I’ve just recently obtained a Barrio Micronymph line, another entrant into the < 0-wt “euro” nymph line field, along with Rio’s EuroNymph line and the somewhat heavier (140 &160 – grain) Cortland Precision Competition Nymph lines.
Mike Barrio, of Aberdeenshire Scotland, has designed & markets a range of general-purpose and specialist fly lines for single-handed and double-handed flyrods. I was initially introduced to his lines through his excellent Smallstream Fly Line, a short-belly / short-head line designed to optimise fishing at short range. I use a 3-wt smallstream line on my 3-wt rods when I want a “conventional” (as opposed to leader-to-hand) line for fishing dry or wet flies. Long casts are fine with this line on the rare occasions where they might be needed, but the smallstream line loads nicely with shorter lengths out as well, on the shorter casts I’d more normally be employing.
The Barrio micronymph line is a very lightweight (~000-wt) level line of 0.55mm (0.0217″) diameter, designed for tightline (“Euro-style”) nymphing in both close (“Czech”) and long-range (“French,” “Spanish”) technique. Basically, this serves to replace the long butt section of a leader-to-hand rig with a FIPS-MOUCHE-competition-legal “conventional” fly line. This is significant for those who might be interested in competitive fishing, as well as those who might appreciate the handling characteristics of a more conventional line over that of a heavy mono “leader-to-hand” butt section. This line can be extended with a hand-tied, extruded tapered, or furled leader of standard length (I use 5-7.5′, and prefer either hand-tied or furled), followed by a visible sighter and tippet suitable to the tight-line nymphing strategy you wish to employ.
The line is a semi-opaque pale olive color without welded loop or indicator tip; Mike notes that he has “experimented with high visibility tips to the line, but feedback from anglers was that they preferred the simple stealthy colour and to build indicators into their leader set-up at a point which suits them and the conditions of the day”, which suits me fine, as a tightline nymphing sighter is best built into the far end of the leader, or between leader and tippet, rather than into the fly line itself. Those who prefer otherwise can solve this easily with a permanent marker of the high-visibility color of their choice.
This is a lighter line than the Rio Euronymph line, which has a slightly heavier 0.026” (0.66mm) diameter belly and tapers to the diameter of the level Barrio line at its tip; and is considerably lighter than the Cortland Precision Competition Nymph lines; which translates into less line sag and guide-fallback, but less mass for loading a rod for casting. At 39.6 grains (/1st 30′), this is only slightly heavier than the long level mono butt-section on my leader-to-hand leaders, and would be rated 000-wt on Sage’s extension to the AFTMA table (see http://ultralightflyfishing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=7040). The Barrio line casts well on my 2- & 3-wt nymphing rods, with some accommodation to leader-to-hand casting strategies. I’ve not tried it on, but supect it would play well with, a 4-wt nymphing rod as well. In use it handles very much like my long leader-to-hand rigs, with very little line sag between tip-top and water entry, and essentially no fall-back through the guides, with good feel to the hand, no memory(!), and greater suppleness than the long mono butt section of a leader-to-hand rig.
It’s early in the season for me, and I’m still working on my wading legs since a nasty stroke last September, but I suspect this line will be seeing a lot of water in the coming season, both in tightline nymphing and in “leader-to-hand”-style fishing of dry and wet flies.
Mike Barrio (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)
£27.00 ($40.03 US)
(at the time of this writing, Mike is currently out of stock on this line, but anticipates having more on hand shortly. Mike offers excellent service with prompt response to inquiries and, at the time of this writing, free shipping worldwide).