If you are looking for a great location for fly fishing in the Balkans, the region of Plav in Montenegro is certainly a ultimate choice. Two beautiful rivers, Lim and Ljuca, with fly-only-no-kill fishing regulation and the turquoise Lake of Plav are the great places for FF adventure.
The most popular part of this region is the river Lim. It springs from the lake, and first several kilometers of the river are always clear, rich in insects and very attractive with plenty of grayling and brown trout.
In this part, the river Lim is about 30m wide and suitable for relaxed wading. It flows through the plateau, surrounded with meadows and bushes. Fish are very often feeding on the surface, attracted by massive hatches.
The river Ljuca is fantastic spring creek feed by gin-clear and ice-cold Ali Pasha Springs at the foot of the high and rocky Prokletije mountain. It is famous by large grayling.
Ljuca is quite slow and deep tributary to the lake. It flows through the meadows and makes many meandres before it reaches the lake.
Fish of Ljuca are little harder to catch then in Lim. Hatches are not so massive and frequent, so most of the day the best way to catch larger fish is on the nymph.
The Lake of Plav is natural lake with endemic lake trout, grayling, huchen (danube taimen) and pike.
The lake has elliptical shape, with diameter of 1-2 kilometers. The maximum depth is about 9m. For fishing the lake is best to use a boat, that can be easily rented.
Fly fishing for endemic lake trout is extraordinarily experience. Almost every summer evening you can see 2-5 kg rising fish on large sedges. Also, mayfly time is not good to miss.
And, if you love streamer fishing for pike or huchen, this is a place to be. Big-gamers can found large pike cruising clear-water surface near the bank and weed, and you can easily hear the stories about world-largest huchen of Plav.
Briefly and clearly, in this place you have the best full-time variety of fly fishing that can be imagined.
Ivan Randjelovic IFFF Guide Association member & IFFF Fly Casting Instructor, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Tara Canyon is in middle to lower part of the river Tara in northern Montenegro. It is part of the Durmitor National Park.
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.
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.
Brown trout is here also highly selective and wary too, but size of the fly can be a little bit bigger (#10-16).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.