october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 01 tOctober near the Warm Vltava - it is a period which I always look forward to the entire year and also this year it was the same. At the end of September I had a call from Martin who was saying to me that water was covered with carpets of upwings like in the old times and it is not easy to persuade any grayling, even if there is the entire shoal of them rising. After this positive news I started considering the visit of my favourite places, where I was at the end of July last time and at that time I greatly enjoyed big grayling fishing with a dry fly downstream of Dobrá.


Saturday 4 October

Full of expectations I set out to my cottage near Volary on the first Saturday in October and before lunch I stopped next to the pub “U Němečka“ to get some soup and then I was going fishing. However, I had to change my intentions due to the red maxi-size dog which was lying at the door and refused moving away and was angrily snarling. I understood it as a sign sent to me by St. Peter and pulled back from this animal, because in fact nothing happened, because everybody needs to lose some weight.

I stopped at the barn at the end of Dobrá, started getting dressed and found out that I had only a pair of thin socks. The sky was covered with low clouds, it was quite cold and slight cold wind was blowing - no Indian summer at all. I came to the Vltava river exactly at noon and higher water in the river encouraged me starting with nymphs. Thus I started with a combination of microjig and Hydropsyche in the place behind the curve near the forest. Soon I caught two middle size graylings and it was all. I walked down the stream and I was waiting when the expected upwing hatch starts. I was walking past a long deep pool, where water was slow and I got to wider streams. Nymphs were working here again and I added four other graylings and one smaller brownie.

The river flows over a shallow threshold into another pool and in relatively shallow water I stroke the take and I got hooked at the bottom. At least it looked at the beginning. Suddenly, it started moving slowly and it seemed to me that I probably pull a heavy branch. My rod Sage #2 was bent as a bow and with respect to the end thickness of the monofilament line 0.10 mm I could not pull more. The branch started moving upstream after a short break and then I told myself: “Would it be a fish? But which one?” It cannot be neither brownie nor rainbow – it is too slow for them and if grayling it must be at least a kilo heavy one! Then I thought only of asp or pike which sometime can occur there.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 02The fish was at the bottom, it was swimming in a small hole between streams and I still did not know what it is. This might have taken about a minute or so when I suddenly saw a silver body and scarlet dorsal fin. It was grayling and huge one! My rival changed tactics, swam from the hole into the stream and headed to the opposite bank. I let the fish swimming in the stream round and round and it took me several minutes before I got the fish to my boots and at about third attempt I grasped it into my hand and lifted it from water. My camera was in the car and it was cloudy, so at least I measured it on my rod. It was about 40cm long and the fish was unusually high in the body. Hanak´s barbless hook with an imitation of Hydropsyche in the size 12 hooked the fish into the skin on the head above the eyes and resisted all attacks of that beautiful fish which was now swimming back into its environment.

I walked down a bit under this short stream and got two more graylings and started quickly moving into another pool which is normally full of graylings. It was about half past one and suddenly all started rising. On the surface there were many small mayflies, even if a lot were missing to create “carpets”. Now there was a moment which I looked forward to for so long and I was sure to enjoy fishing. I changed it for dry fly and went to enjoy it.

During the next half an hour I tried maybe fifteen various dry flies in size 18 – 20 and did not strike anything. On a “testing meadow”, about 10 graylings were intensively rising and I did not have to move from the place. They rose couple of times, but the strike was always blank, because the fish always managed to recognize a kind of betrayal. I was not able to find which upwings they prefer and maybe that graylings were rising to wingless newborn mayflies just under the surface. At three o´clock I was feeling so cold that I had to give it up. I have never experienced such a lesson. I was sure that it does not make any sense and left the river and gave it up.

Saturday 11 October

The next Saturday, however, I was downstream of Dobrá on the same place again. This time it was a warm, sunny October day with azure blue sky and free of all clouds with light breeze was throwing down leaves from the trees along the banks on the river. I was on the place at noon again and my first look at the river told me that water is low and much clearer than a week ago, when it looked typically as a pure whisky. The surface was calm and thus I decided for nymphing.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 03It took only ten minutes during which I caught one middle-size grayling. Then the first shy circles from rising graylings appeared on water. However, a bigger fish was rising among typical grayling circles which appeared in the same place in a certain time interval. This fish was changing places in the stream and it was nicely noisily eating and thus I thought it could have been a brown trout or more likely rainbow trout. When I had a more careful look I could not leave unnoticed that there were small upwings on the surface and there were many more than in previous poor years.

