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BlueRaiderFan 12-15-2009 07:31 PM

czech nymphing techniques
Seems to be very similar to high sticking with nymphs here.

tjw37909 12-15-2009 09:40 PM

That is what I was thinking. I tied up a few in various sizes that I plan to try tomorrow. I watched some online videos about the czech technique and it was basically high sticking to me(which I do occasionally.........and poorly). I may high stick wit them a little, but I am going to put them behind some splitshot first. The videos showed people fishing three flies. That is begging for me to get in some horrible tangled messes. I will stick with two

Hugh Hartsell 12-15-2009 10:18 PM

Czech Nymphing
The techniques used in Czech Nymphing in Europe are a little different than our methods of high stickin with nymphs in the Smokies. The way the flies are attached is one thing and the number of flies is another. Each of these techniques can be compromised a little and still be successful.
The best Czech Nymphing is done in somewhat high water conditions and lots of weight is used to get the flies right onto the bottom. The flies are not exactly dead drifted, but lead with a slight amount of tension on the line.. Most of the fishing would be done in the upper parts of a heavy run and constant slow leading of the flies is kept so that a strike can be felt through the line and up the rod to the hand. This is different from dead drifting where we watch the leader or the end of the flyline to detect strikes. Conditions are pretty good for this type of fishing now and up through late March or when we come to the end of high water. You have got to have a pretty strong flow to keep the flies from hanging up very frequently. They will be bumping the bottom all of the time. High Stickin with nymphs and Czech Nymphing can both be productive, but my favorite is Tandem rig nymph fishing in the Park.
Good luck when you try, it and let us know how you do.

BlueRaiderFan 12-15-2009 10:54 PM

Can't do it in the park. Not certain about the rest of the state. Too many hooks, so it would be illegal in the park. I may try a similar rig though, just to see if it is more productive, but only with two nymphs.

Jim Casada 12-16-2009 08:47 AM

Hugh--Do you (or anyone with long experience on mountain streams) by chance recall any old-timers who fished what were, in my boyhood, called "three-fly casts." This involved tandem-rigged wet flies (most often Yellarhammers or the wet fly form of the Royal Coachman) fished using a quite short cast (15 or 20 feet). Sometimes, but not always, the flies were attached to the main leader by dropper lines of a few inches. I recall seeing the technique used fairly often, and I know it was highly effective. Alas, I did not pay as much attention to the rigging as I should have, since at the time I was almost entirely a dry fly fisherman.
From what I remember, especially in terms of watching old fellows who used this technique, it sounds a lot like the Czech approach.
I did watch a guy use it on the Nantahala River perhaps a decade ago, and he was catching trout like nobody's business.
Jim Casada

Hugh Hartsell 12-16-2009 10:19 AM

fishing a long time ago
Good morning Jim, and Merry Christmas to you and everyone on the board,
Jim, I was 10 years old when I began flyfishing and I was taught to use wet flies such as Grey Hackle Peacock, Brown Hackle Peacock, Black Gnats, and Yallerhammers. We used these flies individually or in tandem and they were tied with catgut leaders and shortly afterwards we began to use Eagle Claw tippet material. I used to see old timers using the 2-3 fly techniques but they had cane poles and just mainly lobbed their flies into the top part of a plunge pool with no more than 15 feet of line. They were very successful. I was just too young to understand how these flies were attached onto the line, but at about 13- 15 years of age I began fishing with a fellow named Bud Baxter and he taught me how to fish tandem rigged weighted nymphs. Apparently 2 flies had become the legal limit to use in the Park by then and that was the method that I fished for the next 35-40 years. I very rarely fished dry flies until about 15 years ago. Long, long ago I realized that weighted nymphs would produce larger fish and I just stuck with it. About 11-12 years ago I began experimenting with an old mountain Nymph called the Smoky Mountain Blackbird and I turned it into a wet emerger pattern. It paired well with a nymph tied in above it and has been my best selection that I have ever used in the Park. I rarely ever use 3 flies in the mountain streams outside of the Park, but I do use this setup quite frequently on tailwaters. It brings back lots of memories of times gone by.

BlueRaiderFan 12-16-2009 11:38 AM

I am definitely buying Mr. Casada's book for my birthday. Was wondering if you had written a book Mr. Hartsell? I think I asked you this before, but I don't remember the answer!

