European Nymphing: Why is it Effective?
Bill Leuchten


In fly fishing there are 2 kinds of strikes: the ones where you are not sure how long the fish has been on the line, and the ones where you can feel in the rod tip when the fish takes the fl.  With the latter, I know the slack in the line has been kept to a minimum.  And as we know, if we don’t feel the fish right away, he has an opportunity to spit the hook. We are always looking for ways to feel the strike sooner, and still maintain a natural drift.  The much buzzed about technique of European (or Czech, Polish etc.) Nymphing, is grounded in this objective.

We saw the technique’s effectiveness in the national fly fishing championships that took place in Boulder this year. And we consistently see its true form in the world championships in Europe when teams that use the technique pick up winning scores even if they are the last team to fish a “beat” that has been pounded by other teams all day. The US is just getting acclimated to this process after we have failed to make any significant run at the world championship.

You may not be open to changing your whole 2 fly rigging technique but you can still do a decent job at keeping slack out of your line. The heavy nymph positioned at the bottom of the rig is used to pull the line down and prevent any slack between the fly and your rod tip. This can be done regardless of whether you decide to adopt the full technicalities of the European method.