Thursday, October 27, 2011

Aspects of Angling

I have recently experienced two very different visits to upper Vltava. On my first I travelled alone and had a great sport - the conditions were just perfect: a sunny day after overnight frost brought up a strong BWO hatch, the fish were active on the surface and my size #18 Olive Quill met their appetite exactly. I had great time, having caught several fish over 40 centimeters on a dry fly.

The next week I returned south again with two friends. I had shared my enthusiasm with them, so naturally the expectations ran high. Martin and Dalibor were looking forward to some quality grayling fishing and I wanted to play the perfect guide.

Unfortunately the fishing conditions did not repeat themselves. A cold front was passing over the Czech Republic, which brought a strong wind and put a stop to the BWO hatch. The fish were loath to rise and sudden gusts of wind made havoc of our light lines and long leaders. We really struggled to connect with any fish, and the big ones were out of the question.

The surprising thing about all this was that the second trip turned out a great success, but in a different way than the first. The misery that we all shared has brought us all together and as the fishing was no good we could afford to take some time off, enjoy a streamside lunch, tell stories of better fishing and really drink in the eerie beauty of late season Šumava.

The sun cast long and dramatic shadows over the dry meadows, the willows were already bare, the birches still full of colors and the three of us were about as far from civilization as is possible in our densely populated country. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, despite the fact that the fish turned out rather uncooperative.