It was probably caused by the fact that last year as well as this year in summer there were significantly less boats and other vessels than in previous ten to fifteen years, full of the rafting rage. Thanks to certain restrictions which were pushed forward by the management of the National Park Šumava, the traffic on water was significantly reduced. As it is known, unregulated rafting of the Warm Vltava at the time of low water in summer heavily damages ranunculus vegetation in the river. This vegetation increases water level in the river and they must have an influence on the quantity of insect larvae in water. Rare original plants and not non-existing freshwater pearl mussels should be a sufficient reason for regulation of canoes.

For a while I was trying it with nymphs, but clearly it needed a change. Finally, I put them away and changed the leader tippet for a dry fly and reduced the end diameter of the nylon to 0.10mm. During this change which took me several minutes, the big noisily eating fish let itself shown several times. However, after my first attempt at its catch the fish disappeared and did not show up any more. I was not very successful with a small olive at the rising graylings, and finally I outwitted only one with a small Blue Dun size twenty. I have learned from the last trip and did not tease these careful fish and walked upstream.

I finally stopped at my favourite place, where the river flows all day in the sunny riverbed if the sun is not covered with clouds. I saw four really big graylings rising there, but I have not tested the right fly yet, and thus I let it be and moved a bit upstream and started testing. Finally, the Beige Dun size 18 proved as the best one. I caught two middle-size graylings with it and once I was too fast for one big grayling and lost it.

Well prepared I returned back my pool and waded to the first chosen fish. It did not take too long before it took my fly with trust, but I had a branch over me and maybe I wanted to avoid it and the strike was too fast and I broke the line again. I was thinking that I have to be less stressed and the strike cannot be stressed as well. I walked a few meters and tight a new beige dun, degreased the end of nylon and set the dun just before the rising fish.

A small circle on the water told me that the grayling had taken the fly and I slightly stroke. Fished pumped on the line and was trying to escape, but there was no help for her. In a short time I had the fish in my power and I estimated her for 38cm. I had a look at this nice hen and easily released the barbless hook. I dried the small dun, degreased the tippet end, walked a few other meters and in the same way I caught the second nice grayling hen, which was about a centimetre longer. Fourth fish did not show up any more and I walked upstream and caught two smaller ones.

The river flows through a relatively deep and shabby pool and I was wading at the right bank in the water up to my waist. A nice grayling rose in a distance of about fifteen meters upstream at my bank. I was wading behind the fish and then I served him my proven Beige Dun and he swallowed it without hesitation. After the strike he was trying to get to the oposit bank and then down the water into the deep pool. Even this fish I managed to tame, but to my surprise this fish was almost forty-centimetre long and it was badly bitten by a pike to live flesh.

When I was drying my proven fly, another big grayling rose at my bank. “This will be mine”, I thought for myself and started to cast to get him. Even if all previous fish did not resist from such bait, this fish was of a different kind and even after ten attempts it did not rise. I still did not want to change this fly and then I suddenly laid it a bit faster and it dropped under water. I was taking the fly and when I thought it could be somewhere near the grayling, I lifted the rod and made the dun to rise. Unplanned intuitive manoeuvre succeeded and my unknown fish was well fixed to the hook. Today, I was really lucky because something similar with such a tiny fly can happen once in blue moon.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 04It was after half past three and there was not much time left to visit my “sure” place, where almost every year I get a fish over forty centimetres. It was necessary to walk upstream and unexpectedly I was kept by a dry tree in whose branches I had my fly. First attempt finished well, but after a while I was hanging again and it was unpleasant as I had the last Beige Dun in the box.

I did not try anything else and walked straight to this place, which looks quite inconspicuously and it attracts the biggest fish. Even if I had known where the fish could be standing, there would have been only two options. Either at the stone at the left bank or a few meters down between the bank and stream. The place looked quite empty, only at the right bank under the rose-hip bush some small graylings were rising. I caught one and then I was stuck with my flies in the rose-hip tree and I had to remake the tippet end. It took me a bit of time and suddenly at the edge of the stream in shallow water a huge grayling rose! I calmly got all ready for him and waited for about five minutes for the next rise.

