During the middle of June 2009, Jiří Klíma organized an international Czech nymphing course that was held in Rožmberk nad Vltavou. During the same week, I organized trips to the Warm Vltava. The ten “students” that participated in this year’s Czech Nymphing Masterclass came from Belgium, Netherlands, England, Germany, Finland, Canada and Australia. It was a pleasant mix of fly fishers that ranged from 22 to 62 years of age. Their fly fishing knowledge and skills varied greatly, which made it challenging to find the right stretch of river for each member of our group and areas where they would be able to catch good numbers of fish.
Monday, 15 June: Following a hardy breakfast we set off on our journey. We drove along the old road that leads from Rožmberk to Frymburk (via Malšín). From Frymburk, we followed the scenic road alongside the Lipno reservoir to Volary. We parked and left our car in Lenora. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day, and the water levels in the river were very low, which was not really ideal conditions for fly fishing.
I placed three fishermen along a kilometer stretch of the river. The first fisher was positioned near a little weir that was located just downstream from a covered bridge. I placed the other two between him and the railway crossing near the village of Lenora. I positioned the fourth fisherman at the confluence with the Grass Vltava, which is near the football field in Lenora. He was fairly inexperienced, so I set up the fly rod for him, tied on two wet flies (March Brown and Red Tag) and then demonstrated how to fish with them. I eventually caught a nice brown trout beneath an overhanging bush, and once I felt confident that he understood the process I left him alone to practice and work on his technique.
I returned to help Rob, who was fishing near the railway crossing. Rob had told me that he had never caught a grayling before and was really looking forward to catching one on this trip. When I reached him, he was standing in a shallow stretch of river between two pools. He told me how he had just scared several large grayling in these waters, so I advised him to rest the water and come back after they had a chance to settle down. I was standing a little further downstream and waited to see what was going to happen. I reduced my tippet diameter to 0.12 mm and presented tiny jigs to the fish, but only caught several small brown trout and dace. It appeared as if the grayling had all disappeared.
A short time later, Rob returned to the place where he had spooked the grayling. It wasn’t more than a minute before I heard him announce that he had hooked a very large grayling. I coached him from afar, and after a minute-long battle, he had his first-ever grayling in the net. It was a thirty-eight centimeter female! My Dutch friend was as happy as a clam, now that his childhood dream had finally come true. The grayling took a small Gold-head Nymph that had a beige body with a red spot and light green tag. A few minutes later he caught another nice grayling that was around thirty-five centimeters long. He eventually moved about a hundred meters further downstream, where he caught three more grayling in very similar water with the same nymph. I should also mention that we were fishing in that location right before him and didn’t manage to catch a fish. Rob was ecstatic and graciously offered us his nymphs to try.
We stopped for lunch and had some “boar goulash” at the restaurant “Grobian” in Lenora. After the delicious meal we drove to the village of Dobra and stopped to fish near the transformer station. The sky was overcast and it began to rain lightly, but the low water level was not very good for fishing. I thought about fishing a low-gradient section of the river that was just upstream from the Doberska slice, where nice grayling can be found. Last year, I caught three, forty centimeter grayling in this place with small dry flies right before the eyes of three French-speaking fly fishermen. But today the surface was dead, so we decided to stick with the nymphs. We caught only small fish that were few and far between. Around six o’clock, I noticed a large grayling rise and quickly switched my setup to fish dries.
I spotted a smaller fish just below my location that rose to take something from the surface. I started casting my “CDC V” dry fly to its location. A medium-sized grayling took it almost immediately, but shook free of the hook’s grasp and escaped into the dark water. I paused to inspect and dry my fly when I saw a nicer grayling rising close to the bank. It was the fish that had originally drawn my attention to this water. I swung around my 3-weight Sage fly-rod and quickly cast my CDC V fly to the fish. It rose and took my fly as soon as it drifted over its location. In all the excitement I struck too fast and hard, which resulted in the tippet breaking at the knot where 0.10 mm and 0.12 mm nylon were connected… and right before the eyes of my two students.
The afternoon’s fishing was very slow and challenging – with only the exception being our “wet” colleague who had been fishing in a long, flat stretch of river just above Soumarský Bridge, where he had managed to catch several brown trout and a nice grayling.
