My fishing buddy and I headed to the Dee, it was on form in the week and we were looking forward to the day. We both started on the dry and many a Grayling came to the net all around 10-12". A decent fish landed by my Dad close to 2lb. Great sport was to be had on the dry but I fancied doing a spot of Czech Nymphing in search of the bigger fish.
This style of fishing is not to everyones liking but, it seems to work for me. Some time ago I purchased the Czech Nymph and Other Related Fly Fishing Methods - By Karel Krivanec and Friends and refer to it on a regular basis, not only to try out new nymphing methods but also to improve my tying of the essential patterns required for this method.
I have tried and tested a number of methods from the book, using Indicators, French nymph rigs and even a braid set up. See my previous posts on this Braid set up. Today was the day that I decided to go back to basics and try for some of the bigger Grayling that this method has produced in the past.
No Indicator,no braid, not even a dry fly sometimes used as an indicator, it was Czech nymphing in its rawest form. My usual 9ft 5# rod, a longer rod is used during the winter months 10ft ideal to reach those holes and runs when the river is up. The Flurocarbon leader about 8-9ft with three nymphs spaced about 18-20cm apart (Water depth and current speed will also determine this) today I was using 3lb to keep the set up as light as possible, normally 5lb with heavier flies and it makes it easier to pull through the snags on the bottom. This can be changed to suit your own requirements just play around and you will develop your own.
The Short nymphing procedure is fairly simple, standing at right angles to the current with only about a meter or less of flyline out of the end rod ring cast or roll the three nymphs upstream. With no flyline touching the water keep your rod just ahead of the flies and follow them through the run. Keeping an eye on the end of the line watching to see if it either stops, or does anything unnatural on the way through.
If it does lift the rod, its either a fish or the bottom. At the end of the drift I usually keep the flies in the water for a short while as the Grayling can take on the dangle and even when the flies are lifting up to the surface. A couple of casts into the same spot then its time to move down a pace, I was generally told that two casts then one step should cover the water.
It is also important to get the weight of the nymphs correct, this is vitally important. Varying texts and web pages say that the heaviest fly should be on the point, some say have it on the middle dropper. I preferred today to have it in the middle, it wasn't the heaviest of flies it didn't need to be as the Dee was fairly low and the current not at all fast. The key is to achieve optimal drift speed and have the flies working as naturally as possible.
The nymph that all the Grayling took today is this one, a pink Gammarus variant on a 16s with a tungsten bead head. Tungsten ideal for getting the flies down quickly to the zone. Pink flies for some reason are the colour for Grayling or at least it was today, a trigger for the fish seems to work whether it be orange bead or pink bead or gold head all work well.
Going back to basics and getting it just right today produced some really nice Grayling, other Czech nymphing methods I have adopted in the past will undoubtedly be used during the autumn months and winter. But it was just great today to see the line stop and the rod bend into a fish.
Purchase the book, its a great read and try out Czech Nymphing for yourself.
We both had another glorious day on the Dee !!! A Grayling Bonanza on dry and Nymph.
Until Next Time..................................Tight Lines