Review: Modern Nymphing- European Inspired Techniques DVD

Before I share my thoughts on this project “Modern Nymphing”, let me give you some background.  About seven or eight years ago I was introduced to the concept of European nymphing through the internet via a fly fishing forum. Before then, I had never heard much about nymphing techniques, and my first conversations about European nymphing led me to believe they were complicated and required very expensive specialized equipment. None of this sounded appealing to me as I was freshly in debt with 90k in college loans. In fact, fly fishing- which I had been doing for about 6 years off and on at that point, wasn’t THAT appealing to me to begin with. Having found the sport by accident with a friend, my success was nominal. It was a way to get outside, maybe catch a fish, but on a nice Spring day it was hard to beat just being out. Once I began hearing of the catch rates possible with these new revolutionary systems, I became VERY interested and began researching.

Another year went by and my time on the forums increased, and more information was coming back from overseas on the effectiveness of this European methodology. Competitive fly fishing was gaining in popularity through the increasing success of Team USA in the World Fly Fishing Championships  and the initial complications referred to earlier were mostly misunderstandings of these systems. As their application of these new techniques took place, a foundation book exposing the concepts was released titled “Dynamic Nymphing” by George Daniel. This book was exactly what I was looking for, and throughout 2012-2013 I began to practice and implement these techniques and found more success than I had ever found previously. I was hooked, I got it. Finally, I knew WHY people loved fly fishing. It was an Aha moment that has pushed my fly fishing and what developed my love for the sport and my proficiency increased.

Since then, Team USA has continued to see improved success as they won a team best silver medal at the 35th World Championships where Devin Olsen took an individual bronze medal, also a USA best at that point. This year at the World Championships the team did great again and placed Bronze as a team, with Lance Egan winning individual Bronze. Two incredible years for Team USA.

With everyone chucking streamers or pursuing musky on the fly the last few years, I hadn’t heard or given much thought to the current state of European Nymphing in the US. Then I saw t Devin Olsen and Lance Egan, two guys who are at the top of their competitive fly fishing craft, were setting out to break down the barriers and reduce the complications of European inspired techniques in a project called “Modern Nymphing”. Having been familiar with their pedigree I was immediately interested and knew something groundbreaking would come about from it. With the help of Gilbert Rowley of Capture Adventure Media they have combined two elements in which most instruction titles fail at-cinematic expression and proper pace of instruction.

From the foundation of the film and the H Creek Experiment it is obvious how devastating these Modern Nymphing methods can be,  even on highly educated pressured fish. Despite all of the information out there, and having personally fished this method for nearly six years, I was learning, and in many cases I was re learning concepts that I had previously dismissed or ignored as unimportant or too difficult.  Their usage of long leaders, typically between 18 and 22′ in length is something I have struggled with, and felt out of my comfort zone using but now it couldn’t have looked simpler.

The two featured anglers share screen time and often  switch  to discuss slightly different adaptions of the same basic principle that is being explained. It is refreshing to see as instruction can often come across as edict.  Following this concept are the featured Keys to Success  appearing on screen, visually explaining critical points being discussed so as not to get lost among the scenery and beautiful trout.

Another first by “Modern Nymphing” is showing on screen and explaining the pros and cons of both sighters and suspenders, two tools used by different groups of nymphers  and showing both styles on screen. Euro-esque nymphers typically stay away from conversations about indicator nymphing and vise versa as if they are diametrically opposed.  Devin and Lance clearly show why the European techniques of indicator fishing often out perform those of suspender nymphing, without dismissing the validity of the other technique all together.

The gear section was straightforward and to the point. They believe for how they fish a well balanced rod and reel combination is critical to the repetitive nature of casting. For those attempting to use heavier, tip heavy rods, lightweight reels, and heavy indicator line- I urge you to watch this segment closely. You will lose the frustration and fatigue you typically have while fishing. It was also nice to see they didn’t use this as a time to push product, they made a few critical recommendations, but the choice is ultimately yours.

The film finishes with segments on leader construction and different fly set ups, presentations, and manipulating depth plus some of their confidence flies. Having used the dropper method of fishing flies, the concept was not new to me, but even then they surprised me with a few tips to get you fishing faster including when you use your dropper tag up from multiple fly changes. For all those guys like me who are rebuilding the bottom section of your leader, pay attention.


It is clear  Devin Olsen and Lance Egan have an understanding of fishing beyond their years from constantly practicing and pushing themselves to become the best.  The competitive fly fishing environment dictates a need for catching numerous fish quickly so the methodologies are based around that premise, and who would argue about catching more fish quicker?!  I walked away with a crisper foundation and learned several new techniques and an better overall understanding on how to maximize my time on the water.

The greased leader technique and the manipulation of sink rates really made me question why I never fully comprehended them earlier. The 180° presentation is extremely versatile. In this technique, Devin covers water Upstream, Up and Across, and Down and Across from his position without any complicated adjustments. It is something I will be practicing very soon.


Without question, this is the most beautifully filmed and presented fly fishing instruction DVD that I have had the pleasure of watching. Several gorgeous western trout waters are the classroom for us as Devin Olsen and Lance Egan, two of the best fly fisherman in the world,  guide us through their simplication of the European Nymphing schools which they call their “Modern Nymphing” system.

This DVD is for anyone who wants to catch more fish using a versatile system that is competition proven. While the foundation was forged during competition, this is not a How To guide for competitive fly fishing. The concepts and techniques used were ironed out during their competitive careers, but this is for any nympher who wants to hook and land more trout.  The devout dry fly angler can watch this and have a foundation to catch his first trout on a nymph in short time- if he can get over the flies typically used 🙂 . This dvd brought back why I got hooked on this style of fishing to begin with, ease and effectiveness. This DVD will do equally well in the library of the competitive angler or a complete beginner.

After you see the trailer, you won’t have a choice to buy it or not. So here it is- enjoy!!!

Modern Nymphing – European Inspired Techniques from Capture Adventure Media on Vimeo.

You can BUY this  two ways. First is to preorder the DVD HERE through Devin Olsen’s Tactical Fly Fisher web store. There is a discount for ordering before Christmas so what are you waiting for??

You can also buy it and stream it now on your computer through the Capture Adventure Media Vimeo Page  HERE.

I would also suggest taking a look at the Tactical Fly Fisher Youtube page HERE for tying tips and other cool stuff.





    • I do not believe so Michael. That may be a promotion they run on their website from time to time though.

    • I have nothing to do with Vimeo, purchases of the dvd, or refunds. That said, I have purchased several documentaries via their platform and have had zero issues. Have a good one.