All was clear now, only not to spoil the cast and serve the Dun on the surface well. I did it greatly and the grayling slowly rose, slowly closed mouth and I slowly stroke. Surprised cock jumped from the water to boast with its purple dress and scarlet-black fin. He was fighting like a lion, swimming zigzag in the stream and jumped couple of times, but his power was getting down and finally I lifted him from water and he was mine to be swimming away back into its stream in a short moment. I was very satisfied, because the fish was over forty-centimetre and it proved me well that the biggest graylings are just here.

On the way back I had about an hour and maybe a kilometre of the river ahead of me. However, there were significantly less small upwings as well as rising fish. I got two more middle-size graylings and one brownie and then I somewhere lost my last magic fly in dry sedges on the bank. I was fishing on with tiny light olives size 20, but it was not the same. Even despite this I was very satisfied, because every day at the Warm Vltava is not as nice as today´s …

Wednesday 15 October

When Wednesday came, I was really nervous as I was always thinking of a beautiful “dry afternoon” of last Saturday downstream of Dobrá. Around lunchtime I started thinking of a new trip to the Warm Vltava and at one o´clock I was sitting in my car and I was heading to the Šumava. Weather was still like in summer and I decided to try it today in the forest upstream of Soumarský bridge, because a small parking place near the bridge was finally empty and this told me that probably no one will be there.

At half past two I was all sweated on my place at the river. In a shallow long pool the grayling rose in a hide port behind the branch. I served him a small Grey CDC Dun on degreased fluorocarbon line of 0.09mm in diameter and casted carefully behind this branch. My fly was slowly floating on the surface and suddenly just under it I saw a huge fish which was carefully observing the fly and then very slowly opened mouth and even slower closed and even slower sank. And what did I do? I stroke slowly and then started a fight!

My slow grayling suddenly started twisting, twice jumped from water and then was swimming in deeper water at the left bank. Even if my hook was barbless and size twenty, so I absolutely trusted it, because it is a type marked by number 103, which is probably better than any other classic hook with barb. Then I was slowly reducing the distance between the fish and me and gave him time for several attacks to get it finally into my hand. It was a beautifully coloured and well-built cock, which could be almost fourty-centimeter long. “It starts in a fabulous way”, I thought for myself and I was looking forward to repeating the last fishing trip.

Then I was looking for another victim, but nothing showed up, and thus I started walking upstream. Small hatch of upwings was very weak and I caught only two small curious graylings. I did not want bother with them and I went to snoop for some bigger fish. I walked through two different but familiar places, but nothing was showing up and therefore I stopped at the pool, which is not in the forest, but it was at the beginning of the Small Wetland. 

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 05There were couple of middle-size graylings rising and I caught one of them without any problems, while the second one only hit my flies with his nose and the strike was always blank. I missed there much time hoping to get him. However, the grayling had different opinion and after each attempt I was moving only upstream. Finally, I thought that this is not the way and I was almost at the beginning of the pool, where I caught two more and smaller graylings.

I did not intend to walk upstream and I returned to my fish, which was still there. I will try to outwit it with a nymph and I have chosen two tiniest gold-head patterns from my box, microjig PTN and the Olive Dun larvae. I was casting into the stream and let it float in the pool. Suddenly, it seemed to me that the butt of my leader gently shivered, I lifted the rod tip and about a thirty-centimetre grayling appeared at the surface with a tiny gold-head olive larva in the corner of mouth. It was probably the same fish which teased me here about 15 minutes ago and which I always thought that this would be something bigger. As you can see, you are never smart enough when you are in the river.

When I had my nymphs ready, I set out in downstream direction. I was fishing at the outlet from another pool and suddenly something drew strongly the line and it was a nice trout which was slowly getting to spawn and it was also cheated with the Olive Dun Larva. However, graylings were not interested in my nymphs at all, even if I was casting them into familiar places, where they should be hidden.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 06I walked down into the pool, were it was deep at the beginning and where several fish had to wait, but only one two years old fish were attracted. Nor in a hole behind the branch had I no success, and thus I casted to the right bank and in the place of a regular position of a fish I slightly stroke and suddenly a middle-size grayling was writhing at the end of the line and it was hooked on my microjig. I did not see the take at all and only my local knowledge worked well and this brought me this unexpected catch.