Later that evening I sat down at my vice and tied five copies of a nymph pattern that had been depleted from my fly box. I used a # 16 BL Hanák Competition jig hook with a non-painted 3 mm tungsten bead. I used a few partridge feathers to imitate the tail and made the body from No. 45 Black Spectraflash by Hends. “And that’s all there is to it?” asked Rob, who was obviously disappointed, as he had been expecting some sort of a miracle pattern. He also seemed a bit disappointed that I hadn’t tied his best nymph for that day, but he was unaware that I have something very similar in my other fly box that was back in my room.
Overnight there was a heavy rain that raised the water levels in the Warm Vltava by more than twenty centimeters. The morning’s sky was overcast and the forecast called for more rain. Today’s conditions would make fishing extremely difficult and challenging. Today I had four experienced fly fishermen in my group that required less supervision and guidance than the previous group. I left the two younger boys (that were very interested in competitive fly fishing) near the slice downstream of Zátoň. I positioned the other two at the road bridge in Lenora. I drove further down the road to test the streams below Lenora, where we were unsuccessful yesterday.
After much thought, I decided to start with my 3-weight Sage and tied on a six meter Milan Janus parallel leader for gentle French nymphing and used a light-green spiral indicator, which is also serves as a damper. I connected a two meter tippet, which was made from two lengths of Stroft nylon (0.12 mm and 0.10 mm) to the indicator. I placed a black tungsten jig nymph on the point and a light beige nymph with a green collar and brass bead on the top dropper.
I cautiously entered the Vltava about hundred meters below the weir and worked toward the covered foot bridge. The first attempts at catching fish were fairly unsuccessful, as the length and design of this leader makes precise casting quite challenging. It was also necessary to crouch low in order to cast beneath the branches that lined the river bank. The length of my rod was less than ideal so I had to alter my cast to improve my presentation. I increased the speed of my back cast and just as I began the forward portion of the cast I quickly dropped the rod tip just above the water. As soon as the flies hit the water, I would lift the rod tip and lead the spiral indicator over the surface of the water. The five-centimeter spiral indicator eventually tripled in length after catching several fish, which actually improved its overall performance.
I eventually moved to a location just below the weir, where the ranunculus vegetation concealed a deep hole near the left bank. My first cast into the pool was unsuccessful, but I was pleasantly surprised during the second drift, as the indicator moved slightly, which was an obvious sign that a fish had taken the fly. I gently lifted my rod until I felt the weight of the fish, and then set the hook. The surface of the water exploded as a beautiful, thirty centimeter brownie jumped clear out of the water. The fish fought for its life, as it was unaware that I had intended to release it. “Where did this fish come from?” I asked myself as I recast my nymphs.
This event was repeated over and over for several amazing minutes of fishing, as my next fish was thirty-two centimeters and I caught a total of ten trout from this hole. Four of them were longer than twenty-five centimeters, and I also hooked three dace, as well as a very nice grayling in a shallow spot that was right tight to the bank. I walked downstream and couldn’t believe my eyes, as there were so many trout actively feeding. I had caught about twenty-five trout by lunch-time, as well as some dace, bleaks and several smaller grayling. The other members of our group had been experiencing such a successful morning that they didn’t seem to be bothered by the light rain-showers.
After we had lunch in Lenora we went to Dobrá. The boys took a photo of Němeček´s police dog which was waiting to catch speeding cars near a local pub. I was driving slowly, so unfortunately I didn’t fulfill their dream of seeing the police dog in action. We parked near a barn and walked the pathway towards the Vltava. The meadows downstream from Dobrá were alive with the seasonal white and yellow blossoms of springtime, while the violet and pink blossoms of summertime were just beginning to make an appearance.
During our fifteen minute walk to the river, I really worked up a sweat and was relieved when we finally reached our destination. Keefer (the Canadian) and I walked upstream while Kai and John went further downstream. I left my reel with the French leader back at the car, as I believed that the fish would be rising. Instead, I would be using a classic short nymphing leader, while waiting for a hatch to happen.
Keefer stayed just around the first bend in the river and worked a few meters of water for the entire four hours. I went upstream a little further and worked the water just above him, where I caught a thirty centimeter brown trout. Small black stoneflies were flying about and my small Black Nymph was producing fish just as well as it had been in the morning. The Beige Nymph with a green collar also produced trout and my first nice grayling of the afternoon. I hooked a large grayling that was about forty centimeter long, but I didn’t have my camera with me, so I carefully led the fish, which was still on the rod, to Keefer’s location, where he took a photo of the fish. We wanted to measure the length of this beautiful fish, but it slipped from my hand and disappeared back into water.
