Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vltava

The river Vltava has special meaning to me. Long before it enters Prague as a mature river, where I watch it daily, it is a small stream in the border mountains. As it gently meanders on the mountain plains it makes an excellent grayling habitat. It is a long drive, but each year I come over there to fish the wild fish in wild country.


The 20th century has not tread lightly on the area. The river is littered with concrete bunkers, which were built in the 1930's in a vain attempt to make the river a defensive line to stop the imminent German expansion, and after the war they kept operational as a defense against a possible attack by NATO forces. Now abandoned they make for an eery atmosphere...

For most of the latter half of the century the area was off limits, and as a side result the river has been reclamed by nature. The access to the river is bad, and the fishing excellent.


This year I was a little late, as the fishing is usually at its best in the middle of October. But this year was not an usual one, and with warm weather persisting long into Autumn I postponed my visit. I knew that the time of the highest grayling activity on this river comes only after the first frosts, and this year the first frosts were overdue by almost a month. I was not wrong with my diagnosis.

What did surprise me - though it should not really have - was that I discovered that I had two hours less fishing time compared to my regular time in mid October. The weather did feel like mid October, but one hour of fishing was taken from me by the Daylight Savings Time and another by regular passing of the year.


In the end I did manage some quality fish on the dry fly, with my Olive Quill being the best performing. After the hatch dropped off I kept on with nymph, and succeeded in catching my best fish of the day as a total surprise: it took a huge 4,5 mm tungsten beadhead, which I originally intended as a purely sacrifical fly. So much for the old saying that the grayling will accept only tiny offerings...