At first I was intimidated to tackle a technique that was fairly new to me known as weaving flies. The final nymphs I had seen other tyers produce had amazingly intertwined bodies with a dark top and light bottom that looked fishy as can be! Derek gave it a shot early on and produced some sweet looking patterns that ended up catching decent numbers of fish on our local rivers and streams. I soon gave in and decided it was time to weave. I made the most interesting observation after only a few dozen flies, this technique is actually pretty easy and can make for some great looking bodies on flies. This particular pattern incorporates the techniques used by many others in the past, but we feel that the combination of colors, and the particular materials used make this nymph special. The Pay Czech has also been picked up by Rainy’s Flies to be sold in fly shops worldwide starting in 2016.
What all do woven nymphs imitate? Caddis larvae, cranefly larvae, aquatic worms and leaches… my guess is all of the above. They fish well on most rivers and streams that I have tried them on. They seem to have just the right amount of attractiveness mixed with the imitating appearance of the natural existing aquatic invertebrates that really drive trout crazy.
For the past few years Kohler and I have been fishing woven fly patterns on many of our favorite rivers. Defining the color combinations to maximize their effectiveness has been a fun journey. Here are the top three variations we’ve found:
Pay Czech – Tan and Pink
Hook: Dai Riki 135 Size 10-12
Bead: Bronze (or Gold)
Size 10 – 1/8 ” Tungsten
Size 12 – 7/64″ Tungsten
Thread: Uni 6/0 Tan (Body), UTC Fl. Pink 70 Denier (Hot Spot)
Note: On the rusty brown and yellow variation I choose to stay with the cotton embroidery floss for both colors. I really like the contrast provided from the yellow thread once it soaks in water. If you would like to stick with a pearlescent underbody there is a great yellow option E746.
Recently I have been having fun experimenting with the successfulness of this pattern on tough tailwaters where fly fishers are accustomed to fishing very small flies to picky fish. I’ve been pleased with the results of picking up decent numbers of quality fish in situations that I would have fished very differently in the past. The Pay Czech has gone head to head with the super effective Vladi Worm while Euro Nymphing technical tailwaters with large patterns. My guess is the pattern imitates caddis larvae and possibly cranefly larvae found in these systems.
This past fall I fished a local river that has a mix of both trout and smallmouth bass. It was fun to fish a nymph that was just as effective on the smallies as on the trout that I was actually targeting. However, keep in mind that I haven’t tested the theory of the Pay Czech on smallmouth’s more than on just a couple of outings.
If it turns out that you are looking to buy rather than how to tie flies, keep an eye on the site here. We will be selling them in 2016 (probably around May) once Rainy’s has their first batch ready to go.
*I buy all my embroidery floss from the local craft store Michaels. I’ve attached the color numbers in the recipes, and it is made by DMC. If you don’t have a craft store nearby you can find it online by searching with the color number listed above in each of the recipes.
There is an age old adage amongst fly anglers that our hook up rate increases proportionate to our fly becoming more and more chewed up. I’m confident many of us have experienced this – as the day goes on, and if we are fortunate enough not to loose that single fly that’s been catching all the fish, our success rate increases. Instead of attributing this to an increase in insect activity, or the rust of our skills haven been shaken off early in the day, we give credit to our tattered fly pattern that continues to catch more and more fish as the day goes on. And once again last Saturday while Euro Nymphing a small stream, whether or not it truly was my fly, I had a magical day on the water catching more and more fish as my fly became more and more mangled.
Here is what the Mayday Mayfly pattern looks like fresh off the vise.
Early in the day this particular fly looks and fishes great. However… a few dozen fish later…
…a mangled Mayday Mayfly that can’t seem to keep the fish off. Once again the myth of the tattered fly has proven to be true!
In almost every river or stream that I have ever sampled for aquatic inverts I have found multiple species of caddis larva. However much we all love to fish the beautifully tied mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddis larva make up a huge portion of a trout’s diet. There are many imitations out there, but the Czech Nymph is my go-to caddis larva. Not to mention that it can double for a cranefly larva, or any other grub style invertebrate that finds itself floating down a trout stream.
You can tie this pattern in a multitude of color variations, either as natural, or as flashy as you desire. The tan-pink-brown variation is usually the first Czech Nymph I tie on. I prefer to fish if in sizes 8-14 with sizes 8 and 10 being the most common. Tungsten and lead are a necessity if you are euro nymphing/czech nymphing. It’s not a bad idea to have a few tied with brass beads, or no bead at all for those shallow small streams that have willing to eat big flies. Also, you can add Net Back Foil to this fly if you really want the segments to “pop”.
The Provo River has some fantastic fish that love to gorge themselves on caddis larva. One unforgettable summer day on the middle Provo, Kohler and I found ourselves scoring into some fine fish while fishing both woven nymphs, and Czech Nymphs. If you watch closely in this video you will see this color variation hanging out of the mouth of a very fine brown trout.
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-14
Bead: Tungsten or Bronze Size 1/8″-7/64″ (Depending on hook size)
Underbody: 0.020 Lead Wire
Thread: 6/0 Uni Color – Camel
Backing Material: Clear Scud Back
Rib: 3X Monofilament
Body: Tan Hare’s Ear
Hot Spot: Pink Shrimp Sow-Scud
Collar: Natural Brown Squirrel