Croatia & Bosnia

I've been living out here in Easter Europe for about a year now, not doing nearly as much fly fishing as I would like. But I finally finished up my job and at the beginning of June took off on a little fishing adventure out in the Balkans. Originally I had planned to fish several rivers from Slovenia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but unfortunately time and money weren't quite on my side. Nonetheless, it was an amazing trip. This place is great. Enough though, a report and some pics for you guys.

River 1--Krka river--Knin, Croatia
First day I arrived here, got off the train and it was hot as hell. Humped my pack out to the river near town and spent some time walking around, looking for a nice spot. Near the town the river was deep and a bit slower, but beautifully clear with a nice turquoise tint. From a bridge, I notice a nice fish feeding near shore, so snuck around down a dirt road and back up behind it. After a few attempts trying to get a scud down to it, got it. A nice brown, about 17-18". In this section the river was chock full of weeds, not something I'm used to so a bit difficult for me. Later that night I saw a guy with spinning gear catch a brown that stretched from his hip to below his knee. Great fish, though unfortunately he kept it.
Next day, went outside of town to near the source and caught rainbows all day. Best one came on an olive rabbit strip leech, but they were taking dries, nymphs, whatever. Like I said this river was beautiful.

River 2--Pliva river--near Sipova, Bosnia
The Pliva was TOUGH. Most I got was a couple hits, and hooked and lost. But that was the story for just about everyone on this river. Several people told me its the kind of place where they say, if you can catch a fish in this river, you can catch a fish anywhere. This one held predominantly grayling, I was told. And big. I saw pictures of grayling, 15-20 inches, easy. But like I said, a tough river. And cold. Doesn't get much higher than 5-6 degrees celcius all year long. One guy, a well known angler from Slovenia named Stane, told me he's fished through schools of massive grayling there all day and they just don't take anything. But everyone still loved it. Again, a beautiful place though.

River 3--Ribnik river, Bosnia
This one was my favorite, and gave me one of my best days of fishing ever. The water is clear as air here, and full of fish. It's a wonderfully managed river, clean and cold.
I spent the day on this one catch browns and couple of smaller grayling--though again here the grayling get BIG. I mean really big. And they are so zen. I would wade out in spots, careful as could be, fishing through a run, and look down a few feet away and see a fifteen inch grayling just hanging out with me, without a care in the world, and completely ambivolous to any flies that might have passed him. The browns were willing though, and I took them all day. All the locals here are really big on nymphs, and always talk about using nymphs, but I stuck mostly with dries and had no problem. Best fish came right near shore. Saw it feeding on the surface about twenty feet ahead of me, dropped a fly 5 feet ahead and just to the side and he came right out and smacked it. Had fun as this one swam a few circles around me, tangling me up a bit, but finally reined him in, it was about 15 inches or so, maybe a bit more.
Finally, in the evening just before sitting down to a nice trout dinner, noticed some caddis coming off. Caught about 10 fish in 15 minutes before it was too dark to see, on 2 or 3 different caddis patterns (lost a couple). Everyone I talked to told me this was the best river in Bosnia. Can't wait to get back.

River 4--Korana river--Slunj, Croatia
This one was tricky, and I only had a couple hours to fish it. Had nothing for quite a while. Just before I was going to leave I was fishing through a deep fast chute in the middle of the river and a grayling absolutely slammed a little bead head nymph I had on. I think the rod tip almost smacked the water this thing hit so hard. It was a short fight though, and after a pretty fantastic jump it threw the fly. My heart was thumping like you wouldn't believe, though. It was one of the strongest and fightingest fish I've ever experienced, even though it wasn't even on the line 30 seconds.

So that's about it. Enjoy the pics. Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions about the area. I made some good friends out there.

Cheers folks. See you back in Washington in September!
Okay, I tried to add the pictures but I'm on a really slow computer in Ukraine. No dice. I will edit and add pictures as soon as I can. Sorry folks.
Cool report. Eastern Europe and flyfishing are two things that I had not placed together. Look forward to seeing pics.



Trout have no politics
There is a whole world to explore with a fly rod. Places you would never imagine. Just one chance in my lifetime to explore like that, and I would die a happy man.
it's pretty great out here. I just got done with a short trip to Ukraine and Romania as well. I'll be making a post about that when I have more time. Don't have as many pictures unfortunately. But there are one or two. I can't wait to get back to Washington though. Hope to see some of you guys on the river.

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