- Free Classes
- Class 101 Rods & Reels
- Class 1012 Fishing With Kids
- Class 1013 Trout Economy
- Class 1015 Fish Hook Removal
- Class 102 What to Take
- Class 1025 Types of Trout Streams
- Class 103 Bait & Lures
- Class 123 Artificial Lures
- Class 104 Basic Knots
- Class 105 Catching Trout
- Class 1051 Catch and Release
- Class 1052 Double Team
- Class 106 Handling Trout
- Class 107 Beginning Fly Fishing
- Class 301 Introduction to Mayflies
- Class 302 Fly Tying for Trout
- Class 3021 Matching the Hatch
- Class 3022 Fly Tying Dry Flies
- Class 3023 Fly Tying Nymphs
- Class 3024 Fly Tying Streamers
- Class 303 Nymphing
- Class 3031 Fishing with Midges
- Class 3033 High Sticking
- Class 3035 Czech Nymphing
- Class 313 Catch Big Trout
- Class 347 Trout Prospects
- Class 357 Trout Streams
- Class 367 Trout Springs
- Class 3677 Trout Habitat
- Graduate Level
- Class 401 Improve Your Trout Photos
- Class 402 Furled Leaders Intro.
- Class 403 Strike Indicators
- Class 406 Color Vision in Trout Eyes
- Class 412 Protecting Trout Waters
- Class 413 How to Make a Trout Video
- Class 422 Exploring Casting Methods
- Class 427 Good vs. Poor Trout Streams
- Class 4221 Casting Upstream in Large Rivers
- Class 4271 Fishing Fertile and Infertile Streams
- Top 5 Tips
- Planning for a Trip
- Top 5 Tips While Fishing.
- Top 5 Trout Lures
- Top 5 Miscellaneous Tips
- About Us
- Customer Service
- New Students
- Alumni Corner
- Faculty & Staff
- Contact Us
How to Czech Nymph
Class Code: 3035
Skill Level: Advanced
In this class, you will learn about and how to fly fish the Czech Nymph Method, including the history, rigging, flies, and strategy behind Czech Nymphing.
Czech nymph fishing, despite it's name, can be traced back to the Polish fly fishing tournament anglers. The Polish team that introduced the technique to the rest of the world handily won a 1984 international fly fishing tournament with a new technique for fly fishing nymphs. The Czech took the technique, and made it their own, developing it further. Two years later, the Czech won the tournament using the “Polish nymph method” as it was known at the time.
Thc Czech nymphing method of fly fishing, is similar in many respects to its more American cousin, the high sticking method of nymph fishing. Similarly, Czech nymphing can produce good results when used in the right type of water. This technique, which was originally used for bottom feeding grayling, is based on dragging nymphs along the bottom of the stream. Furthemore, every possible hiding place for the trout is targeted. This technique cannot be used successfully in slow, smooth water. One of the most difficult aspects to Czech nymping is that the fly fisherman must position himself in very close proximity to the trout without alerting them of his presence. The success of this technique depends mostly on your ability to find the trout's hiding spots and to read the water properly.
Czech nymphing is a great technique for fly fishing fast pocket water, where trout may be hiding under the broken water surface and in the cracks and openings in the rocks. You can come much closer to the trout without scaring them in these turbulent water conditions.
As far as Czech nymping fly gear is concerned, the Czech use a relatively long fly rod, typically around 10 feet long, with a lightweight rod, reel, and line combination. The length will allow you to reach water further away, while the light weight will allow you to sense a take. You will need a rod with a slightly stiff tip to sense the takes, but not so stiff that it won't give a little when a trout surges during the fight. A nine foot, 4-5 weight fly rod is the general recommentation for the gear. The casting characteristics are not that significant, since you will not be making long casts.
The Czech use very bright fly lines, so that they can see the line's movement easily to help detect strikes. Also, the Czech use a different type of leader than we're used to using. To help the leader sink faster, they use a fluorocarbon leader, rather than nylon, though this is a matter of preference. Furthermore, since casting long distances is not preeminent in this type of fishing, they do not use tapered leaders. The length of the leader from the end of the fly line to the upper nymph should be approximately 1.5-2X the depth of the water you are fishing.
Czech fishermen fish three nymphs at a time, with the heaviest fly placed in the middle. If it's not legal to fish three nymphs at a time where you fish, you can fish a tandem rig with the hevier fly further up the leader and the lighter fly at the end of the line. Additionally, typically, the only weight used is in the nymph itself, which is tied with lead in it. Occasionally, they will use a bead head nymph for additional weight.
The Czech typically add a tiny flourescent strike indicator to the end of the fly line. The key to the strike indicator is to use as small a one as you can get away with.
Next, let's discuss an American version of the Czech method rigging. You will probably be using a 2 fly rig, and you should place the heavier nymph closer to the rod. Tie the upper, eavier fly on an 8 inch dropper, attached to the leader 18 inches above the lighter fly at the far end of the leader. The length of the leader from the end of the line to the upper fly's dropper should be about 1.5 times the depth you plan to fish it. The total length of the leader on most streams should not exceed 8 feet. Attach the dropper to the leader with a Uni-knot. The dropper can be of the same pound test as the leader, or perhaps a size smaller so you won't lose the hole rig if you get hung up.
You can use heavily weighted nymphs without additional weight, or you can use unweighted flies with enough split shot to get the flies to the bottom in the switft water you will be fishing in. We, of course, recommend Perfect Fly brand flies, which are unweighted, with additional split shot. The reason is that Perfect Fly brand flies are specific imitations of actual insects, not generic flies.
For example, using a Perfect Fly Giant Black Stonefly for the upper fly works great, because these flies are heavy and often doesn't require additional weight. Additionally, the actual insects spend several years in the stream, so there are always some present in streams where they live – not just around the time of the hatch.
Alternatively, the Perfect Fly Golden Stonefly (size 12) works well. Similarly, these insects live up to three years, and consequently there are always some of these around. These flies are not as heavy as the Giant Black Stoneflies, so you may need a split shot about 8 inches above the top fly. The size of the split shot depends on the water speed and depth.
Another good option for the upper fly is the Perfect Fly Little Yellow Stonefly, though these flies can only be used effectively seasonally. Againg, you will need to add split shot above it when using this pattern.
For the lower fly, use a Perfect Fly nymph imitating whatever is hatching or about to hatch on the stream you're fishing. This fly should be much lighter than the upper fly.
To fish the rig, you will need a small amount of fly line extending past the end of your fly rod's tip, roughly equal to between 1/2X – 1X the overall length of your leader. While standing facing one of the banks, looking perpendicular to the current flow, cast upstream 45 degrees across the current. Your fly rod should be parallel with the ground as you conclude your cast. You can effectively extend your cast by stretching your arm out as far as you can reach while you cast. Your arm should also be parrallel to the ground, similar to your fly rod, for the entire drift of the flies.
It is important to maintain the rod tip's location slightly leading the strike indicator throughout the drift. You will simply swing your fly rod slightly in front of the strike indicator. Once your rig has progressed downstream to a 45 degree position, cast again to a new drift. You should make several casts (up to 10) before you change your position, to ensure you fish every spot a trout may be. You should keep the slack out of your fly line above the strike indicator, so that you can respond to a strike. Make sure you don't pull the strike indicator out of the water, however. With a little practice, you will learn the difference between a trout and the bottom of the stream. The key is that your strike indicator reacts more quickly to a trout's strike than it does a hangup.
Practice your casting technique until you are proficient. Develop an understanding of what the flies' hanging on the bottom feels like. Make sure your line has no slack in it throughout the extent of your drifts. Make several leaders, organizing them by length/depth of water.