by Kirk Deeter
Czech nymphing is all about feel. The basic premise is to use a short tippet system and tie a heavy fly at the end (the “point” fly) and a second fly on a dropper tag roughly 2 feet above that. You sneak up close to the trout and make short, pinpoint casts, then lead the line downstream with the rod tip pointed at the water’s surface.
The point fly ticks and bounces along the bottom, and when a trout strikes you feel resistance–and set the hook. As Steve Parrott, co-owner of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colo., and creator of the Czech Nymphing 101 DVD (bluequillangler.com), explains: “In many ways, Czech nymphing mirrors popular bass techniques like tube jigging and using a drop-shot rig.”
The Rig: Choose a long, supple rod, such as a Sage ESN 10-foot 3-weight. At the end of a weight-forward floating line, attach a 12- to 18-inch “sighter,” which serves as a strike indicator. The sighter is made from a section of bright Dacron backing or red mono. Tie 5 feet of 5X tippet from the sighter to the dropper fly, which hangs on an 8-inch tag (see “The Dropper Connection,” p. 72), then 20 more inches of 5X tippet to the point fly. Your leader should be about 8 feet long. (Note: The only difference with a Polish rig is the dropper fly is tied on a loop that can slide between two knots.)
The Flies: There are many woven, weighted (often beadhead) fly patterns designed specially for Czech nymphing, but your favorite local patterns will do the job just fine. Try a size 8 Pat’s Rubber Legs Stonefly as the point fly and a size 14 Graphic Caddis as the dropper. Where It Works: Fish a Czech nymphing rig in classic trout runs, where fast and slow currents meet to form a seam, where there’s a dropoff or depression, and behind structure like rocks. It’s best to fish in runs with steady current.
How It Works:** The key here is to move the rod tip with–or even slightly lead–the line as it moves downstream (1). When it’s done right, the tippet should form what’s known as a Lazy J (2) as the flies drift in the current. Because you are so close to the fish, you’ll have to crouch down and flip short casts. It takes practice to hone the rhythm of leading flies so they sink to the bottom but don’t get stuck.
From the April 2012 issue of Field & Stream magazine.