The Fundamentals of Fly Fishing French, European or Czech Nymphing Techniques
nymphing craze owes its origin to competition fly fishing and over
time it has emerged as a popular and effective fishing method in
Europe. Some more traditional fly fishermen have their individual
preferences and admire the splendor and heritage of classic dry fly
fishing and therefore might look down upon the Czech style of
nymph-fishing. Nevertheless, this fishing method has proved to be
highly effective and indispensable for today’s fly fisherman who focuses more on the catch count. The French, European or Czech fly fishing technique is
destined to provide more fish to hand for those who have mastered
it, especially when fishing pressured waters.
European, French or Czech fly fishing is an angling technique that uses heavy Czech nymphs. This
method is based on short, repetitive casts, dead drifts and a deeper
fly presentation. The leader hangs under the tip of the fly rod held
by the fisherman in his outstretched arm, while the fly is guided
through the run. That's why it's often called high stick nymphing or contact nymphing. The typical fly rig includes three nymph flies of
different weights. The method uses Czech nymphs, known as Bobes. The
nymphs are tied on gammarus hooks and are made to imitate fresh water
shrimps or caseless larvae of sedge flies.
to Target: Grayling, brown and rainbow trout
respond well to a Czech nymph. But the method can be applied to
roach, chub, barbell, and dace.
Patterns: There is no method to determine
the most effective fly pattern. Commonly, three different fly
patterns with different color combinations are put on the leader and
the effectiveness of each pattern is tested. A natural pattern is
used as the first dropper while the second dropper needs to have a
wilder color combination. Larger fly patterns typically attract
larger fish. Imitative patterns attract brown trout while natural
patterns and colorful flies are perfect choices for grayling and
History of European Nymphing
fishing is a Euro nymphing technique that includes Polish, French,
and Spanish modifications as well. Czech nymphing originated in
Poland during the 1984 international fly fishing competition. The
Polish anglers fished “short” due to the unavailability of fly fishing lines so they relied on thick nylon monofilament. They used
flies that resembled Sedges Hydropsyche and Rhyacophila. Czech
competitors learned the technique used by the local anglers very
quickly and applied it during the next year’s World Championship
held on the river San. With this new technique, Poland secured the
first position while the Czechs finished right behind. It was in
1986 that Slavoj Svoboda won the world championship and brought home
the first gold medal for the Czech team, employing the newly-named
Czech nymphing technique.
French Nymphing Techniques
fishing is primarily a short-distance fishing technique that involves
catching fish almost under the tip of the rod without making use of
the fly fishing line. After “casting” upstream, you should allow
the flies to sink to the bottom. Use the tip of the fishing rod to
follow the fly's movement downstream, making sure to keep your flies
at the current's pace. The flies should be of appropriate weights so
that they can sink to the desired depth relative to the current.
Overweight flies are undesirable because it will become difficult to
lead them naturally through the run. The success of this method
depends on maintaining permanent contact with the flies at all times.
Subtle upstream or peripheral movement of the leader may indicate a
strike. You might also feel a tap or hesitation in your drift. It's
time to set the hook in an upward motion. If nothing nothing comes
tight to your hook set, the good news is you can quickly cast your
short leader and flies back into the run for another drift. As you
become better skilled to casting shorter distances and managing your
drifts better, your catch rate will greatly increase. Focus more on
fishing the faster and deeper water, making each cast and drift
count. Leader length relates to the waters depth and your fly rod's
length. If you're just getting started, fish a shorter leader for
better line control and more natural drifts. Maintaining contact with
heavier flies is easy, but the lighter ones exhibit natural movements
in the water and require a bit more practice.
Leland's Latest Czech Nymphing Gear
Although you can employ the Czech, Euro or French nymphing technique with a common 9 foot
5 weight fly rod, a longer rod is better suited for optimal drift
control. Today, most dedicated Euro nymph fly rods are 10 to 11 feet
in length. Recently, many fishermen have started to use lighter
rods, like 2, 3, and 4 weights in longer lengths. European, Czech or French nymphing involves frequent casting and requires you to keep your arm
outstretched for long durations and hence, using lighter rods will be
the most convenient option for you. Although there are some
dedicated Czech, French or European nymphing leaders available today, most Czech
nymphers use a shorter (7.5 foot) tapered leader with varying tippet
ratings. Just remember the fly rod length should always be greater
than the leader length. For added strike detection, some Czech
nymphers us a very small indicator or coloring on the leader. These
colored leader sections magnify any subtle movements (possibly a
strike) of the leader during a drift. European nymph-fishing is
effective year round. However, if you fish streams with high waters
during Spring runoff, make sure to give Czech nymphing a try. We're
pretty sure you'll be impressed with the fish-catching results.
Soft Hackle March Brown Spider is the tyer’s American take on a classic
English North Country fly pattern tied in the drab brownish olive
colors of a March brown emerger.
Combining a narrow, responsive tip with a powerful butt section for sturdy hook sets, the Sage 4100-4 ESN Fly Rod is an unprecedented design that delivers total control.
RIO’s indicator line has been designed for the specific application
of casting indicator rigs with ease - whether for trout or steelhead.