Types of Euro Nymphing
European nymphing sounds new to many American anglers, but its been around for long time. It’s a great way to fish and can be very productive. These techniques generally put emphasis on line control and quick sinking flies to directly connect to the fish. Moreover, it lets anglers detect the subtlest strikes.
RiverBum carries all the equipment and flies you will need to get started on Euro fishing, including long rods and long leaders.
Let’s talk about the basics of European nymphing styles, as well as the flies that are appropriate for each of them. We’ll also recommend some good Euro nymphing fly rods along the way, as well as some of our most productive patterns.
The technique: Czech nymphing is all about short distance casts with multiple weighted nymphs on leaders between two-thirds and three-fourths the length of the rod. You are essentially using a lob cast to propel flies directly upstream, then waiting for them to sink to the bottom. When you raise the rod tip and slightly lead the flies, you can move the slack from the leader and maintain a tight line. At the end of the drift, apply a wrist snapping motion to send the leader and flies behind you prior to doing another lob cast. There’s no back cast involved.
Tackle and gear: For this European nymphing style, the weight is built into the flies themselves. The Czech nymphs we carry at RiverBum are weighted flies with a color hot spot, so they sink fast and entice fish to strike.
You can use a 9’ rod, but most anglers prefer 10’ and 11’ ones so they can reach out and fish much farther from where they’re standing. Risen’s Euro Nymph 23PS is an outstanding choice.
This Euro nymphing style is derived from Czech nymphing, so they are essential the same. The only difference is in the way the leader is rigged. The Polish method uses two flies with the heaviest fly in the “point” or bottom position and the lighter fly in the top position.
The leader is actually constructed by adding different diameter monofilament to each other to create a very slight taper. The biggest difference in the Polish nymphing leader vs. the Czech nymphing leader is the top fly will be attached between two Blood or Uni knots and will freely slide up and down the leader between these two knots.
This is accomplished by creating a dropper tag with a loop at the end and looping the tag around the leader. The fly can be attached to the dropper tag before you loop it around the leader just make sure to leave the loop big enough for the fly to slide through.
Technique: Short casts and fishing near your location. You are essentially casting your leader, so you won’t be casting the fly line much.
Tackle and gear: Really the same as Czech Nymphing from a gear perspective. We carry a large variety of flies for this style of fishing. An alternative rod to the Risen noted about would be the TFO Stealth. Solid rod.
This Euro nymphing technique uses a long leader and longer presentation. It is more like French nymphing, as it relies on long rods, too.
Technique: Spanish nymphing banks on lob cast (because of the flies’ weights) and an upstream presentation. Longer casts are used, which means that you have to retrieve the line as flies approach (instead of using your rod to lead the fly through its drift). This is done either by stripping or a figure eight retrieve. You have to adjust the height of the rod and the leader’s angle entering the water to control the drift.
Tackle and gear: Spanish nymphing uses 15- to 30-foot tapered leaders with built-in sighters. The sighter is set between the tippet and main leader, and tippet length must be 1.5 to 2 times the depth of the water with regard to the current speed.
You will need a longer rod for this European nymphing style, and two to three flies, with the heaviest fly at the bottom. You really can’t get away with a 9’ rod for this style of fishing. I prefer a jig style fly for this kind of fishing. Hooks up mean less snags. We have a huge assortment of Jig Style, Perdigon, and of course Czech Nymphs. Perdigon Flies, in particular, are great for getting you flies down quickly.
This style uses longer leaders ranging from 12 to 20 feet, and the flies are smaller compared to those used in Eastern European nymphing styles.
Technique: Cast directly upstream, but pull the flies during the drift. You will be casting some of the fly line. The technique lets you reach fish that may be a bit farther out. You can also fish in slower water, which may be on the other side of a faster seam.
Tackle/Gear: The French-developed ‘coiled sighter’ provides a bit of give as fish first takes, so it may buy you an extra second. If you see the coil straighten, set the hook. Smaller coiled sighters may be used when fishing slow or in almost still water where a conventional indicator may be inappropriate. Look for a lightweight sighter that lands softly on the water.
French nymphing uses rods that are 10 to 14 long, but most situations may call for a 10- or 11-foot rod. Flies are smaller and lighter. Consider browsing our range of small Czech nymphs as well as beadheads.