After a short conversation with Keefer, a large grayling rose close to the bank. He told me that he had been trying to catch it for about half an hour and that he had tried ten different flies without any success. I opened my fly box and gave him a black “CDC V”. I said to Keefer; “There is a ninety-five percent chance that it will take this fly – so don’t miss it!” He carefully cast his fly to the fish… and it took the fly immediately! The cautious, old grayling was easily outwitted, but shook free of the hook while Keefer attempted to land it. He didn’t seem upset at all, but was more curious as to how I knew that the fish would take the fly…
I returned to my fishing spot, and slowly worked my way upstream. In the shallow water beside the right bank I caught another fine grayling. A little further upstream, I hooked a two more beautiful grayling in a seam with my Black Nymph. These fish sat in deeper water a little further downstream from where the older fish are typically found. A short hatch of olive duns happened for about a quarter of an hour, but failed to arouse the interest of the grayling. During the hatch I only managed to catch three-year old grayling, several dace and a few brown trout. At six o’clock began making my way upstream, which left little time for presenting my flies into the more promising locations, where I was sure the older grayling would be found.
On the way back through Dobrá we slowed down to take a closer look at the police dog, which was still lying in the doorway of the pub. I accelerated a bit as I approached the dog. It immediately reacted… jumped upright like a spring, caught up with us and ran beside us for a short distance. This time however, it didn’t beat our car’s panels with its paw, but only barked loudly as it chased us down the road.
On Wednesday we planned another trip to the Warm Vltava. The river had finally dropped to near normal level, as it hadn’t rained for nearly two days, which should be ideal for fishing. It was up to the group to decide where they wanted to fish today. Those that had little luck during the two previous days chose to fish the Vltava downstream from Lipno and the Malše River. Three other fishermen (including Rob) chose to fish the upper Vltava, since it had fished so well on Monday. We decided to skip lunch and would be fishing for the entire day. I positioned one fisherman downstream of Lenora; the second at the Soumarský Bridge; and I took Rob to the railway stop in Dobrá.
We put on our gear and made a long hike back upstream, and walked through the meadows toward the river. I decided to use Milan´s French leader with a spiral indicator, which would turn out to be a very wise choice, as we only saw one fish rise during the entire day. We barely saw another sole on the water, which made us feel as if we were truly alone in the wilderness of the Šumava Mountains.
I carefully made my way across the river near a shallow riffle that was above an undercut bank. I cast an Olive Nymph into the riffle, and when I lifted my rod I felt the resistance of a grayling that was around thirty-eight centimeters in length. This was a good indication that yesterday’s flies would be just as productive for today, but the lower water levels would require a slightly finer tippet. A few minutes later I landed yet another large grayling on my Black Nymph, while Rob was also having good success with the same pattern.
For about fifty meters I hadn’t felt a touch. I eventually found some nice fish and caught two larger grayling that were about forty centimeter in length. Rob was still ahead of me, slowly working his way toward a deep pool near river’s bend. I was startled when I heard him shout: “It’s a real big fish!” His rod bent over like a bow. Suddenly a silvery fish jumped clear out of the water. From where I stood, I could tell that it was definitely not a grayling, but was a forgotten rainbow trout. Rob fought the fish for a while and sounded a bit disappointed when he announced that it was “just a rainbow...” He was admired the fish for a moment before releasing it back into the deep pool.
We were working our way toward another productive hole, when we spotted a large grayling rising a little further downstream, beside a large boulder. Not wanting to change my setup to dry flies for just one fish - I moved into a better position and cast my nymphs to the opposite bank. The water was flowing slowly there, so I had to keep lifting my flies in order to avoid hooking the bottom. During the first drift I didn’t connect with the fish, but on the second drift I felt a gentle tug and struck to see if it was a fish. The spiral indicator stretched ever so slightly while a large male grayling jumped clear out of the water. It was a prime specimen that was forty centimeter long and in perfect condition. I was pleasantly surprised by its size, while Rob asked in disbelief: “Why is it that you manage to catch only the bigger fish?”
We walked to another promising stretch of the river, where Rob hooked several grayling in a back-eddy beside a pool. He seemed a bit disappointed as they were primarily smaller fish. I cast my nymphs to the left bank and held my fly rod high, which kept most of my leader off the water. Several times I raised and lowered the rod tip, and eventually another forty centimeter grayling took my nymph. It flared its large dorsal fin and used the current to its advantage during the battle. Upon closer examination I observed that it had been hooked on the bottom, outside edge of its mouth, which seemed rather suspicious.