I have a personal relationship to this place, as many years ago I caught my biggest grayling and several a bit smaller ones in the Warm Vltava. This must really have been long time ago, but I still see it like today and when another bigger fish rose in the stream I paid my special attention to it. I quickly removed nymphs and returned to the dry fly. However, I did not manage to persuade that grayling, because it has changed there a bit for many years. Shrubs and trees at the left bank, where I was crouching, grow today just over water and this did not allow me better presentation of the fly.

I got a bit lower into the deeper pool and there was only one hit of the fly with the grayling and at the shrub I surprised one dace which was waiting there with its shoal for some food. I was wading on and I was almost at the place, where I started about two hours ago. There was something happening again, because behind the branch a bigger fish was rising there again. I offered my tiny light olive size 20 and I was successful, even if this grayling was only about thirty-five centimetres.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 07Under the shrubs at the left I saw another fish. Before I got there I caught a very weak grayling on the right side and then I followed that secret fish. In that place, there are usually nice fish and I was moving very slowly not to be revealed by waves in the shallow water which were spreading from my boots. I offered my olive to an unknown rival and he accepted my challenge. However, the strike was unsuccessful and the same repeated during the second strike. Then my fish disappeared and it took several minutes before the fish took something from the surface again.

I tried many flies, but finally shortly after five it took my small Blue Dun and it was a hen about thirty-eight centimetres long. I stayed in this part to about six o´clock, but I managed to catch only about three middle-size graylings and some other little fish. Well, last Saturday was not repeated and this was maybe also for the reason that the insect hatch was only random. Every day and also every hour can be completely different and when I think about this again, even this time it was not so bad …

Sunday 19 October

Another prolonged weekend I should have spent with the competitors from our club at the still water event in Dreux near Paris, France, but finally I had to return due to the broken car and I had free Sunday. I did not have to persuade myself much to get rid of this fresh and unpleasantly expensive experience by setting out to Dobrá to the Warm Vltava. I drove really carefully and I could not miss the fact that at the beginning of the village there are several beautiful new sommer houses. At the pub I drove at a snail´s pace because the dog-policeman was on duty and then I only looked forward to the section upstream from the railway bridge. But unfortunately, the entry to the forest near the railway stop Dobrá was occupied by a car with a Prague registration number, and thus I had to find another place.

At the barn I saw a familiar parked dark green VW transporter, and thus finally I had chosen this place, where I was finishing last year´s season with Milan. I was quite curious what kind of diet change graylings might have taken today. It was lovely weather with a few clouds again and a slight breeze was blowing. I got to water half past one and graylings were rising heavily. On the surface I saw swaying grey upwings and in the air I could sometimes see red-brown duns. I started trying olives, but without any success and I changed for Blue Dun size twenty and I immediately outwitted one nice grayling. At that time I thought I have found it, but soon it was all different.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 08At the beginning of a long stream I saw a few graylings rising, but none of them took my bait. I could lose there about half an hour before I got lower downstream. It was almost half past two and I was in the middle of that hundred meters long section with only one catch. I was looking into my two grayling dry fly boxes, where I have about five hundred or more tiny flies, and suddenly I had a look at the Red Quill size 20 and something advised me to give it a try. At about third attempt I managed to use 0.10 mm monofilament and I was looking around me to see, where I could try it.

At the right bank I saw a circle of a nice grayling and I tried it. I did not trust it much as today afternoon it has been somehow barren so far. To my great surprise the grayling took my fly without any hesitation and fortunately I did not “lose” it as I was surprised. A beautiful fish was fighting with me and when I wanted to release the hook I had to use forceps. So deep the fly was sucked. One swallow does not make spring, I thought for myself when I was drying the fly and the leader. But we know it!

I was looking around for the next victim and laid the fly into the backwater next to the stream, which should have remained only such a landing for my bait. Suddenly from the bottom a grayling rose for my CDC Para Dun, trustingly sucked it and quickly sank. I could not believe it, but I stroke and the fish was hooked. That´s something! Suddenly it turned around and I already know what they want. I was firstly playing with him and then I put him to the category of thirty-five centimetre ones.

