When it was first introduced into the UK, this pattern really did revolutionise grayling fishing, particularly on rainfed rivers. Now there was a pattern that was so heavily weighted that it could be bumped along the river bed even in fast-flowing water — just where the grayling were sitting.
Just as important, the pattern brought with it a new technique where the nymph or, more usually, team of nymphs is fished on a very short line, at times almost under the rod tip. The result was that instead of waiting for a pull on the line takes could be detected when the line paused in its downstream drift, which meant that far fewer were missed.
What makes the Czech Nymph so effective is that, not only is it heavily weighted, but its slim profile also helps it sink quickly to the grayling’s feeding zone. The profile of the Czech is based on the Hydropsyche sedge larva that forms a large part of the grayling’s diet and, unlike some sedge species, is freeswimming and doesn’t construct a protective case.
The Czech Nymph is tied in a variety of colours including various shades of brown to mimic the colour of the natural sedge larva. Though often tied with a heavily leaded underbody when fished as part of team, it also works well tied with no additional weight and used in combination with a heavily weighted version.
Hook Size 8-12 heavyweight grub hook
Thread Brown Main rib Clear nylon
monofilament Shell-back Tan plastic
strip Body rib Fine, flat gold tinsel
Body Amber or tan fur Hot spot Green
dubbing Thorax Hare’s fur
1. Fix the hook in the vice and wind on close turns of medium-width lead wire.
2. Wind on 20 to 30 turns of the lead wire to create a heavily weighted underbody. Remove the excess wire before applying a few drops of Superglue to secure.
3. When the Superglue has dried, thoroughly run on the tying thread using it to cover the lead wire.
4. Carry the tying thread well round the hook bend. At this point, catch in three or four inches of clear, monofilament nylon.
5. Take a strip of tan plastic strip and catch it in, shiny side up, at the same point as the nylon.
6. At the same point catch in two inches of fine, flat gold tinsel.
7. Take a pinch of amber-coloured dubbing and apply it to the tying thread. Twist the fur on to the thread to form a thick rope. Wind this rope over the lead underbody in close turns.
8. Stop when the fur has covered twothirds of the lead underbody. Take hold of the gold tinsel and wind it over the fur in four open, evenly spaced turns.
9. Secure the loose end of the tinsel with thread and remove the excess. Take a small pinch of lime green fur, dub it on and wind to create a hotspot in front of the body.
10. Take a good pinch of hare’s fur containing plenty of the spiky guard hairs. Dub it on and wind up to the eye to form the thorax.
11. With the tying thread positioned just behind the eye, stretch the plastic strip over the top of the body and thorax and hold it in place with two or three turns of thread.
12. Wind the monofilament nylon over the body and shell-back in evenly spaced turns. When the nylon has reached the eye unwind the thread holding the plastic. Secure the loose end of nylon at the eye.
13. Remove the excess nylon before refixing the plastic strip at the eye. Trim away any excess plastic strip to create a neat head and cast off with a whip finish. Finally, tease out the hare’s fur.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
This pattern may be used on any rainfed river or chalkstream and, while it will catch trout, it is most effective for grayling. It is designed to be fished close to the riverbed. When used for grayling, it works best in runs and tails with a medium to fast pace.
W H E N
Though it can be used throughout the year, it is most effective during spring and again in autumn when the grayling are more likely feed close to the riverbed.
H O W
Fished on a floating line either singly or as a team of two or three flies. In fast, broken water it can be fished successfully by wading close to a holding spot and running the flies almost under the rod tip. By casting the flies upstream they are allowed to sink to the bottom and drift down on the current. The line pausing in its drift or deviating off line will signal a take.
T Y I N G T I P
Apply the dubbed body thinly over the lead underbody. It is important not to make it too fat, as this will adversely affect its sink rate.