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French Nymphing

French Nymphing
The French Nymphing utilizes longer leaders, anywhere from 12 to 20 feet, and smaller flies than the Eastern European styles of fishing.
French Nymphing still takes place by casting directly upstream, but often times the flies are actually pulled during the drift instead of being followed or led.  Long leaders are used, and in French Nymphing you will actually be casting some of your fly line as opposed to the Czech Nymphing style where it is basically just your leader outside of your rod tip. 
The French Nymphing style allows you to reach fish that may be a little farther out, or to fish slower water that may be on the other side of a faster seam.
A unique developement by the French is something called a "coiled sighter".  Czech and Polish Nymphing (both also referred to as "short line nymphing") rely on a straight piece of brightly colored leader material for their sighters.  A coiled indicator actually allows a little bit of give when the fish first takes, and might by you an extra second since the fish freels no resistance.  When you see the coil start to straighten, set the hook.
Coiled Sighter
Smaller coiled sighters can also be used when fishing slow or nearly still water where a traditional indicator would make too much of a splash.  The lightweight sighter will land softly on the water and you can watch it for any sign of a strike.
Because of the longer leaders used in French Nymphing, longer rods are preferred.  The French will fish rods anywhere between 10-14 feet long.  For most situations a 10 or 11 foot rod will do.
Flies for French Nymphing are typically smaller and lighter than those used in Polish or Czech Nymphing.  The bigger, heavier flies are tough to cast on long leaders.  Small Czech Nymphs are used, as are beadheads or flies with weight tied directly to the shank.
Hot Spot Jig Fly
For more in depth information about European Nymphing techniques, check out some of the available books and DVDs.
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