The next twenty minutes I was feeling as the famous Kubelík from Ota Pavel´s fishing stories. Which grayling I casted to, I got it and there were two fish, which I estimated to thirty-nine centimetres. I was very careful not to lose the tiny fly, but finally almost nothing was left from it, legs were loose and this was also my end. I had something similar in size eighteen and maybe in a bit darker colour, but it was not the same. At the most fish hit this fly by nose, but none of graylings wanted to hook on it. After three the hatch of upwings finished and then further fishing was only a matter of coincidence. It´s a pity and who knows? It was caused by the fact that I did not have the right fly or was it related to the lower insect activity? I was not really sure of this and then the rest of the time to five O´clock I was only scraping the barrel. I persuaded two big graylings to take it, but the strike did not prove well. It was only such a testing splash and not the real suck of a fly …

Saturday 25 October

The end of the grayling month came quickly to its end and weather forecasts foresaw worse and cold weather, and thus I decided for one more and shorter Saturday´s trip. I hoped to get upstream of the railway bridge near the train stop in Dobrá, but even this time there were two cars and this was the end. Therefore, I returned to the barn to get dressed quickly and headed towards water.

The sun was still heating and on the sky there were some small clouds and it was quite warm, but after twenty steps I turned back and returned to the car for a warmer jacket and as I could later see, this was a good decision. Even this time there was breeze blowing and for sure I took the rod #3, because the #2 I use mainly when it is a completely calm wind. The right presentation of the fly with almost “millimetre” preciseness is usually decisive and in the wind with a soft rod it is not very successful.

At half past two I got to the river and the fish were already rising. The question whether to go down the stream or up the stream I did not have to solve this time, because on the break of the pool there was a fly fisherman and I decided to go upstream as two trips ago. I started to test flies at the break of the river near the forest and it was different than a week ago. Nothing reacted to the Red Quill and the first grayling I caught with a Blue Dun size twenty. Big noisily eating fish showed several times again, but even this time I did not outwit it and this time it seemed to be the grayling.

Behind the curve a young fisherman in a black hat appeared. He was walking on the bank downstream and I was happy that nobody else will be there. He said hello and complained that he caught only three graylings and two roaches, what surprised me. “Didn´t you catch dace?” I did not hear his silent reply in the noise of water and forest. I walked behind the curve and I saw small circles in the shallow stream. Two casts to the rising fish and I caught two graylings that were less than thirty centimetres. “But guys, I did not come because of such babies!”

The river flows about hundred meters in the permanent shade of the spruce forest, which ends on the left bank near the water and this place I regularly skip. Already last time I noticed that rising appeared here even around five o´clock and I wanted to search it here a bit. For the last years a lot has changed here and under the short break of the plane into the stream a deep hole was created and nice graylings might be there. I was watching the surface and in a while I got a sight of the first rise in the middle of the depth. I casted my small mayfly upstream from the fish which swam to the fly, but the strike was blank and this repeated altogether for three times.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 09I was sure that the grayling can see the 0.10mm nylon, and therefore I took a small cup with Fuller´s earth from my pocket and applied it on the end of the nylon and cast again. Then I was only waiting for the fish, however, this showed no interest. I walked a bit upstream from the fish and I was striving hard to serve the fly under better angle, but even this did not help. A few blank attempts and I took a tiny No Hackle Dun on hook size 20. The fly was floating on water, its tiny CDC wings were sticked up over the surface, but its tiny body was sunk under water. A careful grayling rose and trustworthy sucked my fly deep into its mouth. The strike was good and in after a short moment I was holding my thirty-five centimetre long cock in the hand. I had to use forceps to release the hook. I had a look at my watch and it was almost half past two.

