Techniques – Tippet Rings for Leaders


I’ve recently started looking into fishing the Truckee River this fall. It’s only a one hour drive from home and an option that I really haven’t taken advantage of. Why? I’ve been concentrating on the Lower Yuba and the Lower Sacramento River. It’s sort of funny, I’ve been working in Truckee for the last 8 years and when I’ve gotten done working, I want to get the blank out of there. I’m done working there, so now I want to start fishing there. Go Figure. I guess I am nuts. Pass me a shot of scotch, please.

One of the things I’ve come across, getting ready, is the technique of rigging using braided line and “Tippet Rings”. From what I hear, when fishing the Truckee River, the larger browns like to hold in deeper slots amongst boulders and larger rocks. They also like to hold right on the bottom. This results in lots of lost flies and re-tying leaders and sometimes totally re-rigging.

As a remedy to constantly hanging up and changing riggs and losing flies, the local guides have come up with a rigging system to avoid these break-offs by using a modified “Czech Nymphing Rigg”.












Here is the basic formula for a Czech Nymphing Rigg

This modified Czech Leader is comprised of 3 basic components.

(1) A short length of 25 lb. or 30 lb. braided leader material. 60" to 72" when tight line nymphing without indicator, or, 72" to 84" if you are planning on using an indicator.

(2) A tippet ring tied to the business end of the braided line.

(3) Monofilament or fluorocarbon tippet down to one or two blood knots with one long tag end to tie on dropper flies.

Note: This formula is used with a very heavily weight middle fly and no split shot.

An optional rigg is to add a short 12" piece of 2x mono and an additional tippet ring to place shot above the second tippet ring. The top two flies would then be tied off blood knots with an extended tag.

Adding Your Droppers

You can add droppers by using a blood knot and leaving one tagg long to tie on the fly or you can use additional Tippet Rings. The advantage of using the tippet rings is that you can use much heavier tippet between the rings to prevent losing your rigg.

Tippet Ring

Once you extend the tippet from the braided line you will add one or two droppers depending on whether you are fishing two or three flies.

As shown at the photo on the left, you can attach tippet material using fluorocarbon tippet using clinch knots.

So why would you use tippet rings.

(1) So you can transition from larger tippet to smaller tippet.

(2) If your fly gets hung up on the bottom, in the rocks or gets snapped off by a monster brown trout, you may only loose one fly and not your whole rig.

Using this Rigg for Bounce Nymphing

Note: Please verify if this method is legal in the waters you fish.

Is the Bounce Rigg method considered illegal in California? This is still being debated in certain circles. For years many Truckee anglers used this rig and added split shot at the very bottom of the rigg. This enables the angler to bounce the shot and flies right along the bottom as they high stick and lead the flies through the slots.
When rigging for the bounce method, the shot goes on the very end, tie a double overhead knot and place the shot directly above the knot.

The first fly above the shot is tied on a blood knot tagg about 6 to 8 inches above the shot. The second fly is tied on a blood knot tagg about 6 to 8 inches above the first. This rigg typically is tied with two flies.

Czech Leader System available online or at Local Flyshops

The legend of Truckee, Andy Burk, has marketed his Czech Nymphing system through Umpqua, although most of the local Truckee guides tie up their own. This is a complete ready to go system. It is a re-usable three fly leader with one tippet ring and ready to tie on tags for two droppers.

Hope this all makes sense, want to pour me another shot?

Clay