Be Stealthy Like A Czech Nympher

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Erin Block stealthily moves in close to get the right drift. Photo By: Louis Cahill

By Kent Klewein

I’m not afraid to admit I’m not a big fan of Czech nymphing.

I’m not an aficionado of the popular three-fly nymph rig either. It’s not the right rig for fly anglers that lack discipline or are daydreaming fly casters. Furthermore, a freshly tied rig can become a birds nest instantly, simply by a landed fish, rolling in the net. That being said, I’m not saying Czech nymphing doesn’t work, it undoubtedly has it’s place in trout fishing, and can be highly effective at times, it’s just not my first choice.

Here’s what I’ll admit and also highly respect about the die hard Czech nymph fisherman out there. Most are very good at approaching fishing holes with complete stealth so they don’t spook fish. They take the time to think out their approach before casting, making sure they’re positioned perfectly so they can execute the best presentation and drift with their flies. Why do they do this you ask? Because success in czech nymphing demands it. Fly anglers fishing this rig are limited to short distance casts and drifts. This ensures they’ll stay in constant contact with their flies for strike detection and will also be able to maintain proper fly depth during their drifts.

You’ll never see a veteran czech nympher fishing out of his/her boundaries.

That’s why we should be paying more attention and adopting some of their techniques into our everyday fly fishing practices. It doesn’t matter one bit whether you’re a dry fly purist or prefer to nymph fish with an indicator, like I do. Far too often, I see anglers making casts into trout water that’s way too far away from them, for the simple fact, that they’ve got enough distance in the bag to reach their target. Fish smart by choosing stealth and angler position over casting distance, and just like the czech nympher, learn to understand when it’s appropriate for you to move in closer before you make your first presentation. Adopting these practices will almost certainly make you a better fly fisher, and I guarantee you’ll bring many more fish to net.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Be Stealthy Like A Czech Nympher

  1. In the Upper Delaware, tail-water system, approaching from above the rising fish and casting downstream is standard procedure, especially from drift boats. It requires long distance pile casts using some version of the stop-drop-strip-feed technique. This is in contrast to advice here, “Fish smart by choosing stealth and angler position over casting distance”. In my experience, casting close and from below works better if wading, and it’s much easier to be stealthy and close when the trout is facing away from you. And if you have a happy, hungry fish, stealth is way over-rated.

  2. Louis, 2-3 years ago I set a goal for myself whereas I wanted to have the requisite skills to catch fish in ALL conditions or weather. I read numerous articles and explored YouTube for hours on end. One of the common threads among those fly fishermen who were at the top of their game was Euro style nymphing. So I embarked on that journey and I can say it has been the most exciting thing I have learned. Frankly, it is a game changer and once you employee this method, you quickly can see why it is effective. For sure, my catch rates increased significantly. In fact, on my local waters, I’ve had NO days of <40 fish, more typically upwards of 70/day are common. I will also say I have caught my biggest fish employing this method. My current rig is a French leader of about 20'. The most exciting part is I almost always target areas no one else would give a second thought. I have been guiding a little showing others the effectiveness of this method and they are quickly sold.

    I admit Euro nymphing has a steep learning curve and it is certainly frustrating in the beginning. You are always welcome to join me on one of my regular trips to the NC mountains to witness first hand how deadly this truly is.



  3. Good infrared image of Erin Block, Jay Zimmerman’s better half, and an accomplished angler in her own right. The queen of carp!

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