We spooked a school of bleaks that had come from the Lipno reservoir to spawn in the river, but were a bit of a nuisance at times. The water behind the second bend in the river water began to boil once again. We moved into position, and I had a strike in the riffle that I was working. I felt the weight of a large grayling as I lifted my rod, and set the hook.
I went another thirty meters and cast to the left bank beneath the tree branches. I gently twitched my flies during the drift. Suddenly my rod buckled over repetitively as a large male took the nymph. Once the fish came to my hand I paused to admire it before its release. It was at this moment that I saw that the fish was also hooked in the bottom, outside edge of its the mouth. This confirmed that it was in need no coincidence, as I concluded that these two fish were trying to take the Black Nymph and had been unintentionally hooked by the point fly hook when I raised my fly rod.
My percentage of larger fish versus smaller fish was still troubling Rob, as he was primarily catching the smaller grayling. This was largely to due to the fact that I by-passed the areas of the river where the smaller graylings are commonly found and focused on locations where I knew the larger fish should be found, and was using more effective patterns.
Our time on the river was nearly over, so we increased our walking speed in order to cover more water. We eventually reached a pool where the larger grayling tend to congregate. I decided to put on a little show for my friend, so I waded out into the river and moved into the best possible location. “This spot is perfect!” I thought to myself. I worked my nymphs in that spot for about five minutes without any luck, while Rob had caught two smaller grayling a little further upstream. I was surprised that I hadn’t experienced a strike, so I reworked the same stretch of water a second time.
Rob had no clue that we have just passed through a potential “bonanza” of grayling and carried on his way, while I assessed what I had done wrong or should have possibly done different. It surely couldn’t be my decision to fish with nymphs, as definitely were fish in this location. I decided to return to the same pool that I had fished only a few minutes ago. As I was stood examining the water, I tried a few casts in the shallow and calm water where I had been standing earlier. Three seconds later a forty centimeter male grayling took my nymph, and a small female grayling took the same nymph a few casts later. Rob and I were both amazed by our success. I told him: “Today’s fishing you will remember forever, as there are only few such days in our lives!”
We picked up our pace and kept moving. I hooked another large grayling as we waded through a very shallow riffle, and missed a nice fish in the tail-out of a long pool. We came to a “100% guaranteed” spot, where I tried to predict another big fish. Rob told me that he hadn’t caught anything yet and about the spots that he had tried and seemed to have been fished-out. He was correct in his assumption, because behind the next bend we could see the railway bridge near Dobrá, which marked the end of the best fishing spots.
We found a promising piece of water that I was certain would hold a few larger fish. We spread out and began to searching for them. Five minutes later I felt a strike as I lifted my fly rod… it was a very big fish! Around the bend there was another prime piece of water, but we didn’t manage to catch anything in it, nor in the adjacent pool. I was twitching the fly rod like an old man while leading the flies through a shallow area of the river, which Rob had walked through only a minute earlier. He watched from a distance and wondered if a big grayling might present and if it could resist the temptations of my Black Nymph.
I relied on my years of experience and extensive knowledge of fly fishing, but without the aid of my French leader and spiral indicator, I wouldn’t have caught anything in this water. In my excitement and haste I forgot about a tree that was on the bank behind me, which consumed my very last Black Nymph. It was a clear message from St. Peter that I was done for the day. My only regret was that we never had the opportunity to fish the large spillway that was near railway bridge crossing. In the past I have never caught anything special there, but this particularly beautiful place has always attracted me and I have always wanted to uncover its secrets…
I did not have time to get to the Warm Vltava during the month of July, as I was focused on the Youth World Fly Fishing Championship in Chotebor. And afterwards I had arranged a visit with my good friend Korrie Bross and his partner. I hosted them at the weekend house in Zlatá Koruna and enjoyed exploring South Bohemia with them as my guests. They especially enjoyed Cesky Krumlov, Rozmberk and the Vltava, as South Africa doesn’t have anything remotely similar to these places. They planned a canoeing expedition to drift down the Vltava River from Krumlov to Zlatá Koruna. At the first weir, under the castle in Ceský Krumlov, their canoe turned over and Korrie severely scraped his lower back. He later told me that their favorite part of the vacation was the expedition to the Warm Vltava on Friday, July 31st.
