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Ronan's report


Thursday September 20th, 2007

I'm writing this in advance for my all-new all-exciting Saturday's-better-then-Monday's Saturday Slot, while sitting on the train from Budapest. The reason I'm writing in advance is because I'm not here. I am in fact in Croatia. Or if not Croatia, then Slovenia. But probably Croatia.

So let's have some geography and a History lesson. I'm hanging out in Hungary. Hungary is in central Europe and the reason I'm here is because Babuska is Hungarian and can't travel at the moment because she's training to be a doctor. But that's ok because it's giving me the chance to discover another part of the world, Asp fishing, make new friends, tie flies and work on developing Sexyloops - all important things, you'll agree.

Hungary is a neat place, lots of countryside and forests, some of the best Coarse fishing in the world - record carp and catfish, women of legendery beauty, Palinka (something you don't want to drink), Unicum (something else you don't want to drink), it's part of the EU and joins the single currency soon - incidentally I love the Euro and think it's fantastic.

Hungary was once a considerably larger country than it is today because following the end of WW1 they lost around half their country to their neighbours - Serbia, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and the Ukraine - including all their mountains and seas, which they're not very happy about. There are around 10 million Hungarians living in Hungary and they have a unique language that has its roots completely separate from the rest of Europe - apart from Finland which nobody else understands either.

Also, the largest lake in Cental Europe, Lake Balaton, is located in Hungary. This is where I've been fishing a few times, and where I'll be fishing more, and where Mike will be fishing next weekend when he pops over for a visit. Here you can flyfish for Asp as well as Pike and a number of other species - chub is a main target species here in Hungary for the fly angler, because they eat dries. It's the Asp however that really interests me.

There is some trout fishing in Hungary, but not much - summer highs hit 40 degrees C. Drive in just about any direction however - Croatia, Bosnia or Slovakia for example - and you have both very affordable and excellent trout and grayling fishing. Drive to Austria or Slovenia and you have some very unaffordable - but also excellent - trout and grayling fishing. I'll be in Bosnia next month and should have been there last month but unfortunately couldn't make the trip.

Anyway, this week I've driven to Croatia, which is where I'll be when you read this. I don't know much, or in fact anything, about about Croatia - apart from it's meant to be very beautiful, relatively cheap and that the people are very welcoming... and I've probably got all the wrong flies (because I've been busy tying for NZ and not the Balkans) and it dumped a hell of a lot of rain yesterday. Fantastic. Still, we have some great contacts on the Board in this part of the world and I look forward to meeting Peter and Zoran's friend, Milan Kupresanin, who according to Peter ties even better flies than me (but he was drunk when he said that, so we'll see..).

Have a great week. Back on Board Tuesday.

Cheers,
Paul

Footnote: don't panic! It's Thursday, not Saturday; Lars is Missing In Viking Action today. Tomorrow: Zoran in the Balkan (hopefully because I can't open the file ATM). Saturday: Viking Lars back from Pillaging (maybe). Sexyloops - it's all happening, but we don't know how, when or where exactly.


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