Czech Nymphing Feb23


Related Posts

Share This

Czech Nymphing

Czech Nymphing and associated techniques



It really interesting to look at Fly fishing and all the methods developed from throwing a bit a fluff through the air and see how all the man hours put into perfecting fly fishing techniques can help us to develop in other styles of fishing


Living in the middle of the UK has enabled me to become familiar with all sorts of angling from the pole right through to Shark fishing off Dartmouth and while I may not be an expert at any one technique its amazing how one style of fishing rubs off on another


I am fortunate to live not far from the Anglo Welsh River Wye, probably the best coarse and game fishing river in Southern England and Wales…




the rive rwye


The best fly sport comes in the autumn with grayling, a time of year when the river is often higher than normal and the most effective method of finding them is a technique known as Czech Nymphing.

The best thing about it is that the method is a close up and personal way in fast water.

In slower water the method has to be lightened and refined as it`s easy to spook fish.

It was developed for grayling in Poland and proved so devastating that it was quickly adopted everywhere

It involves a team of 3 heavily tied nymphs tied in a team with 18 inches to 2 feet apart on 6 inch droppers which enable the flies to get down to where the fish are.

On and close to the bottom

 . This way the fish can take a nymph without much effort.

This may sound simple, but there are a few details that a fly fisher must pay attention to





The first is to be able to analyse the water, in this case a river, – to find the natural favourite spots of the fish. “Classical” fishing spots for Czech nymphs are along fast moving sections where the river goes from shallow to deep, but also recesses in shallow stretches of the river can be excellent. Given the fact that about 10% of the river holds about 90% of the fish it`s important to find these areas

Grayling love company, so if you have caught one you will often get more at the same spot. More specifically, you can find ideal spots, dips, holes and gutters in the river where the food is swept down and past the fish.

. Given the right conditions, you can actually come surprisingly close to the fish without scaring it off.

I have caught up to 10 fish from one small spot 10 feet away from me without spooking the shoal and have seen the same fish take in the fly and reject it many times before eventually becoming hooked

The method is simplicity itself and apart from the weight of the flies involves a simple roll cast forward and to the side up stream or up current.

The rod and fly line is held off the surface and the point where the line enters the surface is watched for any type of movement.

The flies must be allowed to flow down naturally with the stream.

When they at a point just below you the rod is raised so that the flies lift off the bottom

This is known as the magic moment, and often induces a take from a following fish chasing the escaping nymph.

Often however I am sure a fish already has the fly in its mouth and all we are doing is connecting.

Continue to read the water as you walk up stream fishing as you go

Do not hesitate to change the flies for heavier or lighter versions as the water goes slacker or faster, deeper or shallower,

If the water goes shallow cast a lighter team further up steam and mend the line as it comes down to you to keep in touch.

Try and become at one with the river and all its little secrets

Look for obvious signs of fish and quickly swap to the dry fly if it looks good.


grayling on the fin


These surface taking times often come and go very quickly but are a great time to take advantage of.

You may well use traditional equipment to fish with Czech Nymphs, but my ideal rod is a 10-feet rod, Line size 4/5

 There are now fortunately on the market today many more 10-feet rods in such low weight classes.

In order to have good control over the line, the length is more important however don`t go too heavy as soft and light rods are the best because they more sensitive in use, lighter to hold and allow the fish to pull harder while not threatening to break the line

More effective and more fun, what else can you ask!

. I prefer fly lines in colours that are clearly visible.

There should be a clear transition between fly line and leader to help to see any movement in the leader indicating a fish has taken the nymph.

 People often use a strike indicator in a strong colour, I sometimes use a bit of bite indicator wool which is easier to cast but don`t get too hung up on this.

It can also cause drag, which is the biggest no no of all as it preents the flies in an unnatural way.

Concentration and enjoyment is the way to go and you will soon know when it doesn`t feel right and when you need to strike

All the strike compromises of is a lift of the rod. Often it is just weed or the bottom so a gentle lift just helps the team of flies on there way. If it`s a fish you get that bump, bump, bump sensation and off you go!

If the flies are getting stuck too often they are too heavy and need changing,ideally you just want to feel a little bump now and again to know you are in the correct zone.

 I use a fluorocarbon leader, because it sinks more quickly than ordinary monofilament but I don`t get too fussy as to making the diameters smaller as you go down the leader as you read in all the good books.

It is better to be rough and ready and don`t worry about changing fly`s and leader line as and when required. Just keep the gap between the flies so you are covering the water depth.


I try to balance the cast by putting the heaviest fly on the point and the lightest at the top

If the water is really strong and heavy all 3 flies need to be of the heavy Czech nymph variety ,often now comprising of a tungsten bead for greater weight and less bulk to get it down to where the fish are quicker,some flies now have tungsten bodies.

Sometimes a light small fly on the point with the heaviest fly in the middle seems to work betteras I think it may look even more natural,the name of the game.

Often fish will always come to the same fly on the cast, indicating where they might prefer the fly in the water table.

Always try and remember you are casting to catch fish, so think like a fish and go where you think the fish will be.

If you don`t catch, don`t worry but keep moving until you locate one, then fish that spot hard before moving on.

If the water is dragging too much of the fly line onto the water and speeding up the fly too much increase the leader length

I have fished with all the fly line inside the rod before now; just using the weight of the fly`s to cast the line forward in a loop. This gives a very natural presentation

You may have noticed I haven`t mention fly type or colour in the normal way of trout anglers.

What`s important is that it looks like a nymph, is a natural colour  sinks well  and behaves naturally.

Wether it is imitating a stonefly or an olive nymph is often not as important as the presentation.

For grayling some tried and tested formulas work well,

Hares ear body and a gold head

A pink bodied fly with a bit of pearl rib or tail flash

A red butt and a peacock herl body

I recommend that you tie them as slim as possible while still getting the weight into the fly.

Once hooked you will soon know all the effort is worthwhile as the lady of the stream kites across the fast flowing river using its beautiful large dorsal for stability

I have also used the technique for Barbel on the lower Wye. often catch more the surrounding coarse anglers and there pellet feeder rods. These fish often like to hold in shallow well oxygenated water and are not always in the depths.

The reason it is effective for Barbel is of course that the fly (food) is presented as naturally as possible.

Just attempt to do that and you won`t go far wrong.



A barbel caught Czech Nymphing Style