completely changed the way we fish? For all the same reasons the jig nymph will change the way you fish whenever you decide to catch some fish and go deep!

It starts with a slotted tungsten bead. The fishhook is a product of 1000’s of years of design, and it’s designed so it aligns itself in the water shank up, hook point down. By definition, a jig rides hook point up, shank down. It’s the tungsten bead, with its high density and excellent weight to size ratio that changes the hook from riding point down to point up. Of course, enough weight to offset the balance of the hook also means the jig fly sinks faster than a classic nymph tied with a standard bead.

We all want our trout nymphs close to the bottom, and the tungsten bead helps in that aspect. But as every angler knows, the bottom is also an excellent place to snag. This often starts the process of re-rigging, which often gives us a chance to closely examine the cost benefits of being close to the bottom. The jig style nymph shines in this aspect as well.

Riding hook point up, the jig nymph is significantly less prone to snagging on the bottom. You can do it, but with the hook point up, there’s less chance of snagging to a point you can’t get your fly back. When you see the jig nymph is less prone to snags, you’ll regain the confidence that every fourth cast won’t be so costly. You’ll start to work closer to the bottom, where the fish are looking for food. The tungsten jig s get you closer to the bottom, and snag less. You fish longer, rig less, and stop worrying about cost benefits!

Many jig nymphs are the flies you’re already using, tied on an inverted hook. The Pat’s Rubberlegs, Pheasant Tail Nymph and Hare’s Ear Nymph immediately come to mind. These flies produce everywhere a line gets wet. Now they’re available as jig nymphs, and these top producers just got more effective. If you’re looking to ease your way into jig nymphing, going with a classic fly, inverted as a jig, to jumpstart your entrance into this fly style.

The jig style has also spawned its own style of fly. Loosely known as the Perdigon, this jig nymph is sparse and has a coated body. It’s designed to sink rapidly, getting where the fish are faster than any other nymph we sell. Make sure to vary your sizes, to match your local insects. Be ready to be closer to the bottom, and then be ready to start taking more and bigger fish! It’s what the jig nymph is all about!

Here is a list of some of the best nymph patterns tied with the Jig style hook that work across the country.

Top 9 Tungsten Jig Nymphs

PT Hot Spot Jig Orange Fly

PT Hot Spot – Orange

SR Bullet Olive Fly

Bullet Quill

TH Duracell Jig

TH Duracell

Hare's Ear Jig

Hare’s Ear Jig

Yellow Spot Jig Fly

Yellowspot Jig

Pheasant Tail Jig

Pheasant Tail Jig

TJ Hooker Black/Brown

TJ Hooker

Natural Jig Zirdle

Zirdle Jig

Pink Jig Squirmie Wormie

Squirmie Wormy Jig

Click here to view a complete list of our top Jig nymphs

The Euro Nymph Game

Trout eat constantly. If they’re not surface feeding, they’re sub-surface feeding. It’s a well-known fact that nymphs live in the rocks. It’s a more well-known fact that rocks live on the river bottom! So if you want to get your fly to where the fish are, you need to get your nymph on the bottom. Which is why Euro Nymphing is so effective.

Euro nymphing has been around for 100’s of years. Historic records have anglers fishing deep flies on tight lines in central Europe in the 1600’s. Fast forward to the 60’s, and you find anglers across the United States high stick nymphing, which is also Euro Nymphing. And of course, the competitive anglers across the world have dominated the river portion of the World Fly Fishing Championships with Euro nymphing techniques.

Euro nymphing traditionally uses a long rod (10-11.5 ft.), a FIPS (Fédération Internationale de Peche Sportive Mouche) Euro Nymphing line and a long, monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. The variations from that are endless, but that is the basic setup. The long rod allows for better line control on the water, while the line and leader are chosen for their ability to sink rapidly. You can definitely use a Euro nymph set-up on your 9 ft rod, however the shorter rod will not give you the coverage a longer rod provides, nor will you get the length of drift. But tightliners have been nymphing with 9 ft rods for years with great success.

Perdigon Fly Pattern is one of our most effective Euro Nymphs we carry. Also a very popular dropper off of a dry fly.

The flies are also different than many of the traditional nymphs used in Missoula. The Euro nymphs, like the Perdigon, are designed to sink rapidly. Many feature Tungsten beads on jig style hooks. The jig style hook rides point up, so they hang up less on the bottom of the river. The Missoulian Angler has the largest jig nymph selection in Missoula, and it’s expanding on a yearly basis. These nymphs sink rapidly, snag less and take trout.

The Euro nymph fisherman is running a relatively a relatively short line (10-25 ft) with 1-2 flies and maybe some weight, depending on depth. The FIPS line is quite thin, and not utilized as a classic fly casting line. The cast is accomplished using the weight of the flies and the flexibility of the long rod to cast the nymphs. The design of the Euro nymphs takes them to the bottom quickly, and the long rod allows the angler to control their depth and speed with incredible precision. The graphite rod translates every bump and tick back to the angler’s hand. As the flies ride close to the bottom, where the fish are, the tight line instantaneously allows the angler to set the hook upon take.

Working at such a close distance, euro nymphing is more suited to faster moving water. You can definitely Euro nymph in slower water, but your wading game had better be in top form! Euro nymphing does not work well from a boat. You need to have a bit more control over your flies depth than is achievable from a boat. Additionally, it often takes a couple of passes through a viable lie before the proper depth and speed is achieved, which is quite difficult from a boat.

Euro nymphing is all about getting the fly where the fish live, allowing the fish to expend minimum energy to feed. There is no method of fishing that is more effective. The relative water currents are slowest at the bottom of a river. The nymphs in the rocks are at the bottom of the river. The fish get a maximum return for a minimum effort when feeding, so they spend the majority of their time hugging the bottom. When you get your fly where the fish are feeding, you take more fish. Simple as that. So if you’re all about catching a lot of fish, call and ask the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop about Euro nymphing opportunities in Missoula. Once you get the technique figured out, your catch rate will jump exponentially.

Happy fly fishing!