Hi all. I posted some time back about making own thingamaleaders, thought they fished well in a few large rivers here but felt they just imparted too much drag and never felt like my flies sank or drifted well. So...I want to experiment with tightline nymphing or Czech nymphing methods for the smaller pocket water streams and rivers that are closer to me. Have read up on some posts here on the subject but get a few contrasting ideas on how to set up a leader for this style of fishing. Some say 7ft of mono from fly line then a sighter of 20" then tippet...some have it the other way around? Anyone have suggestions on what to make sighter from? I have access to amnesia line...some suggested Dacron? Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!
Here's what I use, works nicely for me, fishing pocket water in CA.
I bought the Euro nymphing line from Blue Quill Anglers, then put on a coiled sighter made from Amnesia (more later), then all tippet, usually 5-6ft of 6x.
When I make a coil, I lengthen all the times I was told for boiling and freezing, and leave it on the mandrel for at least a couple weeks to get a great long lasting coil. Rigging: fly line loop to loop to 3" amnesia, tippet ring, sighter, tippet ring, tippet. This makes everything really simple.
I just love that line from Blue Quill, doesn't try to creep back down the rod, much easier to handle than the 20' of mono method.
Experiment around, that's what I did, you'll find what works best for you.
Disclaimer: I am not a Czech nympher, I have read quite a bit about leaders and found quite a bit of info. I do nymph with a tight line method. While the idea is similar, there is a difference between true CZN methods and tight line technique. You should not confuse the two.
Before the Euro CZN craze hit here Charlie Brooks was using and writing about "high sticking" with heavy nymphs in pocket water...way back in the 1970s! He was innovative enough that this style of fishing got a name, The Brooks Method. He designed a nymph, the Brooks Stone, that presents itself "in the round" so as it tumbles through the heavy pocket water it never looks like it is spinning.
I digress, the reason I bring this up is because you said you want to fish pocket water on smaller streams. You will be better served using the Brooks Method over technical Czech Nymph methods. You don't need a highly technical leader to fish like this.
You just want to be able to reach your rod tip over the water you intend to fish and have enough leader for the nymph to get to the bottom. You want the line and leader to be taught and "connected" to the nymph, so you can feel everything the fly does. You plunk the fly into the pockets and lead it through with your arm extended and rod tip high. You can also do this through deep fast runs as long as you can reach out over the slot you are fishing.
On smaller rivers and streams it is a lot of fun. Don't over think the technical aspect of it, try it and you'll find for yourself what you need to change to cater to your style of fishing in your water.
Great! Thanks for the leader tip James. Gonna have to excitement with sighters. Seems people really like the amnesia so I'm gonna have to give it a try. The pocket water in CA I'm sure is similar to the small rivers and streams here in northern NM. Dean, I'm gonna look that Brooks method up for sure. There are different versions of Czech that I've been reading up on, some say to slightly lead the flies through a seam or pocket, others like George Daniels say use a controlled drift by lifting your rod tip to take up slack as the flies drift towards you.i just wanted to see what works for everyone here, you all are the most valuable feedback around I believe . Thanks for the tips and would love to hear more! Thanks
There are many terms / definitions going around regarding Czech Nymphing / High sticking / Euro Nymphing. Below describes our definitions. Not saying they are 100% accurate as it seems many individuals use the terms in varying context.
Tight-line fishing: Our Czech Leader consists of an 18" Sighter that is Hi-Vis Orange with black stripes or Chartreuse with Black Stripes. The stripes on the sighter allows you to see slight movement in the sighter meaning that a fish is tugging on your fly. Then we attach 30"-36" of 20 lb. braided line with a tippet ring. The 20 lb. braid is very thin allowing it to cut the water column (sink extremely fast) this gets your fly's into the face of fish hanging out down deep. The fly fisher is to attach tippet to the ring. Depending on fishing regulations of your state, you can fish multiple fly's off of this set-up. When fishing heavy Czech flies, no floatant is used on the sighter. This is tight-line fishing. Meaning you feel the bottom of the river with the flies bouncing.
Long Line Nymphing: The Euro Nymph Leader is a combination of a few items. The butt section is a high quality heavy 8’-0” Tapered leader. This leader is connected to our 18" Long Sighter via the Loop 2 Loop method. The angler then attached his/her tippet to the sighter and users the sighter as an indicator.
Like all tapered Mono Leaders, this leader will need to be stretched / straightened out prior to fishing. We have had much success using the NEW Cutthroat Leader "Otter Butter" on our sighters.
There are many variations of short line, high stick nymphing methods and leaders.
For starting out, I would suggest a basic leader with a bright colored butt section. I use a about a 11' leader with about 4' of Amnesia for the butt section, a fast taper section, and then 4'-6' of tippet. You can use Gary Borger's simple leader design -- Gary Borger » Nymphing Leader -- or use another leader design with more segments just keep a pretty long tippet.
Once you get some experience with basic short line nymphing, then you might want to try some other leaders / methods -- very long leaders, braided sighters, curly Qs, etc -- but I would start simple.
A perusal of this google image page will offer a bunch of differing leader set-ups and gizmos for Czech nymphing, French nymphing, Spanish nymphing etc...look around and pick the one that works for the intended situation...