Ecdyonurus torrentis (Large Brook Dun/Spinner)

This large and widespread European upwinged fly is inhabitant of the stony rivers. Nymphs are stone clingers.

Ecdyonurus nymph

It is not sensitive to moderate pollution and temperature oscillations.

Large Brook Dun can be found near the bank,  on the bushes, rocks and often on the water surface.

Ecdyonurus torrentis subimago

 

After final  transformation in the adult insect, smaller groups of males and females swarms above the water.

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Interestingly, the same species can be found in brownish and reddish color.

ecdyonurus imagos

Flight period: april – june

Length: about 2 cm

February Red Stonefly (Brachyptera risi & Taeniopteryx nebulosa))

There are two widespread species of february red stoneflies. First is Taeniopteryx nebulosa, which is inhabitant of slow and weedy trout rivers. Second is Brachyptera risi , which prefers stony and fast rivers.

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This insect is one of the first in trout season. Hatches occurs from february till april. In some days trout can be ocupied by feeding with this juicy middle-sized stonefly.

Length: 1-2 cm

Body Color: Reddish-Brown

Wings color: Mottled Brown

 

Yellow Sally (Isoperla grammatica)

In the late spring and early summer this is one of the most important stoneflies. It is widespread and abundant in most of the clear and cold rivers of Europe.

isoperla

Adult female  of Yellow Sally is often in the trout’s diet,  because it swarms above the riffles and dips abdomen into the water to lay  eggs.

It’s middle-sized stonefly with body length about 1 cm.

isoperlagrammaticanymph

 

 

 

Early Brown Stonefly (Protonemura meyeri)

This is abundant and widespread stonefly in high-altitude European rivers.  It’s always in the same habitat as trout and grayling. It prefers cold and clean running water.

Protonemura meyeri

Flight period is from march to may. Although it hatches on the banks and submerged objects, it is often on the water surface, so it is one of the most interesting stoneflies to imitate with artificial dry fly.

Body length is 5 – 9 mm.

Grannom Sedge (Brachycentrus sp.)

 

Grannom mating pair

This is widespread and abundant spring-time sedge from running waters. It hatches on the open water. Huge swarms can be seen above the high and mid altitude rivers. Waterside bushes and bridges can be buried with grannoms.

Grannom swarm

Length of the wings can vary between 6 to 11 millimeters.  The body is grayish with green or brown tone.  Characteristically, the female has a pouch with green eggs on the abdomen, which will lay walking under water.

Grannom down

Chub – The First Fish On The Fly

Fly Fishing History

Whaaat???  Chub-the first fish on fly? It’s gotta be a joke!

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Well, it isn’t. Read about ancient Macedonia in Fly Fishing History .  In Aelian’s  “Natural History” it is mentioned that people use a fly for fishing in hot-lowland-Mediterranean area between Thesalloniki and Veroia.

Well, if you try to find trout there, you will have not much luck. Every river around is warm-water full of chubs cruising just under the surface and searching for insects. No trout around!

Mecedonian river

You’d have to be blind to be there and not to see a fish that “asks” for your fly.

But, if ancient Macedonian fly fishers even do catch a trout (in some distant small creek, certainly not in specified area), they couldn’t miss much more common game-fish, the chub.

Tradition

It is not well known that fly fishing for chub has a long tradition (at least) in Southeast Europe. Even in the times of wooden rod and horse hair, people have fished chub on the fly. After Aelian’s time, there was no reason for discontinuing that simple, effective and interesting fishing-technique. Unfortunately, memories about this faded away after a wave of trout-fishing-fashion that splash the world in the 20th century. That fashion was so strong that chub-fly-fishers even become shy in front of the “modern” fly fishing representatives. Many of them turn to trout, just trying to be “normal”. Not long ago, most of the fly fishers in the World consider trout as the top-fish, often the only fish that deserves to be hooked on the fly. Chub was disgusting to most of us.

