10/17/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Little and baetis BWOs)
2.    Little Yellow Quills
3.    Slate Drakes
4.    Needle Stoneflies

Most available/ Other types of food:
5.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
6.    Craneflies
7.    Beetles
8.    Grasshoppers
9.    Ants





Czech Nymph Fishing  
I have written about the so-called Czech Nymph Fishing method in the past but since we are
coming into the cold weather season, I thought I would try to cover what I know about the method.
Let me point out that although that makes it sound like it's only effective during the cold months of
the year, that's certainly not the case. It's just that it is an effective method during the times trout
are reluctant to feed near or on the surface because the water is quite cold.

Most local anglers think Czech Nymphing closely resembled the "High Sticking" method of fishing
and to a certain extent, it does; however, there are differences in the two methods.  I have used it
several times in the Smokies as well as many other places enough that I feel confident in saying
that if it's used in the right type of water, it is very effective. I don't use the standard so-called
Czech nymphs but I do use the method of presentation.

First, let me provide a little background on the method. It was first developed by Polish anglers for
use in an international fishing tournament. The story goes that in 1984, the Poles easily won the
tournament using a method anglers from Czechoslovakia and East Germany had never seen. It
must have made a lasting impression on them because the Czech anglers started using it and
eventually refined and developed it to the point they began to call it the Czech Method of fishing
nymphs. In 1986, the Czech won the same tournament using what was at that time, still called the
Polish Nymph method.

I can understand how that came about because I can remember when Dee Thomas, a California
angler that fished the BASS professional tournaments in the early 1970's, started winning
tournaments using a method he called "Flippin".  It was soon picked up by others and within a
year's time became a very popular method of bass fishing. It became popular not only because
tournaments were being won on the new method of fishing. It was and of course, still is, an
extremely effective method of fishing. High Sticking for trout is very similar to Flippin for bass and in
a couple of ways, Flippin is similar to the Czech method of nymph fishing.

Many dry fly enthusiasts call nymph fishing "dredging". The Czech Nymph fishing method is a
"dredging" method of fishing if there has ever been one. It was originally developed for grayling
which feed mostly on the bottom. What many anglers probably don't realize is that trout do much of
their feeding on or very near the bottom. Under certain conditions, they do most all of their feeding
on or near the bottom.  There's one thing for certain. They do far more feeding on the bottom that
on the surface.

The Czech method of nymph fishing allows you to drag nymphs as close to the bottom as possible.
It also lets you put the nymphs in or very near the trout's hiding places. I'll stop here and point out
that it doesn't permit precise presentation as well as the "high sticking" method of nymph fishing
does, but it is more effective in doing that than most other nymph presentation methods.

As mentioned above, it does require the right type of water. The Czech method doesn't work in
smooth flowing water or slow moving water. It has another element to it that can be a disadvantage
if it is used in the wrong type of water. Like "high sticking", the Czech method requires that you get
very close to the trout without spooking them. That's probably the most difficult part of both
methods. Like any other fishing method, Czech Nymphing success if going to rely more on your
ability to read the water, know what the trout are most likely feeding on and finding where the trout
are holding than the actually execution of the method.

I am bringing it up because it is perfect for most of the streams in the Smokies. I should write, it is a
prefect method for fishing many areas of most of the streams in the Smokies. It's most effective
when used in fast, pocket water and there's no shortage of that in the Smokies. The faster the
water, the better it works.

Trout hide under water where the surface is broken as well as under the crevices of rocks and
boulders. You can get much, much closer to trout where the surface if broken than you can where
the surface is smooth. That's because the surface disturbance blurs the trout's view of the outside
world through their "window of vision". When the wind is blowing hard, or the water is high and
stained, the method still works well.

I'll get into the details of how you go about fishing nymphs using the Czech method starting
tomorrow.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh