Nymph Masters: Fly-Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers by Jason Randall
If you like to nymph already or if you want to get into it for the first time this book will get you well along the path to success. It is so full of info you’ll be poring over the pages for a long time, and with each read you’ll uncover some new subtlety that you missed before. I don’t think it’s too bold to say that this book is a jumping off point for many year’s of investigation and practice in the art of nymphing.
While it is not a tenkara book— and some of the rigging may not be applicable to tenkara (especially regarding leader design) — the basis of the book is to convey fundamentals and those fundamentals are the same for the western angler as for the tenkara angler. That is why this book is so appealing to me. I like to preach fundamentals. If you get a good grasp on fundamentals you will have a road map and a compass rather than just turn-by-turn directions and so you can adapt your fishing tactics to fit conditions. Without a grounding in fundamentals you will find that your fishing is limited and not very versatile.
A short quote from the book really snagged my attention and I think it’s key to the success of this book and success in angling. Jason Randall is talking about the various experts that he worked with on the book when he says:
“I found a lot of commonality from one expert to another, but as I learned from each, they’d all solved the problems of nymph fishing in a different way. They often arrived at different solutions to the same problems—ones we all encounter when nymph fishing.”
That is the key to this book. Jason Randall does a great job of laying out the “problem with nymph fishing” that is – what are we trying to do when nymph fishing? and further What are the things we must over come to do that?
And so a good portion of the book is spent in detailing what is going on in the subsurface. The nymph fisherman needs to understand how a river flows (in three dimensions) in order to even begin trying to solve the problem of how to get the fly to the fish, detect the strike and set the hook. There is a lot of information in the book about the topic of hydrodynamics – and it deserves a very careful reading on those points.
Randall gives us a grounding in current nymphing techniques like short-line and long-line nymphing as well as pros and cons of strike indicators and how to get then most out of their use. And then he does a great job of detailing how to locate trout in moving waters. He then brings it together with case studies of different on-the-water scenarios and finally with fly patterns (including nice color photos) from the contributing experts.
It is a dense book with loads of great info that you’ll be reading and re-reading for seasons to come I think.
Praise for Nymph Masters:
“Reading this book—the superb photography, illustrations and advice—is almost like having a guide at your side. If you want to be a better nymph fisherman, you could not better invest your money ”
“This could well be the most significant work on nymph fishing since G.E.M. Skues began his explorations into subsurface fishing more than a century ago. With Nymph Masters the name Jason Randall is assured permanency in the realm of trout-fishing literature.”
“Nymph Masters; Fly Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers is the best alternative to actually being on the water with nymphing experts such as Joe Humphreys, George Daniel, Gary Borger and Tom Baltz to name a few. Read the book, apply the techniques, and hang on.”
“With 80% of a trout’s diet located in subsurface conditions, this book is a must have for any angler’s library. Jason Randall breaks down the art of nymphing with his own knowledge as well as insight from some of the best teachers in the sport. It was an honor to work with Jason on his book and I am excited to gain even more knowledge from reading its pages.”
—Landon R. Mayer
About the Author
DR. JASON RANDALL’s feature articles appear regularly in American Angler, as well as Fly Fisherman, Eastern Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing, and many other outdoor magazines. He is a veterinarian certified in fish health and medicine and a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for Freshwater Science. His three books published by Stackpole–Moving Water, Feeding Time, and Trout Sense–have received widespread acclaim among fly fishing experts. He lives in Woodstock, Illinois.