How I set up my Euro Nymphing Leader

Throughout my experience of fly fishing, I’ve found one technique that has stood out, and it has blown my mind! It’s amazing just how successful a day on a river can be with euro nymphing. Euro/Czech nymphing is also known as french nymphing, modern nymphing, contact nymphing or tight Line nymphing.

This type of nymphing is similar to high sticking in that we are keeping our line off the water, which makes our flies look more natural as there is almost no drag. Since I started euro nymphing I’ve found my days on the river a lot more enjoyable and successful. This is because you’re in good contact with your flies and you feel every hit you get.

A benefit of Euro nymphing is that you have a lot more control over how deep your flies get, by making small and fast changes to your setup/fly-weight. This makes it more efficient at getting your flies down in the strike zone faster, with less drag compared to a floating line. The short distance and constant contact with the flies lead to increased hook-up rates.

Rainbow trout caught euro nymphing
Tyler in action Euro nymphing for competition practice with the Traper GST combo

I use a Traper GST 10’6” 3 weight rod, paired with a 5/6 Traper GST euro reel and Traper GST Euro fly line for Euro nymphing. The GST reel balances the rod perfectly. When purchasing a euro outfit, the key is finding a combo that fits you and balances evenly. Your arm and shoulders will thank you at the end of a big day on the river!

My Euro Nymphing Leader

Leader setups for euro nymphing are pretty simple and there are heaps of options and types to use but I’ve found a very effective leader setup that works for me. It consists of a 3/4 rod length of .18mm indicator tippet to a 30cm section of .18mm, which is followed by another 30cm section of .18mm indicator tippet which I tie a micro ring to further tie my tippet onto. I use 4 to 5 feet of 4x fluorocarbon tippet with a 70cm tag to the point fly and a 20cm dropper tag.

Euro nymphing leader setup
Tyler’s euro nymphing leader setup

This is the leader setup I was recommended when I started euro nymphing and I find I can cast a lot more accurately with it. One of the reasons I like this setup is that if my flies aren’t getting deep enough I can let the first section of the indicator tippet enter the water and use the 3/4 rod length indicator tippet as my indicator. This way I could be fishing closer to the bottom. Another reason for the 30cm clear section is that when I’m fishing further away the clear tippet section makes the indicator tippet stick out a lot more.

To join all the sections of tippet together I use a triple surgeon’s knot. I trust this knot and can tie it faster than other joining knots. That is crucial to give me more time with my flies in the water during comps. To connect my leader set up to my fly line (Traper GST euro line ) I use an improved clinch knot. The knot is small and I can quickly tie it. I also use this for tying my flies on.


I’ve grown up with a fishing background as it’s been a common sport throughout the family. I was spin fishing for most of my life till I picked up fly fishing at the end of 2019. With the help of ex and current NZ fly team anglers, I’ve managed to pick up a lot of different techniques and I’ve decided to start competition fly fishing. My favourite technique is Czech/Euro nymphing. I’m from Palmerston North and my local river is the Manawatu River. Feel free to send a text if you’re near to sort out a fly fishing mission.

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