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Fly Fishing Learning Center
European Nymphing Techniques
Czech Nymphing
Polish Nymphing
French Nymphing
Spanish Nymphing
Which Method Should I Fish and Where
Flies for European Nymping
Euro Nymphing Presentation
Buyers Guide
Fly Tying
You do not need a special rod for fishing the European nymphing methods, but a longer rod will make things a little easier, especially when you need to reach over a fast run and hit that pocket on the other side. A 9’ rod will work just fine when you are getting started, but a 10’ to 12' length is the rod of choice for most rivers and streams. Sage has developed a new rod that will fit the gap between a 9’ and a 10’ rod called the Sage 99 Series. These rods are available in 4 through 8 weight and are all 9’ 9” long. The tips are fast and the mid section is slightly slower to help open up the casting loop to avoid tangles. New for 2012 and available now are the Sage ESN (European Style Nymph) rods that were specifically designed for each of these methods. The tips are supple to aid in casting at close range as well as increased sensitivity to detect strikes better. These rods are incredibly light with makes a huge difference when fishing these methods all day long. Retail on the ESN rods is $699.00 with a lifetime warranty from Sage. The Sage VXP which they make in a 10' 5 weight is an incredible rod at a great price that has a slightly slower action than the Sage ONE or Sage 99 Series that works beautifully for all of the European Methods.

The rods listed above start at $495.00 and go up from there. This may be out of the price range of the angler who is looking to purchase a European Nymphing specific outfit. Redington has a couple of 10' offerings that will not break the bank and are amazing rods. The Redington RS4 is a medium fast action 10' 5 weight - 4 piece rod that will perform with the $500.00 plus rods and has a lifetime warranty which gives you a little piece of mind if an accident does happen. Another 10' offering from Redington is the Redington CPX which is available in a 10' 5 weight 4 piece that is as fast or faster than the Sage Z Axis with a delicate tip to assist in casting the longer European Nymphing leaders or heavily weighted flies.

The line weight is a personal preference. Most anglers will use a 5 weight but a 4 weight will do the trick and be a little lighter in your hand. Weight is important after a long day of holding your arm out.

Reels are not really important except in those few occasions where you get that hot running fish and need a good drag to slow them down. The main thing with the reel is that it is heavy enough to properly balance your rod. A balanced outfit will make a huge difference at the end of a long day. You want the rod to balance on you middle finger right at the fatter part of the cork. If you are having trouble getting your outfit to balance properly, try adding lead adhesive tape to the reel. Remove the line and backing and add a little strip (1/8th if it is ust a little off to 1/4th thick for outfits that are way off) around the arbor which should make up the difference. A new reel on the market that is absolutely amazing is the Sage 4200 Series. They totally bombproof with an amazing drag system that will take the abuse of hard fishing. They are not rediculously light like some other reels but they are not a boat anchor either. They balance 10' to 12' rods beautifully without adding any additional weight as mentioned above.

Fly lines are almost non-existent in the Czech and Polish methods unless you are implementing a medium length drift. The Spanish and French Methods will make use of the fly line so it is good to have a somewhat agressive weight forward line like the Rio Grand or Rio Indicator Line. I like to take the Rio Indicator Line and cut the first 18" off (the orange colored section) so that I am up into the front taper a little more. This helps quickly turn over heavy flies and since we have very little line out of the rod tip with the Czech and Polish methods, it will not run back into the guides as quickly. Since we are cutting the loop off of the Rio Indicator line, I like to attach a Rio Braided Loop connector in either the orange or camo color which gives me a secure connection that I can directly tie the butt section of the leader to. Competition rules do not allow any loop-to-loop connections so this is a simple solution to that.

Polarized glasses are a must, first to help see the defining features of the stream and second to provide eye protection from the two or three fly rig when it gets out of control

Protective gear like a knee/shin guard will come in handy when you are trying to keep a low profile and fishing on your knees all day. I use one called the Raven OBG Knee/Shin Guard which is comfortable to wear and will stay put when crawling around or wading faster water

Hook hone is a must!!! The flies are in contact with the bottom on every drift and will eventually dull the hook point. The sharper the point, the less likely you will loose a fish. Dr. Slick makes a nice one that will tuck away in a vest or hip pack without taking up a ton of room. Tiemco makes a smaller version that will attach to a lanyard or vest for quick and easy access.

Tippet material is probably on of the most improtant items you need to consider when fishing the European Nymphing Methods. Fluorocarbon tippet material will sink quicker, provide you with good abrasion resistance since your flies will be in contact with the bottom of the river and has superb knot/breaking strength when wet. One of the finest tippet materials on the market is the RIO Fluoroflex Plus. It has all of the benefits of fluorocarbon mentioned above yet is supple and easy to knot. At $14.95 for a 30 meter spool, you may feel that is a little pricey but when you consider the dollar amount of flies in the water, a quality tippet material make sure they stay on the line and not on the bottom.