After the success on my last fishing trip, I decided to fish the same area that Rob and I had fished just six weeks earlier. When we walked through the meadows of Dobrá the famous pink-violet phase of the flowers was ending and the brown phase of summer had just begun, where the flower’s blooms have finished and the dry grass becomes the final color of the season. The weather was pleasant, as the sun shone brightly through the scattered clouds. The water in the river was high, but had started to drop as soon as the heavy rains passed. The only question was which color and weight of nymphs to start with, as dry fly fishing would be useless.
After going through all of my options, I decided to use my 3-weight fly rod, with the same French leader that had proved to be so effective the last time that I fished here. I used Stroft 0.10 mm for my tippet and worked a team of nymphs through the water without any success. I reworked the same stretch of water, but this time I substituted my size 16 Black Nymph with a size 14 nymph that had a dark tungsten bead, and placed a small Gold-head Olive Nymph on my point. My efforts were still fruitless, and led me to believe that there wasn’t any fish to be had in this particular stretch of water.
On my third pass, I moved my Olive Nymph to the dropper, and changed my point fly to a small, summer Czech Nymph with a slender beige and brown body that was ribbed with a thin gold tinsel. My second cast produced a beautiful grayling that had obviously been attracted by the glitter of the sun’s rays as it reflected off of the gold tinsel. This seemed to be a great choice of nymphs to use with the French leader and spiral indicator, as three nymphs wouldn’t be nearly as effective on this type of leader.
I worked the water behind my friend Korrie, and managed to fool a large grayling with my Olive Nymph. His grayling had been holding in a popular pool, where he had caught several smaller grayling on his Gold-head Nymphs. After I released my fish I turned and saw that Korrie was playing the very same rainbow that Rob had caught in that same location during our last visit. I left him to continue working the pool, where he proceeded to catch half a kilogram of roach and several dace.
As I moved through a riffle above the next pool, I saw the dorsal fin of a grayling that holding was near the far bank. I quickly cast my nymphs to cover it. My first cast was a little short, but my second cast was right on target! I led the nymphs toward the grayling’s location, and gently twitched my rod tip in order to impart some action and life into my flies. My line paused and I instinctively struck to set the hook. The surface of the water erupted, as a beautiful grayling launched itself clear into the air several times and ran upstream as it attempted to free itself from my hook.
Korrie ran over to watch the battle and to admire the fish. I left him to continue fishing the head of the pool and waded over to fish the left bank, where I had caught a large grayling on a previous trip. I had a strike almost immediately and was pleasantly surprised by the size of this fish, which was even larger than the last fish. Korrie caught two, thirty centimeter grayling, and similar to Rob, he asked me: “How is it that you manage to catch only the bigger fish?” I told him “I’m not sure, I’ll have to think about it for a while…”
This time of year there were no bleaks in the river, as they had all returned to the Lipno Reservoir after they had finished spawning. We took a few dace with our nymphs, while the trout completely ignored our flies. We walked further upstream and eventually came to an area of the river where I knew some older grayling could be found. It didn’t take very long before I was into my next fish. It was a beautiful, forty centimeter grayling that took my nymphs on “the hang”, in the same spot where I had caught a fish last time, but in slightly shallower water (knee-deep).
I released the grayling, but somehow lost my last Olive Nymph in the process. I felt lost and was unsure of what I should try next. The sky was overcast, so my gold-ribbed Czech Nymph would likely be ineffective, but I left it on just in case the sun should happen to shine through a break in the clouds. After several unsuccessful fly pattern changes, I tied on a size 14 Peacock Nymph that had a copper tungsten bead and an orange tag. Its appearance resembled the local beetles that frequently fall into the river and are heavily preyed upon by the fish. I was very pleased with the results, as the grayling began to take the Peacock Nymph as soon as it hit the water.
I worked the water behind Korrie for a while and caught several nice grayling right at his feet. Although today’s fishing was extremely successful it was about half the number of fish that we experienced during the last time I fished these waters. I was also somewhat disappointed that Korrie hadn’t managed to hook any of the larger fish.
Saturday, August 8th: We made a trip with my wife to the weekend house in Stögrova Hut. I went for a stroll in the morning to pick some wild mushrooms in the forest. After picking a large basket of mushrooms I developed a craving for some trout, and thought it would be nice to enjoy a meal that was prepared solely from the fruits of the forest and river.
