25 (Well, 26) Years of “Nymphing”


2007 marked the 25th anniversary of the introduction of my father’s first instructional fly-fishing film, Nymphing. And I do mean film—16mm, shot with classic Bolex cameras. Looking back now, it is hard for me to believe that so many years have passed since those warm summer days on Montana’s famed Armstrong’s Spring Creek.

In 1982, VCRs were just getting some market penetration, and when Nymphing was released on VHS and Beta (yes, Beta), it was a bit of a “blue sky” proposition. It also wasn’t cheap! But the video, with its dreamy, film-look and solid content and editing, succeeded, and spurred my father on to other projects (some of which eventually involved me, as well).

Fast forward more than two decades and HD video rules the fly-fishing production scene, coupled with all-digital laptop editing and burn-your-own DVDs. And, if you want someone to see your video quickly, all you have to do is post it online and anglers across the globe can simply “click-and-watch.” Things have definitely moved on!

But you know, I still dig out my old VHS copy of Nymphing from time to time and watch it. Nymphing was created by skilled filmmakers who had a very tactile hand in its production, and the soft 16mm look and drifting guitar music have a feeling of craft and care. The film has also stood the test of time in many ways, and the information it offers is still very useful for catching trout on nymphs right in the same spot on the same spring creek.

As it turns out, 25 years was just about the right amount of aging for Nymphing, and now the film is available on-line for free (in six parts). Hook.TV, created by my old A River Runs Through It compatriot, John Dietsch, is hosting the six parts here:

Nymphing, Part OneNymphing, Part TwoNymphing, Part Three
Nymphing, Part FourNymphing, Part FiveNymphing, Part Six

Update – December 17, 2008: Part One of Nymphing is now the number two most-played clip on Hook. Don’t know what happened to Parts Two through Six, but if you want to push Nymphing over the top at Hook, click, click, click!


  1. Hi,

    I love this video very much, thank you and your father for this contribution to the fly fishing community.
    How old are you when you design the scud shown in the video?

    Tight lines!

  2. JB says:

    Simon—I appreciate your kind comment. Good to hear that you are enjoying the video. I was perhaps 11 when I came up with that little scud. It was hardly original as far as a design goes, but I loved the look of latex as a tying material, and integrating it into the fly made for a nice pattern (I still use the fly today, actually). Like I said before, not much on the originality front, but for a kid, it was exciting to create something that looked cool in-hand and was fully “trout approved.”

  3. Joshua Brophy says:

    This link is non existent. Would you be so kind as to upload it to youtube???

    • JB says:

      Joshua–The video was a special deal between my father and hook.tv. I myself don’t have any rights to upload anything, so can’t do much about it at this point. As for the dry fly video, that was a 3M/Sci Anglers production, so I am guessing that Orvis may actually have rights on that now.

  4. Joshua Brophy says:

    The dry fly fishing video would be awesome to! ;)

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be held for moderation before being posted.