Monday, October 17, 2011

October Optimism

The gloomy days of early October have passed, and the mist and drizzle were replaced by sunny, if crisp and cold, autumn days. Nothing awakens grayling appetite like a combination of overnight frost and a good BWO hatch, so I headed to the mountains of Šumava to pay a visit to what is arguably the best grayling fishery in Czech lands.

By the village of Dobrá the Vltava river meanders through fields of sedge (locally called "pineapples", quite challenging to pass through). In its gentle flow grows ranunculus and other plants, supporting a variety of aquatic life. The banks of the river are littered by concrete bunkers, now overgrown by the forest but still serving as mementos of darker times.

By about noon a mixed hatch started, with blue winged olives and little stoneflies. Even an occasional big sedge (Rhyacophila sp.) could be seen, but it did not seem to find any risers. The most productive imitation were #18 green quill & CDC mayfly and #18 Hare's mask emerger. Especially the green quill was very hard for the grayling to resist.

Over the stretches of Ranuncul I caught several fine fish on a dry fly The surface activity peaked by about 2 PM, but I could see occasional rises until about 5 PM.

The fish showed a surprising variance in color - some were very light, with only a few blackish scales, while other were of very dark complexion.