Hugh Hartsell 12-16-2009 12:46 PM

Book in the waiting
Yes, I do have a book that is written and unedited. I have been holding it for awhile and adding to it. I am doing the same with two others. One is about flies and the other is about Tailwaters. I will eventually slow down from guiding and flytying and get serious with publishing.
I have never done this before and as I said it is unedited, so don't grade it. This is the opening 1st and 2nd paragraphs to the book called "Walking the Dream". It is an autobiography of my life as far as the flyfishing aspect goes, and it walks the reader through the enjoyment of growing up in East Tennessee and learning the beautiful and addicting sport of flyfishing. It continues on through my adult years and into the art of flytying and then professional guiding. It has been a beautiful experience and I hope that it touches many people as it has me to be in the center of such a fulfilling walk in life.

Age 5-18
Bud!-- Bud! Come in for a minute. I have something to tell you. What is it, mother? Your dad wants you to catch some grasshoppers from the field across the road. What is dad going to do with grasshoppers? He is going to go trout fishing and he wants you to catch some small or medium-sized ones. I'll get some, mother. I'll need a jar, and I'll need to put some holes in the lid. Can I go fishing too? No, there are snakes up there in the mountains and you might get lost. But, I want to go, too! He will take you when he goes to the river or the lake. You will have to wait a few years before you go to the mountains. What kinds of fish are in the mountains? He is going to fish for trout. I've never seen a trout, mother. What do they look like? They are very pretty, son. Your dad wants the grasshoppers so that he can go fishing early in the morning.

That was my first introduction to trout fishing, and I was about 5 years old at the time. I went across the road from my house in Newport, Tennessee, and within a half-hour, I had caught about 15-20 grasshoppers. This was at a time that using live bait was legal in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As soon as my dad came home, I found out that he was going to Big Creek, which is right on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. The next morning I did not get to fish, but we were taken up to the Big Creek campgrounds. It was drizzling rain all day. In this campground, I was to learn about a little critter called a Dominekker Gnat. The gnats came in droves and literally ate us up. I had whelks on me for days and I scratched endlessly. What an introduction! My dad would go fishing numbers of times in the mountains for trout, but I was never able to go with him. He did take me fishing in the French Broad and Pigeon Rivers as well as Douglas Lake. He probably knew that as a child, I could not safely make my way along the streams, so he chose a safer area to introduce me to fishing. I would see and hear from neighbors, who lived around me, about their mystical trips to the mountains, and I would see the results of trips, as they would bring their ice coolers in and show what they had caught. The fish were so delicate and beautiful.

Jim Casada 12-16-2009 12:46 PM

Hugh--First of all, your Christmas greetings to one and all on the forum are warmly reciprocated. Thanks, and a fair amount of what you describe coincides with my memories. That includes use of cane poles, although the best "hand" I knew for tandem nymphing was a Park ranger who used a fly rod, Buford Messer. He may well have tipped his flies with bait (lots of local lore suggests he would remove the eyes of the first trout he caught and put them on his wet fly or nymph), but he could flat-out catch big trout. I never saw him make a real cast. He just sort of flipped/roll cast then kep his rod tip high and his line tight.
Your mention of a black gnat pattern certainly rings true. It was a favorite on the N. C. side. Thanks for sharing the memories, and I hope we can meet at talk at Troutfest.
Jim Casada

flyman 12-16-2009 02:14 PM

The European method is a little different in a couple ways. The technique was developed because most international fishing competitions don't allow weight on the leader or the use of strike indicators on the leader. The leader and flles are a little different than most of us use. They usually place a bright piece of material between the leader and fly line to use as the indicator. The leaders are almost without taper. Usually they are about a rod length of a couple sizes of leader material. They are generally nothing more than a 4 or 5 foot piece of 4 or 5X leader material with 2 pieces of 5X tippet about 20-24 inches added. Most use either a blood or surgeons knot to add the tippet pieces and only trim one side of the tag ends. The 1st and middle fly are tied to the tag ends. I try to leave my tag ends about 8-10 inches long. The heaviest fly is generally placed in the middle of the system and is called the anchor fly. You generally hold the rod parallel to the water and gently lead the anchor fly thru the run, the other two flies are free to move around and will catch most of the fish. This same leader system works well for fishing a cast of wet flies. The main difference I see in this technique is what Hugh was saying about slack in the system. High sticking depends on slack in the system to produce a dead drift, and much of this is accomplished by raising and lower the rod during the drift. With the European method you are maintaing slight tension on the anchor fly and gently leading the cast of flies thru the run without lowering or raising the rod as much. There is lots of information out there on this technique. It can be deadly for maneuvering the fly into an exact spot on the stream bottom. One last note, pay attention the the placement and weight of the flies. Here is a good link with the leader system and placement of flies according to their weight. If tying your own leaders isn't your thing they can be commercially bought, I know Umpqua makes one.

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