Nymphing, in its simplest definition, is fly-fishing using the subaquatic forms of aquatic insects. Nymphing originated in England amidst great controversy, but is widely popular today. The French Nymphing Method is a relatively new approach to fly fishing developed by French fly fishers during the World Fly Fishing Championship held in France several years ago. The technique has served the French well, with a number of World Championships to their credit.
The equipment used in this fishing technique is unique. French Nymphing is characterized by an extremely long leader, averaging 12 to 20 feet long. The rods themselves are usually 10 to 14 feet in length. This nymphing technique uses a strike indicator which functions as a sign for the fisherman to lightly try to set the hook. Tippets used in French Nymphing are characteristically extremely fine. Finally, the types of flies used for French Nymphing are mainly beaded flies, jig flies, other weighted flies, or even wet flies.
French Nymping is best done directly upstream or with up-and-across casts. It works in a variety of river conditions, but is suited for use in riffles and runs 2 to 5 feet deep. The actual physical technique of casting has peculiarities that are best seen, rather than described.
Fishing, particularly fly fishing, is about experimentation and a sense of fun. The French Nymphing method is not “be all, end all” technique. It isn’t appropriate for all conditions, such as in high water, deep currents, or cloudy waters, where other fly fishing techniques will be more effective. However, it is worth experimenting with so carry that spirit with you when you enter the stream. Your enjoyment increases when you open your arms to new techniques and methods.
Source: Big Fish Tackle