Upavon Spring Product Launch Now Live - Click Here To Browse
Upavon Spring Product Launch Now Live - Click Here To Browse
Skip to content
River Fly Tactics: The Duo Fished Euro Style

River Fly Tactics: The Duo Fished Euro Style

Del Spry is a multi-capped international angler with a wealth of experience from his many years competing in the sport at the highest level. In the following blog, Del outlines his favourite tactic when approaching rivers using a single rod to switch quickly between methods with devastating results.


One of my biggest problems when setting up for a river session is deciding what rod or rods to set up. Unfortunately, in the world of river fishing rods, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to length, weight and method. Even more so since the introduction of European-style nymphing rods, which are generally longer and lighter. It’s not always possible to set up two rods due to various reasons. These include time constraints and club rules. Furthermore, it can be cumbersome carrying two rods through bank-side vegetation, and the chances of breakages are always on the cards.

So, what do I do?

Single Rod approach

I used to set up my nymphing rod just out of habit. Because it’s so effective (most of the time) when I hit the faster runs with a simple double-nymph approach, often resulting in a few fish. Nonetheless, a fish or two will inevitably rise and I wish I had not left the dry fly rod in the car! 

The Duo

Over the last few years, I have been fishing the Duo on my nymphing set-up with fantastic results, and it is now my go-to method when the one-rod approach is the only option.

The Setup

My standard nymphing setup is simple. I am a big fan of not complicating things!

Rod – 10ft to 11ft #2 to 3 weight rod.

Reel – Lightweight to suit rod.

Line – Cortland Euro nymph mono core.

ASSO Bi-Colour Strike Indicator - Upavon Fly Fishing

To the nymphing line, I attach 14ft of 0.16 ASSO bi-colour strike indicator line, then a 1.5mm micro ring. To this, I attach 6ft of tippet, 0.12 ASSO Co-Polymer Soft. With an overall length of 20ft. The only reason for this is because Fips Mouche Rules states leader cannot be more than twice the rod length, if you’re not fishing competition rules, then obviously you can have the leader as long as you like and you can go lighter or heavier on the bi-colour section. I find 0.16 a great compromise and covers most situations, the ASSO bi-colour is very good as it's not too stiff and the colours stand out.

The Tippet makeup is simple. From the point fly it's 50cm to the dropper, which I attach a weighed nymph for nymphing or a dry fly for duo fishing. If you’re nymphing and you cannot see the indicator, add some Skafars Neon wax to improve visibility.


Fishing the European Duo setup is simple. Use the weighted point fly to pitch the flies upstream. The weighted point fly should project the flies with ease. Stopping the rod tip higher with a positive stop should result in better presentation of the flies and stop the bi-colour hitting the water, this makes very little disturbance on the water and both flies drift as naturally as possible with very little drag because nothing is laying on the water surface to cause drag. Rod tip should be held higher to help achieve this and simply track the flies downstream using the dry fly as an indicator for bite detection on the nymph or takes to the dry.

The bite detection and hook-up rate is excellent because you’re in direct contact with the flies. This method is probably one of my most versatile ways of fishing on the river, if you come to fasternymphingruns it is easy just to take off the dry fly indicator and replace it with a suitably weighted nymph add a little wax to bi-colour and your nymphing again.

Skafars Neon Soft Indicator Wax - Upavon Fly Fishing

Skafars Neon Wax is useful to add extra visibility


I tend to use a range of weighted nymphs depending on the water I have in front of me. You will be surprised how heavy you can go down to. My normal go-to would be 2mm to 3mm tungsten beaded nymphs on the point. Indicator/dry fly, again, you will be surprised how small you can fish. A deadly method can be ‘dapping’ the top dropper just off the water to induce the take, using the nymph to keep the tippet taught.

Match the dry fly to the nymph to ensure it remains bouyant while acheiving depth

 Is it the answer?

This method is not the be-all and end-all and has its disadvantages. The biggest I have found, especially living in the North of England, is a downstream wind! Wind can make things very difficult when using fine leaders. You can overweight the point fly to punch through the wind however, I suggest practicing this method on a nice calm day to get the hang of it first.

The other disadvantage can be casting distance, especially on the bigger rivers where there is very little weight involved and you are using more of alobthan a cast, so distance is limited, and stealthy wading and rivercraft are a must.

For me though, the pros of this method outweigh the cons. For example, the drag-free drift you will achieve is excellent, coupled with the contact you should have with your flies and delicate presentation will increase your catch rate. The versatility of fishing nymphs and dries on one rod always gets my thumbs up.

Enjoy this blog? Please check out our other articles and use discount code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order at www.upavonflyfishing.co.uk.


Next article Fly Tying Hacks - Pro Tips & Techniques to Improve Your Skills


Clinton Malaga - July 5, 2024

Hello I tie fishing flies ,a good quality,on different patterns…

Leave a comment

* Required fields