Fly fishing Bosnia Hosted Trip – Paul Procter Report

Fly fishing Bosnia Hosted Trip – Paul Procter Report

Paul Procter has recently returned from our annual two weeks of hosted trips to Bosnia. This has been a regular on our calendar for over 7 years and Paul has more experience fishing these rivers than any other angler in the UK. This years trip was exceptional for it’s dryfly fishing and you can read Paul’s thoughts below…

For a number of years now I’ve been fortunate to lead Fly Odyssey groups to Bosnia in search of top drawer grayling fishing.  In principal, it’s the gin clear streams that take us there with the promise of sight fishing.  However, with traditional farming practices still popular in the Balkans, hatches of upwinged flies remain as strong as ever.  In fact, we diligently time our visits to coincide with the Blue-winged olive carnival!

This year though a long hot summer took its toll by rendering river extremely low, which can impact on fly life by making nymphs a little reluctant to emerge.  Surprisingly, we needn’t have worried on bit.  Blessed with grey skies and intermittent rain on the first few days, B-WOs came streaming off, treating us to sublime dry fly fishing.  In particular the ladies fared well with Hilary Langan and Gilly Bate in the thick of it.

Having proved to myself those delicate CdC dressings still held charm over fickle Bosnian grayling, I focused on the margins where the Ribnik’s larger residents tend to take up station.  Granted they do appear vulnerable at first sight, but approaching them in skinny water requires both stealth and patience!  Thankfully, my guile was rewarded with soild fish, some of them topping 50cm, which by all accounts is what raises eyebrows in these parts.

Just as we were getting into the swing of it all a high pressure system brought several sunny days putting the kibosh on fly hatches.  Unbelievably, tiny flying ants decided to make hay on the now balmy autumn afternoons.  Better still, their unprecedented appearance had grayling queuing up to take advantage.  

Dimpling fish might have graced those idling pools, put fooling them was another story.  We found the answer in 20ft leader with a tippet of 0.08mm diameter and a size 20 ant imitation.  As ever, drag was our Achilles’ heel though slack line casts made sure fly lines alighted in a series of wiggles, allowing our wee ants to drift unfettered.

Often clear blue skies see heat escape upwards as the sun goes down, especially in the mountainous valleys of Bosnia.  However, for whatever reason the evenings warm enough to encourage B-WO spinners on to the wing with procreation being their objective.  Following mating, egg laden females retuned to the water.  

By now, you’d have thought grayling would have had their fill snaffling juicy winged ants that tumbling in all day long, but no, come evening time those fat grayling were back out on shallow gravel runs, eager to mop up those perishing female spinners which littered the surface.  Admittedly, it took us an evening or two to come up with a winning fly pattern, but once we found the medicine it seemed we had around the clock dry fly action.  

Nymph stalwart Kevin Moran knotted on a tiny bead head nymph the first morning he arrived, two cats later it was removed and the remainder of his trip involved dry fly tactics only!  Dates are already firmed up for 2019 and again they revolve around fly hatches.  The fact too that we have several anglers making repeat trips is testament to the dry fly and sight fishing on offer here!

Paul Procter  Oct 2018




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