Challenges of Nymph Fly Fishing
When nymph fly fishing, the angler is imitating the juvenilestage of aquatic insects. As such, all fly fishing is doneunderwater, not on top of it. Thus, unlike when dry fly fishing, an angler will not see a rise or the fish itself pop through thesurface when gulping in a fly.
Additionally, unlike dry fly fishing, when using nymphs an anglerwill usually not be able to see the actual fly itself. Not beingable to see the fly itself is probably what gives anglers new tofly fishing with nymphs the most problems, as it needless to saymakes it more difficult to detect strikes and set the hook.
Yet another challenge of nymph fly fishing is that the nymphs arefrequently floated along or just near the river bottom. As such, the nymph will constantly be "bumping" into underwaterobstructions - particularly rocks. All these little bumps causebeginner anglers to mistake these bumps for strikes (as thestrike indicator will momentarily pause when the nymph hits arock). And, of course, sooner or later, the nymph will actuallyhook a rock or log, leading to the fun of getting the fly unstuckfrom whatever it hooked.
Finally, the angler who is fly fishing with nymphs will have touse methods to get their fly down into the water. Comparatively, dry fly fishing is easy where all fishing occurs right on thesurface.
Everything in dry fly fishing is two dimensional. With nymphfishing, however, the angler will need to determine how deep thetrout are and then figure out how to get their fly to that depth - adding a 3rd dimension to their fly fishing. To accomplish thisrequires being able to know how to get your nymph to the rightdepth, as well as making accurate casts.
To top this off, trout tend to be much more subtle when they eatnymphs. Unlike in dry fly fishing, when trout often times hit afly really hard, trout unfortunately don't show thischaracteristic with nymphs. This is probably due to the fact thatthe bulk of a trout's diet is in the form of nymphs. Whatever thereason, though, a trout tends to "slurp" in nymphs gently - oftentimes just being lazy and waiting for the nymph to float right toit. Because of this, setting the hook properly (and knowing whento do it) when fly fishing with nymphs is extremely important forsuccess.
These are the challenges of fly fishing with nymphs. And thesesame challenges are generally what put off many a fly fishermanfrom attempting nymph fishing - all the more so if they justhappen to be fly fishing on a river known for top-water hatches(even though the exact same river may have even bettersub-surface fishing!).