The Essential Balkan Fly Collection

The Essential Balkan Fly Collection

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Gary has a case of writer's block today so I’m covering for him which gives me the opportunity to launch our two new fly collections for fishing in the Balkans. Tied by my good friend, MCI and local fly fishing expert in these parts, Djordje Andjelkovic. Lots of great fishing in ex-Yugoslavia, the River Pliva in Bosnia being one of my favourite streams anywhere. As an aside, if you’re looking for advice down here then do ask; I may not know the answer myself but I have many friends who will know!

You can find Balkan Collection in the Sexyloops Shop. (I remember the days when I used to tie flies for 50p per fly... 30 years ago!!)

Not much else to say because I’m actually fishing at the moment... I caught a free-rising Snakehead this morning and hope to scare a few more this evening.

Tomorrow I drop Stu off in Penang for a couple of days, so he can get some new bionic eyes (with special fish-spotting lenses), and while there I pick up Jono Shales. Fingers crossed Jono has hit it just right. The free-rising Snakehead shots are without doubt the hardest fly fishing shots there is (I call them “free” because they are not parenting!).

Catching parenting Snakehead is also a challenge not to be taken lightly. However everything is that little bit easier - the baby Snakehead rise first - allowing you to get prepared, when the adults rise they are generally at the surface for longer, the adults can be aggressive in defending their young (otherwise they can be surprisingly spooky) and more often than not, you hook the fish over deep water and not in the thick of the stumps - it’s no accident that most large Toman are caught while they are looking after their young - what a cool fish by the way!

Free-risers on the other hand is a level above and beyond - and the "real deal" - everything is harder and therefore more rewarding. It really is the most challenging shots imaginable. Often you have little more than a second to accurately place the fly and when you do hook up you are in for a serious tug-of-war.

Perhaps our next Essentials Fly Collection will be Tarzan's Jungle Collection - which I appear to have whittled down to two flies by the way!

Right, must head out, I feel another fish coming on...

Cheers, Paul

PS I hope Gary recovers from his writer's block next week, because he's a far better writer than I am.