Ernie Kalwa Discusses Czech Nymphing

It’s not all about the fishing…..

Ernie gave his demo at the Grand River Outfitting and Fly Shop this morning with a backdrop of Scottish Whiskey tasting, under the auspices of Corby’s Distillery.

Ernie outlined the basic rig setup for nymphing:


The whole tippet should ideally be 2/3 rds the length of the rod. He typically uses a 10 1/2 foot 3 wt rod with a slow action to maximize sensitivity of a take. It is imperative when using this setup to keep the line tight and set the hook on any perceived slight movement of the sighter segment. 

The bi-color tippet is connected to the rest of the terminal line with 2 mm tippet rings. This is to facilitate quick replacement for any break offs. 

He emphasized the use of barbless hooks, and uses Knapek hooks for their retaining power and strong, lengthy hook point.

You can see from this shot that the hooks really have a wonderfully long, sharp profile.

Here is a peek at Ernie’s Czech nymph box:

The flies have a similarity in their constructs. On the Grand, Ernie will use sizes from 10 to 16.

The downturn eye hooks are loaded with a tungsten bead then weighted on top of the hook shank with 20 gauge non-leaded wire. This will ensure that the hooks points are facing upwards when in the water. Generally, the nymphs are tailless, and green or rusty brown in color embellished with a scud back and wire ribbing. The thoraces of the flies are usually made of fluorescent black peacock dubbing and may also have an additional “hotspot” of red or orange.

Here is the pattern for his Polish nymph:


This is also typical crayfish fly pattern that he tied on larger sized hooks, that is a great fly for carp:

Also, if you can help out at the 16th Annual Fly Fishing Competition in June, they are looking for volunteer controllers, who will also be added to several prize draws and get free admission to the final evening banquet.

Thanks to Ernie and Rob, Scott and Tania at the fly shop.

David Williams