Learn How to High Stick with a Fly Rod

Learn How to High Stick with a Fly Rod.

When it comes to Nymph Fishing here on the Front Range of Northern Colorado high sticking pocket water with a fly rod is the ticket. Most of the water if not all of it on this side of slope could be defined as pocket water. The Big Thompson River and the Cache La Poudre River are prime examples of classic pocket water. Most of the runs here have boulders about the size of Volkswagen Beatles in them. These boulders break up the flow of the run and create pockets or windows. On rivers like the Big Thompson and the Poudre this is where the trout are gonna hang out.

From here on out your fly rod will be known as your “stick”. High Sticking is most often done in close quarters. Meaning you will not be launching a lot of line. This type of Nymph Fishing works best with short cast. I like to tell my clients that they are picking pockets. With the various currents, drops and substrate you have in pocket water, shorter line is better. Think line control here.

Little to no line on the water is my preferred method of having my clients high-stick on the Cache La Poudre. Since the water we are high-stick nymphing in is swirling fast moving water trout do not get spooky. Which allows for a close approach (I should mention here that a 9 foot 4 weight or 5 weight fly rod is my preferred length and weight for fly fishing in Colorado).

To begin High-Stick Nymph Fishing cast 45 degrees up stream two feet beyond your target. Allow the fly or flies to sink down to the trouts level. Using the full length of your arm and the full length of your stick reach out over the water. You will want the tip of the fly rod to be on top or at least pointed towards your strike indicator if you are using one. If not using a strike indicator I like to eye-ball where the line and leader connect.

As your flies begin their drift down stream lift your arm and your stick the speed at which your indicator is drifting. By doing this you will not lift the nymphs from the desired depth. As the nymphs/indicator pass your body your stick and arm should be at their highest point. Once your indicator drifts past your body and continues down stream you should lower your arm and stick the speed of the drift. So much of your drift will depend on the indicator placement and the weight of the flies and or split shot. By now the flies will be at the end of the drift. So cast and repeat.

Colorado Beginner Nymph Fishing Class:

If you are looking to increase your catch rates this is the class for you. This class is 4 hours in length. This class is part of “our on the water” series of classes. Liarflies can conduct this class on the Big Thompson River, Cache La Poudre River or in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Students will learn all the various nymph fishing techniques on the water.

Learn How to High-Stick Nymph Fish.
Learn How to High-Stick Nymph Fish.




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