Fly Fishing Tips 2 min read

[Video] How-to Build a Czech Nymphing Leader

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

November 3, 2009

Aaron Jasper demonstrates a Davy Wotton leader knot that can be used to construct a Czech nymphing leader.  I attended Aaron’s Euro Nymphing Clinc earlier this year where he demonstrated how to build and fish a Czech nymphing rig. If what follows sounds confusing, trust me it’s not. It’s just hard to explain. If you get a chance I’d highly recommend attending a clinc like the one Aaron put’s on or getting out on the water with a guide who is proficient using European nymphing techniques. Until then, give this a try.

Czech Nymphing Leader

A typical Czech nymphing rig is 10 to 14 feet long and consists of:

  • 3 feet 20 lb monofilament (Gold Stren is often used to aid in strike detection)
  • 2 feet 14 lb mono
  • 3 to 6 feet of 4x or 5X fluorocarbon to the first fly tied on a dropper (usually a smaller nymph)
  • 18 to 24 inches of 4x or 5x fluorocarbon to the anchor fly (usually the heaviest nymph, e.g. Czech nymph) tied on a dropper in a 3-fly rig or at the end of the tippet in a 2-fly rig
  • 18 to 24 inches of 5x fluorocarbon to the last fly in a 3-fly rig

The droppers are typically tied in with an Orivs Tippet Knot or a Triple Surgeons knot with a 4″ to 6″ tag.

The key to this leader setup is that it is built with smaller diameter mono as opposed to a traditional tapered leader, as is favored in the US, which has a thick, heavy butt section. The smaller diameter mono, and fluorocarbon tippet (which is heavier than other mono tippet materials), enable the leader system and your flies to sink quickly through the water column. This is very important when Czech nymphing where you typically use very short drifts and you need to get your flies down quickly as is often the case when fishing pocket water and heavy riffles where this nymphing method lends itself well.

Not Up for Tying Czech Nymph Leaders

If you are just getting started Czech nymphing and are not up for tying your own leaders, Umpqua sells a Czech Nymph Leader that was designed by Czech nymph specialist Andy Burk. Each leader comes with a handy guide written by Andy Burk that shows you how to rig the Umpqua Czech nymph leader with either 2 or 3 Czech nymphs. You can get them here. There are also a number of other manufacturers that sell Czech nymph or European nymph leaders including Rio and Cutthroat that are available on Amazon here.

Up Next French and Spanish Nymphing Leaders

Up next we’ll take a closer look at how to build leader systems used in the French nymphing and Spanish nymphing techniques as we continue our mini-series on European nymphing techniques.


More DIY Fly Fishing Articles on European Nymphing Techniques

Euro Nymphing: Czech Nymphing, French Nymphing, Spanish Nymphing
How-to Build a Czech Nymphing Leader
How-to Rig a 2-Fly Czech Nymphing Setup
How-to Build a French / Spanish Nymphing Leader
How-to Tie a Davy Knot
How-to Make a Backing Sighter for a European Nymphing Rig
How-to Make a European Nymphing Coiled Mono Sighter
European Nymphing Fly Rod Craze or Bandwagon?