This week TRM have had an excellent opportunity to trial our own “field test”, to indicate which is the most successful method. We are not aware of any similar “field trials” on the Tongariro so were particularly keen to find someone willing to experiment with the two methods.
Much has been made of this “Euro-nymphing” trend recently with many offering courses to convert rusty old anglers to try this different method. Naturally the tackle shops are promoting it to sell lighter rods and more gear.
It is a reminder of when nymphing with floating lines was first introduced to compete with traditional wet lines. The same debate with about the same conversion rate. Many Tongariro anglers still only use a wet line dredging the depths and have not had any need to change to floating lines or dry flies as on the Tongariro they still catch their share.
Many sceptical Tongariro “nyphomaniacs” claim that “Euro-nymphing” is nothing new as they have been practising it for years under a different description, called “FFF” – Fish Feet First. i.e. They just altered, or shortened up the sliding indicator, to fish their feet first and then lengthened the trace as they cast further into the seam. They claim it is just another commercial scam!
The keen angler who has volunteered (?) is Paul Gandell from Australia. Paul has been visiting the Tongariro River for many years as explained in the accompanying brief video. This week he is armed with his 4 wt. Euro rod and 6 wt. Nymphing set up. The following is a brief intro video from 2019…
On his first day back on the Tongariro, after being missing for the last 18 months due to Covid restrictions, his morning session up river yielded three – all on his Euro rig after he had patrolled the same beat with his usual nymphing method without a touch. His afternoon session landed three on a standard “truck & trailer” set-up without any takes on the Euro rod.
So it will be very interesting to see which method is the most successful after a full week of trials. A typical example of the type of fresh run Rainbow trout he has been releasing is indicated in the photo below – mainly well-conditioned fiesty maiden fish on their first spawning run.