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> > Czech or French nymphing

WbranchFebruary 22nd, 2015, 9:34 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Are any Forum regulars devotees of either of these two methods of nymphing? Are they similar or different? How do they differ from short line, high stick, nymphing? Am interested in learning about rods and lines being used. Also what is an anchor fly? I'm assuming more than one fly is used? Indicator; yes or no? Any info is appreciated. You can PM me if you prefer. Thanks.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CatskilljonFebruary 22nd, 2015, 10:36 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Not an expert on these styles, but the Czech style is a close in, high stick contact system with "normal" sized but highly specialized in construction leaders.

The French style is a long, like 30ft long leader [plus tippet section[s]] for distance presentations to very wary fish. When you hear about guys that use mono for fly line, they are fishing that style. The rods are designed to cast a length of mono 40 or 50 ft.

As far as rods go, 10 and 11ft'ers are what guys use, limber with strong butt sections, sensitive fine tips. There are quite a few manufacturers making "competition" rods now a days, 2,3 and 4wt rods for flicking long leaders and weighted flies.

An anchor fly would be just what the name implies...a heavy, bottom bouncing sinker fly at the point position. Other flies would be droppers off the leader, placed at points that cover the water column on the particular stretch you would be fishing over.

You would probably not use an anchor fly on a French rig, but definitely on a Czech rig.

More than one fly? Almost always. Indicator? Not on these styles. Indicator and dry-dropper are similar, but not the same as contact nymphing, where you are controlling slack to the point where you have a feel for the nymphs tapping bottom during the drift. Hope this helps. CJ
MartinlfFebruary 22nd, 2015, 10:48 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
Matt, people define Czech nymphing and French nymphing in different ways, but George Daniel states in his book Dynamic Nymphing that the main distinctions have to do with the length of the leader, size of the tippet, weight of the flies, distance of the casts, and type of water fished--with French nymphing employing longer leaders, lighter tippets, and lighter flies for lower, clearer water conditions. Both methods, along with Spanish nymphing and Polish nymphing fall under the general category of European nymphing. These methods frequently use the same casts and tactics as high sticking, but with European methods typically the fly is weighted so no split shot is used. Generally 10-11 foot rods are favored, and often two or more flies are used. An anchor fly is typically the heaviest fly, a fly that will take the rig to the bottom and anchor it in the drift. A visible sighter, often made of colored monofilament, is used between the leader and the tippet, and the fisher watches it for twitches or other movements that indicate a fish taking a fly. With some long line methods a spiral sighter, made of coiled monofilament, may be used to suspend a nymph and/or keep the leader on top of the water. George's book is very thorough, describing many aspects of these European approaches, as well as other styles of nymphing. Though European nymphing methods are used competition fishing, many ordinary Joes are using the approach these days. I ran into someone from Lancaster this afternoon who was using European nymphing methods, as was I, at least in part. I hate messing with split shot, so whenever European methods work I prefer them. For me it just seems simpler and more elegant with nothing but flies attached to the tippet. Today I started with weighted flies, but the fish weren't interested, or my presentation was lacking. I ended up using Lloyd's pretty little scud pattern, which is unweighted, so I had to use split shot. That's what the fish seemed to want. So, technically I went from Euro nymphing to high sticking. Typically I do best with Euro nymphing when a hatch is on, or the water is warmer and fish are more active.

Seems CJ and I were typing at the same time. Then someone came and interrupted me so I didn't realize he had posted a reply before I submitted. We basically have the same understanding.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Feathers5February 24th, 2015, 9:31 am
Posts: 287Your tongue plays a more important role in French Nymphing.
MartinlfFebruary 24th, 2015, 12:00 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
;>
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsFebruary 24th, 2015, 9:29 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Czech and French are opposite ends of a spectrum of sorts. 'Cannonballing' vs 'far and fine'. One slices water like a hot knife through butter, the other goes with the flow. The latter is much more challenging I think and I was impressed with Daniels' descrription of a 'French Nympher' catching grayling in 4" deep riffles fro a fair distance. That requires a long rod, proper line and terminal rigging.
WbranchFebruary 24th, 2015, 9:53 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
I'm very fortunate to not only own a little cabin on a great wild trout river but within walking distance are a couple of great 1' - 3' deep riffles where dozens of trout reside. Often I've walked up to this area looking for rising trout only to see no rises at all. So I sit down and wait, and wait, and then get bored and leave. This year I'm going to go up there with my dry fly rod and another softer rod I'm going to set-up for Czech nymphing and see how I do. I know when there are mayflies on this area there are rising fish up and down this 75 yard long riffle.

I've tied four each of three different Czech nymphs now and guess I'll spring for a special leader and one of those "sighters".
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRobertsFebruary 24th, 2015, 9:58 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Yup, plenty of fish in those riffles, and the deeper heavy water riffs can house some of the truly big ones. Tough part is the turbulence and this is where Czech-type nymphing ("dredging") shines.