New and new small upwings were floating on the surface and in shallow water and before the hole three fish were rising. The first one was only a bit scratched with a hook and thus I casted to another one which is about seven meters from me. Finally, a good cast and a beautiful grayling slowly rose and very carefully opened the mouth. I was waiting for about half a second and then I whipped with the rod tip carefully up and it was there! Based on the first resistant power it was clear that this would be a nice fish, which was twisting around its axis, escaped down the water and then was swimming upstream and strived hard to get rid of my hook. I gave it enough time and then, it was finally mine - a cock with a huge violet fin and dark back. I estimated him to thirty-nine centimetres and for sure I measured him to find out whether my estimate was correct. Compliance with gauge is perfect and I am satisfied even with this short intermezzo. Today I took a gauge to the water after many years with me to find out if I had not forgotten it, because I have not taken this fish for at least fifteen years.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 10I returned to the fish which I scratched, because a moment ago it started rising again only four meters from me. I could see it rising from the bottom, opening the mouth, I could see even two black stains under the white mouth and I could see it sinking and closing mouth. The strike followed, but it was probably too near and the fly only brushed and did not hook in the mouth. It does not mind, I outwitted it and this is sometimes more important than the catch itself. I was drying out my successful fly in the box with petty balls and watch the water which was still full of many small mayflies. I localized the next target, degreased the end of the leader and presented the fly to another applicant who took it without hesitation. The strike was good and the fish was suddenly in the air and in a full palette or autumn colours. I was playing with it for a while, but it was a bit strange under water, belly up, maybe it was stuck outside the mouth. When I was trying to take a photo and I did not have it in perfect contact, it escaped from the hook. I would guess it was a bit longer than the previous one.

The next quarter of an hour I spent on a grayling at the left bank to which it was difficult to cast, and which behaved differently, because it was feeding on something very small and showed no interest in my flies. Therefore, I set out upstream again, walked about a hundred meter long section and stopped at another shallow threshold, where several graylings were rising. One of them was really nice and immediately twice was attacked by my fly, but never finished with hook in his mouth and the same happened with two other smaller fish.

Suddenly, the hatch of upwings was weaker and weaker and in five minutes the surface was clean. From place to place I could see a circle and I got a few fish again, but it was not as good as before. I walked about two-hundred meters upstream and then it was only suffering. On the way back I had to cast without any intention downstream and I got three graylings with a Blue Dun, where one of them was quite nice. Once he rose to the fly and for the second time it was hooked. When I carefully looked at him, he was missing a bone in the left part of the mouth which was likely the reason why I missed him for the first attempt.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 11When I saw a rising fish, they were only small graylings. The big ones were rising in the interval of about ten minutes and it was a miracle. After four O´clock in the afternoon it was very lukewarm and only small fish were hungry. Now I understood why some friends always reported much higher number of fish than I normally have. The reason probably is that I do not cast to get such fish and I try to find some bigger ones.

Finally, I decided to reduce the end nylon diameter to 0.08mm to get to the bottom of to those careful old graylings, but my rod #3 missed the next three fish just after the strike, thus I returned to the nylon 0.10mm. The only exception from the harassing small fish was the grayling of about thirty-five centimetres which I got from the pool and which brought me so many experiences today.

      After five in the afternoon the sun set behind the Stožecká Mountain, and suddenly it got very cold. Now I was really happy to wear a warm jacket. I quickly took several last pictures and hurried up to the barn to change the dress and take something warmer. This year´s hatch of small mayflies was really nice and has brought me many nice graylings which I will enjoy remembering and I will look forward to the next year when I might improve a bit …

Friday 31 October

Weather forecast did not come true and on Thursday the weather changed for better. In the evening I finished the article about October´s fishing in the Warm Vltava and for sure I tried to find out what it looks like with my remaining holiday at work. I was quite pleasantly surprised and started thinking of prolongation of the October series. At night I went to check if there is no rain and when the sun rose in the morning I called to the laboratory that I am taking the day off. I quickly prepared some food and warm dress and I was ready to set out.

I finally got to the road bridge to Dobrá! Who could have been there now, definitely nobody! This was my main idea on my way through the autumn landscape from České Budějovice to Šumava. In Volary there were the remains of fog, but on the hill above my cottage there was sun again. In Dobrá at the transformer station there were just three men, dressed in rubber, were leaving the car and it was all. At the rail stop there was nobody and I decided for rod #2, because there was no wind and fortunately it was so for all day.

