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Czech Nymphing

Czech Nymphing
 
The success of the Czechs in international competitions has made Czech Nymphing one of the more recognized styles of European Nymphing. 
 
Technique
Czech Nymphing emphasizes short distance casts using multiple weighted nymphs, on leaders between 2/3 and 3/4 the length of your rod.  Essentially you are using a lob cast to propel the flies directly upstream, then waiting as they sink to the bottom.  By raising the rod tip and slightly leading the flies, you are able to remove the slack from the leader and keep a tight line to your flies.
 
At the end of the drift you use a wrist snapping motion, somewhat similar to a hook set, to send the leader and flies behind you before performing another lob cast.  There essentially is no back cast involved.
 
Tackle/Gear
International competition does not allow the use of split shot or additional forms of weight, so the weight is built into the flies themselves.  Split shot attatched to the leader can also cause some slack, and make it more difficult to detect subtle strikes. Wire wrapped around the body, or tungsten beads, are often used to help the flies sink quickly.   
 
Using the proper weight is important when Czech Nymphing.  If your flies are too light they will not reach the bottom as intended, and it will be difficult to lead them properly.  Flies that are too heavy will hang up on the bottom and make casting more difficult.  It is a good idea to carry patterns of various weights so you can fish all types of water effectively.
 
Strike indicators, like split shot, can also make subtle strikes harder to detect.  Czech Nymphing has done away with the traditional strike indicator, and replaced it with a brightly colored section built into the leader itself.  This "sighter" is just a straight piece of highly visible leader material (or backing, or something similar), that allows you to keep a tight line and closer connection to your flies. 
 
While 9' rods can be used for Czech Nymphing, most anglers prefer longer 10' and 11' rods.  These long rods allow you to reach out and fish farther from where you are standing, and fish riffles and pocket water more efficiently.  The added length also improves line control which is also handy when fishing dries or doing traditional nymphing.
 
Czech Nymphs
Czech Nymphs are typically tied on grub style hooks to represent uncased caddis larva, grubs, or similar insects.  They traditionally have dubbed bodies with some form of shellback and ribbing.  A brighter "hot spot" is often incorporated into the fly to grab the fish's attention and help them focus in on the fly during the drift.  A key to tying Czech Nymphs is to tie them with slim profiles to help them sink more quickly.  Bulkier flies will flutter to the bottom instead of sinking properly.
 
Czech Mate Hare & Red Czech Mate Pinky Czech Nymph Depth Charge
This is intended to be a brief and simplified overview of Czech Nymphing.  For more detailed information about the technique and history there are some good books and DVDs available.
 
 
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