The Czech or Polish Technique
Paul Prentiss
I've read several articles and talked with a couple of fishermen in the know about the so-called Czech or Polish technique. It's an interesting and productive approach to nymph fishing fast water.

The origins of the technique are uncertain but it is thought to have been used first in the 1970s. One thing is certain; it's very popular with European anglers that are engaged in competition fishing. Over the years these folks have had a field day against the American team.

For almost two decades Americans have traveled the world to various member countries to participate in the annual F.I.P.S. Mouche (Federation Internationale de Peche Sportive Mouche, the International Federation of Sport Fly Fishing).

Team Competitors are selected annually by the Fly Fishing Team USA Board of Directors. Selection is based on a varied criteria but first and foremost is the participants ability to represent America as an ambassador to fly fishing and secondly their ability to function as a team player and finally as an experienced and dedicated catch and release flyfisherman. The 2004 Team includes Walter Ungermann, Jack Dennis, Ed Opler, Jay Buchner, Jeff Currier, Sam Mavrakis, Keith Bean, Lance Egan, Pete Erickson, Norman Maktima and Ken Holder. The participants for the 2005 event have not yet been identified.

Individual competitors selected for participation in the championship event are responsible for their transportation, event fee, lodging, practice guide fee and the multitude of expenses incurred when traveling the world.

Fortunately, Fly Fishing Team USA has partnered over the years with premiere fly fishing equipment suppliers who through their generous contributions, help offset the exacting equipment needs required to participate in the World Fly Fishing Championships. On many occasions, the items donated by fly fishing manufacturers find their way into the hands of happy championship participants who share in the joy of using high quality and technologically advanced American fly fishing products.

For more information go to

Three flies (very thin profiles with minimal hackle) are setup on a non-tapered monofilament leader which is strong enough to deal with snags. The dropper connections are tied around 20-inches apart using a surgeon's knot (flies are tied to the parent leg that points downward). The overall length of the leader should be a little less than the length of your rod. You can easily adjust the length of the leader by shortening the top length of the leader.

There is no real casting involved - only about three feet of line is extended beyond the top rod guide so that only the leader is in the water. As the flies move downstream, so does the rod tip.

The heaviest nymph goes in the middle with a lighter fly on both the point and the top dropper. This helps get the flies down and ensures that they are presented in an appropriate fashion. If you are getting hung up on the bottom, adjust your flies to eliminate the problem. Lead weight is not permitted, hence the weighted flies.

All of your concentration is focused on the end of your fly line. I'm told that colored braided loops or high visibility monofilament sections are used to assist the angler in detecting a take.

You want to keep the three flies separated so you lob the rig into the water and watch the end of the line for any unnatural movement, which triggers an immediate lifting of the rod to strike. If it's a false alarm, you lob the rig back into the water. When watching an experienced fisherman the sequence is very fast, meaning the flies are constantly in the water.

It seems like the fisherman is using a vacuum cleaner as he moves upstream. He covers every likely spot quickly and efficiently.

When talking with Jack Dennis about this approach (He has been coaching the USA Fly Fishing Team for the last several years), he mentioned that many of the competitors use loop-to-loop connections (flies being pre-rigged) so that changing patterns and/or weights takes seconds.