Friday, May 11, 2012

Czech Nymphs - Not Just for the Euro Guys

When the Euro nymphing craze really took off here in the US a few years ago, I jumped in head first.  For over a year, I nearly only fished in either the French, Czech, or Polish style, or some variation on that theme.  I got pretty darn good at it and I learned how to catch a lot more fish, read water better and become an overall better angler.  If you haven't tried these techniques before, I would highly recommend that you give them a shot.  Now you don't have to go out and buy an 11' 3 wt. rod, but learning the basics of these techniques will put more fish in your net.  For more information on the subject, you won't find a better source of information than "Dynamic Nymphing: Tactics, Techniques and Flies from Around the World," an outstanding book written by my friend and world renowned angler George Daniel.  The book is a wealth of knowledge on all things nymphing, from European to American styles and just about everything in between.  Anyway, back to the post.  So when I started using these techniques, I tied a lot of wild and crazy nymphs specifically for the European style of nymphing.  While more fish than I care to think about fell to a good ole' fashioned Pheasant Tail, I also caught a ton of fish using Czech, Polish and other European style nymphs.  Today, I fish with a variety of techniques, doing whatever I need to do to catch fish.  The European techniques are outstanding when the conditions allow for them, but that is not always the case.  Sometimes, you need to throw on the old Thingamabobber and go to town in order to have success.  My time spent learning the Euro techniques showed me just how effective some of the "Euro specific" flies can be and now, I fish them all the time.  So my point is, don't think that just because something is called a "Czech nymph," you can only fish it while Czech nymphing.  Don't be afraid to mix things up, because the vast majority of the time, being able to adapt to changing conditions and giving the fish what they want is much more important than the size tippet you're fishing or the color of your indicator.

So, on that note, here is a quick tutorial on tying my favorite style of Czech nymph.  Pardon the poor lighting in the photos... My tying lamp bulb is shot and I'm just too lazy to replace it, so the old desk lamp is all I've got.

Standard Czech Nymph
Hook: TMC C300BL Competition Hook #8-12 (#10 used in the tutorial)
Lead: .015 Lead Wire
Thread: Brown 8/0 UNI-Thread (70 Denier)
Shellback: Sow-Scud Back 1/8" Clear
Dubbing: Natural Hare's Ear blended with additional guard furs from a Hare's Mask (Just about any color will work)
Hot Spot: Sow-Scud Shrimp Pink Dubbing (Any bright color will be fine. My favorites are Pink, Orange, Chartreuse and Yellow)
Rib: 5X Monofilament Tippet

Place hook in the vise

Add 15 or so lead wraps

Start thread and advance to back

Tie in shellback and rib

Using some type of dubbing wax (I prefer Loon Swax), wax your thread and gently touch the dubbing to the thread.  The wax will grab the fibers of the dubbing.  Rapidly spin your bobbin clockwise until the dubbing begins to twist around the thread.  This is called touch dubbing. Advance the dubbing noodle to about the 2/3 point on the shank.

Dub your hotspot and wrap the noodle forward a bit

Dub the head using the same touch dubbing technique as above. Pull the shellback forward and secure it at the eye.  I usually add a quick half-hitch to ensure the scud back doesn't come loose if I hit my bobbin while ribbing the fly. 

Rib the fly in even wraps ensuring to apply enough tension to give the fly the segmented look Czech nymphs are known for.  Whip finish at the eye.  Grab a marker (Brown Sharpie in this case) and color the front portion of the shellback.  Pick out the dubbing using some Velcro or a dubbing brush.  You're done!

A completed group of Czech nymphs in some of my favorite color combinations. 

No comments:

Post a Comment