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Ronan's report


Monday 10th June, 2013

Hopefully this will be quite a quick FP because I have to drive to Zagreb airport in a few hours and I'm already missing my sleep. I've just had four days fishing in the Balkans, with John Walker - a Provisional AAPGAI from the UK - and Tim Kempton - an Aussie CCI who I fished together with in Malaysia last summer. The original plan was one day on Ribnik, two on Pliva and one on Gacka, however the Ribnik was heaving with forty anglers and so we fished two on the Pliva and two on the Gacka (fishing with Sasha here on Gacka and drinking with Aitor and Bob on Pliva/Ribnik!). Basically it was fishing, socialising and more fishing. And then some more socialising, eating cheese and more fishing.

I've fished the Ribnik a fair few times, but only once the Pliva, which has a reputation as an incredibly technical fishery. On the last trip I had a couple of four and a half pound browns on streamers and very few other fish - still it was a great day! This time I really wanted to set about the grayling. First cast - a trout! OK, it was only a few inches long, but still a fish, and the only one I caught for quite a while. I took a few more browns that day as well as a couple of decent grayling... on a Shipmans!

The next day worked out better for us, fishing small nymphs on .10 tippet, with an induced take, I caught a few fish (not vast numbers) and then Tim managed his first Grayling - which we measured at 50cm! For those of you who don't know, a 50cm grayling is akin to catching a 10lb trout, ie it's bloody big and Tim should give up Grayling fishing now. I kind of knew at this point that Australia was doing rather well, and so ten minutes later I caught one of similar size. They were like two peas in a pod, although I think mine was slightly deeper.

That evening we fished a tree-lined run that I suspected could hold some large browns and I caught four decent fish in the late evening, including one that could have been four pounds. It was a good day and so we ate more cheese.

We had the Pliva virtually to ourselves and I was a little apprehensive about the Gacka, however I needn't have been since we had that virtually all to ourselves too. There was little surface activity, so sight-fishing with nymphs was the method, and when the visibility was poor because of wind, or clouds, then it was streamer fishing. Lots of fish were caught including some decent browns - which is really what the Gacka is about for me.

So an awesome trip. I've learned a few things too; I must always carry at least one sinking line for the Gacka, I really need to spend more time streamer fishing the Pliva, I'm finally starting to get to grips with the Balkan nymphing (but still have a very long way to go) and finally: it's time to rebuild my fly boxes!

Thanks Tim, John, Sasha, Aitor and Bob for a fantastic trip. And thanks to Zeljko for giving me some great flies. I look forward to meeting again!

Cheers, Paul

PS Sasha, Aitor and Tim all now own Hot Torpedos. So if you need to see what one looks like then book a casting lesson with one or all of them; they're all instructors!


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