Nowadays

Fortunately, 21st century brings a change into the world of fly fishing. Trout’s popularity falls down in favor of pike, grayling, bass, saltwater fish, carp…and of course, European chub. Everything is turned upside-down. Moreover, to be a fly fisherman who catch “other species” is considered progressive.  So, the new era of fly fishing for chub is here.

Fish That Was Created For Fly Fishing

Yes, It looks like chub is created for fly fishing. This fish is often on the surface, feeding with all stadiums of aquatic insects. Especially with adults we imitate with dry flies. It also feeds with various small animals, crayfish, small fish, frogs, leeches…and in addition, with plants and small fruits!

chub nisava

So, our fly can be dry, wet, nymph, streamer and even imitation of some part of the plant. Of course,  usually it is a dry fly.

Wary, sensitive, curious and intelligent

Chub is famous by his sense of hearing and eyesight. If someone wants to catch (or even to see) a chub, he must walk and move like a cat. Cracking noises and fast moves are not allowed. On the other hand, the sound of the fly can attract this fish. A moderate “pop” on the surface is a trigger.

 

 

River Tara, Fly Fishing In The Deepest Canyon In Europe

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Long, deep and beautiful

The famous Montenegrin river Tara dug the second-deepest canyon in the world, 80 km long and 1333 m deep. Besides, this river is not famous just by huge rocks around but also by the gin-clear water. Due to the incredible beauty, river Tara and this canyon are protected by law and UNESCO.

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Location

The Tara Canyon is in middle to lower part of the river Tara in northern Montenegro. It is part of the Durmitor National Park.

The River

Tara is medium-size freestone river with an average width of 30 m. During the summer, at lowest water level, it is suitable for wading in many places.  Besides to the deep pools there are many shallows, and nearby fast riffles there is always some quiet part of the stream.

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Fish & Fly Fishing

Tara is populated almost exclusively with wild Salmonids, brown trout, grayling and huchen.   Fly fishing in this clear and cold river is sometimes easy, but not always. Let’s say that Tara Canyon is not a rich fishery for newborn flyfishers, but the place for experienced adventurers and anglers.

Precisely balanced tackle, light tippets (0.10 – 0.14mm) and small tiny flies (#14-20) are recommended, especially for Tara’s grayling.

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Brown trout is here also highly selective and wary too, but size of the fly can be a little bit bigger (#10-16).

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Nymphists can enjoy lot of styles, but also very interesting and exciting nymphing-on-sight. Simply, nymphist can see his prey in incredibly clear water and lead the nymph to it, watching fish reaction.

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Of course, there is opportunity of streamer fishing. Besides the popular brown trout, there is a mighty Danube-taimen, the huchen. In this canyon they are not so big as in Mongolia, but in almost every pool can be found a specimen of 5-10 kg.

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Fly Fishing For Asp 1

asp duo

The Loud Attacker

It’s a fish that makes you really excited. When this predator attacks small fish, it looks like the two crocodiles are fighting on the water surface.

There are other predator-fish in Europe, but none of these can compare to the  only cyprinid-fish-eater. Huchen, pike, wels, trout…they are too quiet, slow and unattractive attackers compares to asp.

“Crazy” asp is banging, twirling, jumping, tail-walking…and doing it very often. Sometimes, I can’t understand how other fish in the pool can live with that hooligan.

asp macro

 

The Fair Fighter

Asp don’t use shelters to attack like other European predators. He grab the prey on the open water, chasing it in small groups and using special strategy and tactics. They are very fast, sharp-eyed and intelligent , so they use only that advantages to hunt.

So, asp is not insidious killer, but open fighter.  It should be appreciated.

Good thing for us is that asp don’t look for shelter neither when is hooked!

Habitat

Asp is inhabitant of lowland mid to large rivers of European continent.  Most people called him “warm water” species. This is an advantage for those who love heat. Wading in warm water, without waterproof equipment, is real pleasure. Exactly the same as wading tropical saltwater flats. Of course, it is possible only during the summer.

