The Ohře river is about 90 kilometers drive from Prague and during high summer it is at its best late in the day. This creates a possibility to combine some quality trout fishing with a regular day in the office. This intriguing idea comes at a price though, for Ohře is a harsh mistress.
The drive home, returning just before midnight, seems much longer than the one hour it actually takes. The morning after feels like a major hangover. On the other handthe rewards of a night out with a group of friends by this fine river are worth the minor inconveniences.
This week I travelled to Ohře with a group of friends. We were led by my friend Martin, who has formed a special bond with the river Ohře. Just as some men are uniquely suited for relationship with one woman (while others seem uniquely unsuited to do so) this fisherman has entered into relationship with a single river. For some reason the idea of new rivers and new horizons fails to excite him and apart from a little sea fishing he dedicates all his time to Ohře.
During the long and harmonious relationship with the river he developed an uncanny understanding of the mood of the river that he can reliably forecast the part where the evening caddis hatch will be the strongest. Thus we all felt fortunate to be guided by a true expert.
We arrived at Žatec around 7 PM, and killed some time by a little nymph fishing. There was a hatch of olives happening, but the little anorectic mayflies failed to stir the fish and there was no surface activity.
By half past eight the sun had set and the first caddis started to appear. By nine the hatch was in full swing and the fish finally started to notice the meaty morsels. We had about a hour of intensive surface action, before the light failed entirely.
The choice of pattern was not hard, as the fading light made the color of our flies entirely irrelevant. What mattered was a strong Caddis silouhette and solid hook - the fish in Ohře grow to good size and fight with vigor. Many a fish had been lost to bent or broken hook.