Czech Nymphing How To with Brian

A lot of you may have heard the term Czech or Euro Nymphing and wondered “What is that”? or “I don’t really consider that method fly fishing. Nothing is further from the truth. Czech Nymphing is a very rewarding and skilful method of catching a trout and in many cases will get more hook ups on any given day than any other flyfishing method. Why is this? The 4 big advantages that Czech nymphing has over other methods are:

1:   The presentation of the nymphs to the trout is superior to conventional nymphing techniques because there is effectively no line on the water to spook the fish.

2:   Because of this there is no drag and no mending required making for a more natural drift.

3:   A lot more pocket water of a river can be fished where the line can be held above annoying back currents or still water close to you making conventional nymphing techniques difficult.

4:   The strike will normally be felt making positive hook ups more often.

There are several different rig set ups for Czech Nymhing and I suggest you study a few techniques and sort out what suits you best but keep it simple and you will get results. I will share a rig set up that works for me and is easy to set up.

Firstly you need an adequate rod and I find the V Nymph 4# 10’ rod as supplied by I Love Fly Fishing to be an excellent rod to start off with and it won’t break the bank. Add some running line into a free running reel with 5 metres of 1# Czech line (also available from I Love Fly Fishing) added to the front.

Tied to this is your leader (about 9’), which I normally use 2X mono or fluorocarbon (whatever you prefer). At this point I tie a triple knot and add perhaps a foot (300mm), of further leader and cut one of the dags off the knot leaving perhaps 6” (150mm) of line hanging out the other way. At this point I will tie a small nymph with no bead on it. (I find a beaded hook tied here can wrap around the line when casting especially if there is a bit of wind about and you can always tie a bead on further down the rig if you wish.

The extra foot ((300mm) below the triple knot I like to use Chameleon mono 2X (available from I Love Fly Fishing) to which I tie a heavy nymph (a bomb) to and then a small nymph of my choice tied to the gape of the hook of the bomb and about about a foot (300mm) back. If you desire this nymph can have a bead head.

When casting this rig it will feel awkward at first but after a bit of practice it becomes quite easy. Rather than cast like a conventional WF floating line you will lob the line and get a nice loop going. In time you will find you get very accurate and can also get some distance although most of the time you will find that this is not necessary. 

Once the nymphs are lobbed into the water the idea is hold your rod high so as to keep the line off the water and as the nymphs are drifting downstream the rod should be leaning slightly downstream as well so as to allow the nymphs to drift naturally (no premature pulling).

To gauge the depth of your nymphs and to see the end of your line where it connects to your leader you can apply Skarfars wax (several colours available from I Love Fly Fishing). This is applied like dubbing wax. There are special multicoloured leaders available also which assists with calculating depth.

As far as choice of bombs go there are several varieties specifically for Czech Nymphing which have upside down hooks so as to avoid snagging. Conventional bomb patterns still work fine, however.

I hope this helps with your Czech Nymphing. If you are having trouble throwing 3 nymphs, delete the Triple knot and just go 10’ (3m) straight to the bomb and then the small nymph tied to this. You will still have good success.

Do not think of Czech Nymphing as a replacement for conventional nymphing  as certain times conventional nymphing will be better especially if the wind is blowing. Treat it as another string to your bow and enjoy it.

Tight lines, Brian Willson NZPFGA member. 021-667867 – ILFF Shop Turangi.



My name is Brian Willson and I have been a fly fisher for over 50 years. I am a professional fishing guide and current NZPFGA member of which I have served at executive level and have guided anglers of different skill sets, ages and gender from all over the world. I have also written two books on fly fishing and am a keen artist. I am passionate about fly fishing and the therapeutic qualities it offers and enjoy sharing this experience with people on and off the water. Over the years I have made some amazing friendships that continue to this day. I have partnered up with one of these friendships, Barrie Barnes from I Love Fly Fishing, and I sell exclusively, quality, affordable fly fishing gear at my premises at 8 Wiremu Street, Turangi, the designated I Love Fly Fishing shop in Turangi which is open all hours— just ring 021667867 anytime. I take a serious interest in my clients and freely offer advice when asked and am happy to talk fishing anytime. Tight lines, Brian Willson

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