Equipment

Fly Fishermen often make mistakes when choosing equipment for asp. The most common mistake is choosing heavy equipment. This fish doesn’t require heavy flies and it’s not a strong and explosive fighter on the hook. Sometimes it’s good to cast further, but it can be done without problem with aftma class #5- #6 for single-handed rods and #6-#7 two-handed rods. As a matter of fact, asp is very scary and ware of rough presentation and line.

Believe it or not, my favorite fly rod for asp is 9 feet #5, the same rod I fish trout. Of course, my favorite rivers are wadeable and less then 50m wide.

 

Flies

Asp can be caught on all types of flies, but mostly on streamer. You can catch him on nymph, wet fly or dry fly, but if you are serious in intent to hook the big asp, streamer is the best choice.

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Asp eats small white fish, so the best streamers are light colored. You can mix white with yellow, pink, chartreuse…but you won’t miss if you tie a pure white streamer.

Size of the streamer may vary. It usually depends on the water level and color. Daytime, weather conditions, water and stripping speed… are important too. Smaller streamers in # 10 – 4 are better in low, clear water, sunny weather, quiet pools… Larger streamers are good for riffles, upstream casting, fast stripping, cloudy weather…

Aspius

Streamers shouldn’t be heavy. On the contrary, they should almost swim on the surface. During the summer, asp is surface hunter, and streamers should be just 10-20 cm under…

Baetis rhodani (Large Dark Olive)

First In Season

Upwinged flies are the most popular
insects in the fly fishing . There’s a reason for that: They are the easiest to see and there are plenty of types in different colors , which attracts  our attention to its beauty . Although the late winter present numerous midges, we act like we don’t see them, but we get very excited when we see the first upwinged fly in the season – Baetis rhodani .
baetis
Sailboat

Subimago of this insect sail
helpless on the water and this attracts the fish to feed in the atmosphere . Rising and splashing were able to see earlier, because the midges were on the water in the middle of winter, but… Now the real thing begins : A sailboats , who we follow to the moment when fish turn them into a bite . “Bluurrrpp!” So powerful ! After a long winter break , dry fly anglers are on the move again.
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Ventral view – important for tying a fly
Nymphs & Emergers
Nymph-lovers are excited too , because the same insect nymphs become active even weeks before the hatch.  They belong to the “agile darter” group of the Ephemeridae nymphs. In early spring, they are more often on the menu, less protected and more easily killed.

Instinct makes them get out of the shelter and come to the surface to hatch. Many of them are being eaten in that stage.
Spinner
Baetis imago
Finally, there is the adult stage, which is important too. Baetis lay their eggs under water. The female walks into the water, using submerged objects. Then again, she is vulnerable and available to fish jaws.

Size: About 1 cm + tails

Habitat: Rivers

1st Hatch: February-May

2nd Hatch: October-December

Hello Fly Fishing World!

Hello, Fly Fishing World!

My name is Ivan Ranđelović. I am professional  fly fishing guide and fly casting instructor. I live in Serbia, the city of Niš and work throughout the whole EX Yugoslavia.

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I entered the sport in 1986. and since then I appear in many TV shows, found and lead a fly fishing club, organize many  ff meetings, competitions, fly tying contests, publish many articles and one book, guide,  teach  and involve into the sport many fly fishers, moderate web-sites, won few ff competitions, promote fly fishing, pass the IFFF Fly Casting Instructor exam, catch many fish-species on a fly, invent flies, learn so much about entomology…

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Briefly, so many interesting things in many years.

All these years, I go fly fishing and guiding all the time, all seasons and all types of fresh water, about 250 days a year.

 I am not selective on fish-species. I consider them all equally  interesting if caught on fly. Trout, grayling, huchen, chub, asp, pike, barbel, rudd, perch, roach, wels…

I’m also not selective on types of freshwater. Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds…I know how to enjoy them all and how to present them to all my guests.

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