Here's a pretty good vid on Czech-type nymphing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcJ4c8vXGkM
CatskilljonFebruary 24th, 2015, 10:06 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
I've tied four each of three different Czech nymphs now and guess I'll spring for a special leader and one of those "sighters".


The sighters are cool, I make very small diameter coiled sighters from Cortland material.Its a thrill much like dry fly fishing when a trout "straightens one out".

Honestly though fishing close in you may not benefit much from a sighter. I use mine primarily as a depth gauge and not as an indicator of strikes, relying completely on feel. By knotting a few sections of multicolored material together you can figure out when your in the zone and drift the flies accordingly.

Cant wait to see how you like it, it was an eye opener for me. CJ
MartinlfFebruary 24th, 2015, 10:21 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
Cant wait to see how you like it, it was an eye opener for me.


Me too, CJ. I just hope this thread isn't spoiling Eric's dinner.

Matt, one leader George Daniel recommends is a 9' 0X knotless leader with a 6-12" sighter then 4-5' of 4X-6X tippet. This is what I typically use. You can switch to a dry fly with this set up without rerigging. You might also tie some Frenchies or Iron Lotuses to match mayflies.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsFebruary 24th, 2015, 11:39 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
The straight sighter is what I've used. CJ, do you still have feel with a coiled sighter?
WbranchFebruary 24th, 2015, 11:50 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Louis,

You might also tie some Frenchies or Iron Lotuses to match mayflies.


Huh? Are they flies or hors d'oeuvres?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfFebruary 25th, 2015, 2:10 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
hors d'oeuvres for the fishes. Google.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CrepuscularFebruary 25th, 2015, 8:19 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919


Me too, CJ. I just hope this thread isn't spoiling Eric's dinner.


I'm not taking the bait, the jig, I mean the fluer. ;)

Seriously, I don't care how anyone fishes except me. And I'm pretty sure no one cares what I think anyway :) To each his own. I can nymph and I have a coil of that mono that has been wrapped around a stick and put in the freezer in my vest, and if someone wants to fish that way, I'll do my best to help them, sans derision. Those methods catch fish, and if that is your only goal, then why not fish that way, if someone wants to use a bobber then use it. Presentation and reading the water is the key to all methods. I like the creativity that these different methods breed in fly tying, but that doesn't mean I'll be tying on a Squirminator anytime soon...but aparently the depths of my hypocrisy seem to be abyssal, because I just bought a bunch of Reel Wings to try, which I think may constitute a topwater fluer...somehow I am able to sleep at night.
AfishinadoFebruary 25th, 2015, 8:42 am
SE PA

Posts: 69
Below is a link to a primer about Euro nymphing including gear, techniques and rigs:

http://www.bluequillangler.com/site/european_nymphing_techniques/european_nymphing_techniques.html
MartinlfFebruary 25th, 2015, 12:16 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
Afish, that's a very good primer. I found some new fly designs there. Thanks!

Hey Eric, what's a fluer? I was thinking it's just the Norwegian word for fly. Are you reluctant to fish with flies now? That truly would be an abysmal development. ;>
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CatskilljonFebruary 25th, 2015, 6:39 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Those methods catch fish, and if that is your only goal, then why not fish that way, if someone wants to use a bobber then use it. Presentation and reading the water is the key to all methods. I like the creativity that these different methods breed in fly tying, but that doesn't mean I'll be tying on a Squirminator anytime soon...


I was at first reluctant to add to this post when I first read it, fearing it would encourage fluer fishing, coiled sighter use and bottom dredging. I have friends that have cast aside their conventional equipment and ways, opting to go the "competition" route, without the competition. I myself have dabbled in it, initially out of curiosity, then once I saw the results I was amazed at the efficiency in which you can vacuum a stream of its finned inhabitants.

This of course is not what "fly fishing" is about, simply catching as many trout as quickly as you can, but then again...you ever hear of someone complaining they caught too many?

I feel it is a great tool in your belt and in some conditions can make or break a day, and I feel like I have a better understanding on reading water and fishing "where the fish are" because of it.

Conversely, some of the fun is lost in this style, the simple fun of casting, enjoying your surroundings in a more subdued manner, relaxed and content without the combat attitude to slay at will.

To each his own they say! CJ
LastchanceFebruary 25th, 2015, 7:01 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Real men nymph.
CatskilljonFebruary 25th, 2015, 7:09 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
The straight sighter is what I've used. CJ, do you still have feel with a coiled sighter?


All visual, no feel at all.Also if you make them with too many coils you can dislocate your shoulder trying to set the hook!

I can vividly remember the first take I had on one. That little devil was bouncing in the current about 4ft above the #16 frenchie, and when the fly passed the lie, the sighter zinged straight, I lifted and there it was! I guess that sounds dumb, but to be honest I didn't know what the heck was going to happen. I sure didn't feel it, and you really have to stare at that thing cause sometimes it doesn't straighten it just gets a little longer. CJ
CatskilljonFebruary 25th, 2015, 7:10 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Real men nymph.


HA! Love it man! CJ
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