Without question nymphing is the most productive way to catch fish on Grey Reef, Miracle Mile and Fremont Canyon. On days nothing else seems to get em’, a standard North Platte nymph rig will. The question is, “what’s the standard?”. We get a whole lot of folks coming in to the shop assuming they have to be in constant contact with the bottom in order to be “properly” nymphing. FALSE. We have so many days where the fish will suspend at various depths of the water column. A two foot nymph “mini” rig(indicator to split shot) is not unheard of, especially during a solid baetis, midge, caddis, PMD and/or sally hatch.
Sure, there’s always gonna be fished glued to the bottom-willing to eat a leech, egg, worm, etc. But are these fish actively feeding…maybe, maybe not. But a fish is a fish, right? Absolutely. It’s just a hell of a lot more fun to watch an indicator move several feet when a fish mistakes your emerger pattern for the real thing. It makes for some exciting fishing but it’s going to demand more from you as the angler. Longer cast, lighter tippet(sometimes), smaller flies, etc. At the very least this style of fishing/nymphing will diversify you as an angler and open up water that you may not normally fish.
The way we look at it is pretty simplistic, if you have bugs popping you are gonna have fish moving up in the water column. It’s that simple. And on the days where the main run is just eaten up with anglers, some of the best “mini” rig water is all that in-between stuff. Especially on Grey Reef, the blah water is THE water! So the next time your here and you see some bugs popping-shorten up your length, dial down the weight and throw some bugs on your rig.