After half past nine I was walking on the rails to the bridge across the Vltava and in a short while I was standing at the river. The river was clean and calmly was flowing in direction to Pěkná and then to Lipno Lake. I was sure that I will have to start with a nymph and then I took the reel where the end of the line was connected to six-meter parallel nylon, finished with a spiral indicator. This novelty I got from Milan Janus, when he was alive, in summer. In August I tested it twice, however, my rod #2 was not long enough. Compared to Milan I was missing maybe 70 cm of rod to perfection to lead all the system and it was seen.

I also did not know well how long the end part of this “French leader” should be, because Milan´s recommendation was related to his much longer rod. Behind the yellow indicator I connected a piece of 0.12mm nylon and then I connected Byron fluorocarbon of 0.10mm in diameter, which proved me well during dry fishing. On the dropper I placed the microjig PTN and at the end there was GRHE on a gold barbless hook G 14 by Hanák. With this set I fished one good place about 200 meters upstream from the bridge and the result of about an hour long work was only one grayling about 32 cm long. I was not very satisfied, but I could not give it up.

I set out upstream, changed the jig for a dark green nymph with a silver bead and I caught a generational dace from deep water and this was all. My feet started freezing and I took a lunch break at half past eleven and then I caught two more roaches and two more daces in the stream. The spiral indicator shivered and the fish was hanging on a silver bead. This was all and then nothing again for long time.

In between, the sky turned cloudy and I still did not know how to fish. The question was whether to shorten or prolong the leader. Firstly, I shortened it up to two meters. In deeper water at the end of the stream I reacted to the next move of the indicator and this time the bottom started moving and the rod was well bent. Well, it needed it be prolonged! The take came after the third cast from the last change. I was slowly playing with a nice grayling cock, which did not fight much and in a while it was out. I estimated it for 38 – 39 cm and it took the gold ribbed Hare´s Ear tight on a gold gammarus hook, meaning the same as the morning grayling. In few minutes I caught one more dace and this was all.

october-chronicle-from-the-grayling-paradise-2008 12It was after two in the afternoon, but of CET, which was an hour less than the fishing clocks showed me during majority of previous trips with Summer time, and therefore, I had not much time left. I quickly set out upstream and stopped only in the best places. By the second cast in one place I stroke into something and this something was swimming at the bottom and did not want to show up. However, the resistance was much higher than at the previous grayling and I started thinking of something big, unless it is a falsely jammed fish. For a while I was at doubts and then I saw him. A beautiful cock was this year´s biggest, even if he was not fighting long and measured exactly forty-one centimetre. The nymph was the same GRHE size 14.

The next cast into the same place and something is fluttering on the hook and swims zigzag. This will be a brown trout; I think to myself and chase him with my left hand at my boots. It was a long, slim hen of trout, clearly after spawning and might have been about 33cm long. Three lines of large red stains on olive sides, it is question how did this fish get here? It did not look for the original trout form from Šumava Mountains. It took a nymph with silver head on the hook size 16, which was favourite with daces.

And then nothing again for about twenty minutes and I almost got to the place, where a small pool used to be, which was then clogged up by the flood which has tore off the bank and created a shallow plane. Only at the right bank there is a hole and there is only water to knees. The first cast was not very successful, but the second was great and nymphs fell on the very beginning of the hole and the indicator shivered to which I responded with a strike. The rod got bent and light blue line was reflected against the dark sky and between it there was a green-yellow indicator and its spiral was stretched and was quite springy. This is probably the reason why fish today almost did not fight and also this thirty-eight centimetre long grayling was not the exception.

Fifteen minutes before three O´clock and I could see the first small circle on the plane near the left bank. I cut off the nylon above the spiral and by using the Liska´s nod I connected the dry leader which I had prepared just before. At the end there was line 0.10mm, degreased and casted my No Hackle Dun size 20 for the grayling. This grayling hit it twice with its mouth and the same did in turns to some other tiny flies, while others were completely ignored. The same situation was repeated with the graylings two and three. I started to come back and appreciate Milan´s invention. Even if I had caught nothing, I must have appreciated him, because this invention allows much longer float of a dry fly on the surface, without cruising or speeding up its operation. I should probably have to a long soft rod. And this was the real and complete end of my this year´s October fishing in the Warm Vltava...