I get asked a lot via comments and messages on fB Messenger,about some of the basics of fly fishing, fly tying and probably most, Czech Nymphing or bugging. I think here is a common misconception that it is complicated or is some sort of angling “black art”. It is neither. Nor does it need any specialist equipment. You can , if you choose to pursue it as a regular method, go and buy a specific rod and reel, special lines indicators etc but at the outset, if you have a standard river fishing outfit, it is likely it will be more than adequate to get you started and take your first steps into bugging.

Is it true fly-fishing? Some will say not, but it uses tied, artificial flies uses a fly rod and can require the angler to “match the hatch” or at least the river residents. What it does do, is gets you out the arm chair and on the river bank in winter pursuing what I think is my favourite fish, the Grayling.

As I have been asked so often, and because a fishing day for me, needs to be broken up with something other than fishing to give my joints a rest, I have made this video to help those getting started. Yeah it is quite long, about 25 minutes, and no it is not action packed, its quite “talkie” but hopefully it helps iron out some of those puzzling questions if you are new to the method.

Undoubtedly there will be many experienced anglers who will say I am talking rubbish or that something I am saying is wrong . That’s fine too: Keep it to yourself as this is to help beginners, and anything else you feel should be said, go make your own video! I am trying to offer advice in an unconfusing a way as possible. Alternatives, refinements and special gear, can wait until you have taken your first steps out on the river in winter!


What you will need is decent clothing suitable for cold water wading in winter and a sense of humour as winter fishing does bring its inevitable blanks!

Much of what’s is used for regular main season trout fishing will be fine but make sure you have plenty of layers, avoid cottons and denim; fleece and nylon or technical fabrics are far more suitable, and something waterproof for the weather conditions and a decent hat for your head. These I would say are not optional. I would also strongly recommend a wading staff, and some sort of life preserver, especially if fishing alone. Finally always have a change of clothing in the car and a hot drink, as a wet ride home sitting in a puddle of river water in winter is no fun!

Most of all enjoy. and remember there are no hard and fast rules on method and set up!

I am in the process of making a follow on video on the method and set up known as braid fishing. Hopefully this will be on the site late next weekend.