Fly and Photos by Loren Williams

Czech nymphs and Czech Nymphing are derivatives from their Polish predecessors and made popular in the 1980's and 1990's on the competition circuits.

Tied as fundamental instruments in the highly specialized short line nymphing technique, Czech nymphs can be as imitative or as attractive as one desires. Key aspects of the nymphs are that they get tied on Gammarus (i.e. scud, caddis) hooks, are weighted, and are slim in nature. Typically Czech nymphs have a shellback to assist in cutting depth detracting surface area and to boost their natural appearance as well as a flashy under rib. It's important to realize that Europeans fish heavily for grayling in rivers where caddis are the prevalent food item. Grayling do not mind heavy flows and are attracted to bits of flash and color. It is not necessarily counter effective to fish outlandish patterns for trout, but it is wise to carry more imitative selection if trout are your primary focus.

The sample I have tied would be well suited for grayling on a Scandinavian River but has taken it fair share of wild browns in the USA.


Hook: Partridge CZ or CZF
Lead Wire
Pink 1/8" Scud Back
Under Rib:
Flashabou Mirage
Over Rib: Monofilament Thread
Abdomen: Hare's Mask Dubbing
Hot Red SLF
Red Fox Squirrel Dubbing

Click photos to enlarge!

Place the hook in your vise and lay down a base of lead wire. The diameter you choose should be based on the weight you wish to achieve. Czech nymphs can weight anywhere from .25 to 2.0 grams.

Coat the lead wire with cement to fill in the gaps.

Coat the cemented wire with heavy thread or floss to smooth it off and build an underbody. Afterwards, clip the heavy thread and tie on the tying thread.

Affix a section of 1/8" Scud Back to the top front of the hook.

Secure it to the rear and return forward with the thread.

Affix the mono rib to the near side of the hook, from front to rear.

Repeat on the far side with the Mirage rib . Be sure to secure both rib materials back to the rear of the hook.

Apply dubbing wax to your thread.

Touch dub some hare's mask dubbing by simply touching the clump of dubbing to the waxed portion of the thread.

Dub the rear 1/2 of the hook with a thin layer of dubbing. It should be quite spiky.

Chop up some hot red dubbing (SLF shown here) and touch dub it to the thread.

Dub 1/2 or so of the thorax with the hot color. This becomes your "hot spot," at times a very effective addition to any nymph.

Touch dub some red fox squirrel dubbing to the thread.

Finish the thorax with the squirrel dubbing.

Counter-rib with the Mirage by wrapping the ribbing in the opposite direction in open and even turns.

Fold the Scud Back forward and pinch it in place. Secure with a single wrap of thread.

Expose the Scud Back and adjust if necessary before locking it down with 3 more tight wraps.

Fold the excess back and take two turns of thread to totally secure the stretchy material. Clip the excess.

Make a half-hitch to secure the thread prior to wrapping the final rib. This is a preventative measure in case you bang the bobbin while ribbing. If that should happen the shellback would likely come undone.

Wrap the ribbing forward in the normal fashion. This will segment the shellback, offering additional durability to it as well as the counter ribbing underneath.

Secure the mono ribbing, form a neat head and whip-finish. Clip the thread. Apply a few coats of head cement.

Invert the fly and aggressively brush out the belly of the thorax to form legs.

A completed Czech Nymph!