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What You Need to Know About Nymphing

What You Need to Know About Nymphing

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 11:07

Your life and work can be hectic and filled with pressure, even when you are not navigating the challenges of a global pandemic. Everyone needs a break. You need some time off, away from the city and out in nature. We all need to reconnect with the great outdoors. 

One of the best ways you can relax, rest, and rejuvenate is by wading out into the cold waters of western North Carolina to catch world-class trout. 

There is something special about a fly fishing excursion in the most beautiful part of our state. One way to take your trip to the next level is by learning a new skill. The skilled guides at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing are well-versed in the best techniques for catching trout in our area. 

In this article, we are discussing what you need to know about European Nymphing, or Czech Nymphing


What Is Nymphing?

While dry flies are often the first thing you think of when fly fishing is mentioned, nymphing is often more effective in many situations. Nymph is a word used to describe the first stage in which mayflies, caddisflies, and other winged creatures spend their lives. They live as larvae, worms, or even in something of a cocoon for a time before they develop into their final form. 

They may crawl along rocks on the bottom of the river or cling to fallen limbs. Regardless, trout love their availability as an easy meal. If you know how to do it, tight line nymphing can help you land numerous beautiful fish. 

Czech or European Nymphing

In competition, Czech nymphing emerged in the mid-1980s and proved to be incredibly effective. Although the original technique has not changed much in its thirty-plus years of existence, it has evolved and is still changing as we speak. Czech nymph fishing is short-distance angling, with the line practically directly under the tip of the rod, which you hold in your outstretched arm. 

When doing the original Czech type of nymphing your leader will be directly under the rod tip with one to three nymphs attached to it. When performed correctly, you will likely catch more fish than ever did before.

The Equipment You Need for Nymphing

To practice Euro nymphing, you need to make sure you have the right equipment:

  • Rod: Your rod should be at least 10-11-foot in length and be lightweight at 3-5 ounces.
  • Reel: Pair your lengthy rod with a large arbor reel that has smooth sensitive drag.
  • Leader: a very good leader would be twice the length of the rod you are fishing with a level line or slightly tapered down to a thin diameter sighter. Leaders can be made out of fluorocarbon or monofilament. 
  • Weight: In the competition fly fishing world all of your weight has to be tied within the fly itself in the form of a tungsten bead or a lead wire weight underneath. 

If you need more information about the type of equipment that works best for nymphing, reach out to the team at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing

Nymphing Basics

The simple goal when tight line nymphing is to be able to control the depth and tempo of your nymphs, that alone is truly what makes the technique so very deadly. Simple adjustments with your arm moving up and down for depth control or faster left to right for tempo can make all the difference.

Where You Can Nymph in North Carolina

Western North Carolina is full of trout-rich waters. There is no shortage of opportunities for a fly fishing getaway and rivers and creeks in which you can practice nymphing. 

Ideally, you want to find a stream where a fast current meets slower currents and put your flies right where the two connect. Trout congregate in these areas to rest and feed. 

Here are just a few of the rivers and streams in western North Carolina where nymphing is a great method for catching trout:

  • The West Fork of the Pigeon River: The headwaters of the West Fork of the Pigeon River flow from Mount Hardy, NC, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This river is home to a variety of trout, including brook, brown, and rainbow trout.
  • The Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee River: On the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee River runs right out of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. If you ever wanted to go fishing in the Smokys, this is the river for you.
  • The Tuckasegee River: Typically fished between the towns of Sylva and Dillsboro in Jackson County (the Trout Fishing Capital of North Carolina), the Tuck river is an absolute must for a beginner, as 30 to 50 fish days can happen here!
  • Big Snowbird Creek: Big Snowbird Creek is just outside the town of Robbinsville, North Carolina, in Graham County. Due to the various challenging techniques we employ, we recommend this river for experienced anglers.
  • The Cullasaja River: Flowing fast from Highlands to Franklin, this river is scenic and challenging. The Cullasaja is a place for experienced anglers with quality guides. 

If you are ready to learn European nymphing in western North Carolina, you will not find a better team of guides than those at Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing. Gordon and his team were trained in nymphing from the very beginning of its arrival in the United States. 

It is one of the primary techniques he uses to coach Team USA Youth Competitive fly fishing team to multiple world championships. If you would like more information about fly fishing and nymphing in North Carolina, contact us

We would love to schedule a session with you, and help you catch more trout than you ever thought was possible!

Written by:

Gordon began fly fishing as a teenager in southwestern Pennsylvania, where he was raised. He has snagged great catches from as far away as Nevada, California, and Belize. However, he and his wife decided to settle in western North Carolina, where they started Turning Stones. Gordon is a Certified Casting Instructor for the Federation of Fly Fishers and the  Southeastern Coach of the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team.