The Czech nymphing style is a rapid close range method that utilizes the fast, turbulent and usually ignored water present on most Trout streams. The principle of Czech nymphing is to get the flies down deep as fast as possible, for this reason the flies used must be as slim as possible, simply a sparse covering over a lead underbody. Nothing that could slow the flies descent should be added (excessively large legs, hackles etc). For Czech nymphing there is no casting as such, only three to six feet of fly line is actually used while fishing, with only the leader in the water.
Due to the lack of casting, leader type doesn't really matter, tapered leaders are fine but most use level monofilament. Leader strength should be determined by two factors, firstly, fish size and secondly the riverbed. When fishing deep the riverbed will be snagged on a regular basis, it is helpful for both the angler's enjoyment and his wallet that the leader is of the appropriate strength to remove snagged flies without loss. A leader for Czech nymphing should be roughly a rods length long with two droppers placed around twenty inches apart.
The difference in weight between flies and their position on the leader can also determine the effectiveness of the method. The heaviest should be placed in between the top and point fly, the reason being that the middle fly should pull those either side of it down allowing them to fish correctly along the bottom. If however the heavy fly is placed on the point the top dropper may not have the weight on its own to reach the bottom, thus limiting the anglers chances. When fishing it is essential to examine the flies every few casts for weed removal (if present) and for blunted hooks after any encounters with snags. If the flies are snagged excessively alternate their weight, the flies must bounce and roll along the bottom not scour it. When fishing the anglers eyes must never leave the tip of the fly line, takes can be either strong and violent or feather light and unnoticeable. Many find staring at a fly line tip for hours on end a little awkward and may develop eye strain, to reduce this a visible bite indicator can be used.
The fishing technique is simple but the approach is often more important, fish are never all along the opposite bank so wading should be careful and slow. All water from the foot of the bank to the focal point of the swim should be fished. Due to the presence of three heavy flies on one leader the cast must involve nothing more than a slow deliberate upstream lob, short sharp flicks can result in a short sharp shocks. The flies should be followed by the rod tip downstream until the rod is fully extended and the flies start to rise to the surface, the cast should now be re-made and the procedure repeated. As soon as the flies hit the water watch for anything out of the ordinary, a slight slowing and hesitation of the line or a quick sharp jerk in the opposite direction of the flow. Strike on every occasion, what may seem like a snag may be a fish.
Basic Czech nymph dressing
Notes on tying
Now go fish.
Courtesy of Ben