I drove to the river and fished downstream of Lenora, in a place where there were plenty of fish to be found. I arrived at the railway crossing and was on the river in minutes. My time was limited, so I hoped that I could catch a few trout within an hour or two of fishing. The water was low, so I started with my Black Nymph and a Gold-head Olive Nymph on my French leader. On my first cast I hooked an older grayling that is known to live in the hole near the left bank of the river. It took my Gold-head Olive Nymph, and eventually came to my hand. It was forty-centimeters in length. I tried the hole for a while longer and worked a hundred-meter stretch of the river without any further success. I concluded that my lack of success was largely due to the fact that the sun was at my back and thus I cast a shadow on the water that I was working.
As I neared the end of the run I became bit anxious and had a short take just as I was about to give up hope. It was a nice trout, and would be the only trout that took my fly on this day. I walked the river to fish the more productive spots, but I felt as if my plan was not going to come through successfully today. I saw a few rises along the way, but when I did manage to hook these fish, they turned out to be smaller trout that were barely fifteen centimeters in length.
Around seven-o’clock I made my way back to my car and headed for home. “What happened? Why are you home so early?” my wife asked, as she met me at the door. “Well… at least we’ll have mushrooms for dinner!” I responded, as I tried to evade her questions. “I simply couldn’t find them today...” I eventually confessed, while I put away my fishing gear.
Sunday, August 23rd: The sun shone brightly as I set out to explore and fish my favourite stretch of the river near the meadows of Dobrá. The river was unusually higher than normal for this time of year, which increased the number of boats that were drifting on the river. I decided to fish nymphs on my French leader, and wouldn’t be wading today. I fished my way through a three-hundred meter stretch of river, and with the exception of one small grayling, I had no luck. I explored the bottom of two deeper holes with heavily-weighted jigs, but still had no success in convincing the fish to take my flies. I turned and worked my way back downstream. I had moved less than ten meters when I felt a large grayling take my size 12 Czech Nymph, as it rose toward the surface at the end of the drift. It had surely been holding in the water with a friend, as I took another grayling right next to its location. Both fish measured thirty-five centimeters in length. I moved closer to inspect the spot were I had hooked both of these fish and discouvered that they were sitting over a sandy mound that was barely knee-deep. I realized that I should be concentrating on the shallower water and not the deeper water.
A few meters further downstream I caught a grayling on a Bobesh Nymph, and took a larger dace on the same fly. This impressed me so much that I removed my olive jig fly and tied on another large nymph, and made several passes through the same stretch of water. It seemed as if the bigger fish were “on strike” today, as I could only catch the smaller grayling and dace. I couldn’t understand why this was happening and how I could resolve this problem.
I moved a little further downstream and found two older grayling that were rising to take small mayflies in a shallow stretch of water between two pools. I cast my flies and had one of the grayling bump my nymphs, but it was so quick that it was impossible to hook it. I recast, but the fish sensed my presence and gradually moved about twenty meters further upstream.
I moved to the lower pool and only found juvenile fish that were far too small to target. I kept a constant watch for the older grayling, which eventually returned to take the small mayflies from their original position between the pools. I crouched low and slowly moved along the bank toward their location. Once I was within casting distance I removed my spiral indicator from my French leader and tied on a small dry fly onto my 0.10 mm nylon tippet. My efforts and patience paid-off, as I hooked and landed both of these fish. A few minutes later I spotted a larger grayling that came to inspect my fly three times, but eventually refused to follow it after its third presentation.
I went back to fishing with my nymphs and resigned myself to the fact that I would have to use nymphs if I wanted to catch the larger fish. My time on the river was almost finished and I wasn’t having any more luck. I tried fishing only pools, but couldn’t manage to find the bigger fish with my assortment of large-size nymphs, so I moved to a very shallow stretch of water that was barely a foot deep. I swapped the Bobesh on my point for a slim, Silver-head Jig size 16 that had a peacock body and a red tag. I gently twitched my fly rod as I led my nymphs through the main current and toward the sandbanks. My final efforts were rewarded, as a nice grayling took my small nymph on the second drift. I lifted the rod to set the hook and was surprised as the forty centimeter grayling leapt clear out of the water.
Today’s fishing adventures taught me that I had wrongly chosen to fish the unproductive spots of the river and with the wrong size of flies. Today the flies that I chose to use only attracted the medium-size fish, while the larger fish preferred flies that were much smaller in size. These facts were confirmed by the end results of today’s fishing and were proof enough for me! Each and every day on the river can be quite different from a previous day’s fishing – fly fishers would be very wise to remember this fact and fish accordingly…