Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cumbrian Kent:




The Cumbria Kent ranks as one of England’s fastest flowing rivers.  Obviously then, any trout that care to live here are best described as “turbo charged” and when hooked, even the wee ones test your knots.  A flying visit to Burneside AA was well worth the effort.  Although little in the way of fly hatched, we found fish willing to take dries with small beetle patterns and olive paraduns producing well.  This system is arguably the last bastion of our native White-clawed crayfish.  Clear evidence that these crustaceans are thriving were their discarded remains left by herons and other predators.


~Photos: Rod Calbrade~


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Schoolboy Error:

Spider Box 002


Being well travelled, you’d think by now I’d have the luggage bit down to a fine art.  However, Bosnia didn’t quite work like that.  Always looking to lighten the load, I trimmed my waistcoat contents to the bare minimum.  With dry flies taking precedence, nymph and spider boxes were left behind.  All seemed fine until one morning on the Ribink when Kris Kent and I decided a sparse waterhen bloa would be just the job to fool a shoal of stubborn grayling.  Yet, fumbling about my vest, I suddenly realized where they were…whoops.  Kris embarrassed me further by claiming he habitually carries everything bar the kitchen sink!  Ah well…there’s always 2012 for introducing those Balkan grayling to the charms of a North Country fly…


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Final Fling:

Bosnia 11 013

Our finally day dawned with glorious sunshine once more.  And although the hatch was slow to get going, we had some interesting fishing.  Clear water certainly helps when it comes to locating trout and believe me, you’d be hard pushed to find more pristine streams than those in Bosnia. Come lunchtime, we retired to the shade before a final fling into darkness.  Paul Mercer was the last to call it a day, who was literally dragged kicking and screaming from the Pliva.  Plans are already afoot for a return visit next season.  Details will be posted on:  


~Clear as a bottle of Gordon’s~          


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~One of my final grayling from the Ribnik, a good note to finish on~


~Guides and fishermen-a great bunch of guys~

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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Evening Entertainment:


~Bosnian guide Mita waits for the evening action to get underway~   

The Pliva might have a staggering head of fish, but if they’re not intent on feeding, it’s best to play a waiting game.  Granted, we managed to tempt a few fish under a relenting sun though once this slipped behind those towering mountains, fly started hatching in earnest.  Thankfully both trout and grayling responded, giving us a chance to connect with them using a range of small dry flies.


~Trout like this were in the offing for those exercising patience~


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Grayling get going:


~This Ribnik beauty pushed towards 3lb~


Judging by recent weather forecasts the UK continues to be battered by gales and rain.  However, here in Bosnia we’re being treated to sunny days and temperatures nudging 30oC. Yet, despite this heat, grayling are feeding like no tomorrow.  The main reason for this are numerous ants continually tumbling into the Ribnik’s margins, a delicacy relished by grayling shoals.  Using stealth and careful presentation it’s possible to winkle out some pretty impressive specimens which have grown fat over the past few months.  Of course fly selection makes all the difference in the World!



~Jasmin Dvizac displays the golden shades of a Bosnian grayling~       


Friday, 16 September 2011

Food & Drink:


Visiting new destinations brings the opportunity to sample local fare.  All I can say is traditional Bosnian food stands up with the best of them.  And, as for drinks, strong coffee helped kick start us in the morning.  Though come lunchtime a plate of freshly prepared vegetables cooked outside provided energy to battle the Ribnik’s spotted inhabitants.  As for Plivovica (the local plum brandy) this kept us entertained on many an evening.  




  ~Kris Kent (aka The Silverback) enjoying morning coffee~



Claiming it would help give us “maximum concentration”, our host Pedja would insist on supplying us with Plivovica at breakfast for the day a head… Typically English, we decided to stick with strong coffee instead and savour the liquor after a long day by the river.








~Who could say “no” to such freshly prepared food..?~        


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Beetles buck the trend:


Whilst the rivers Ribnik and Pliva are reputed for their small, delicate dry flies, occasionally, it can be worth trying something totally different.  I’d actually found that Bosnian trout and grayling had a fondness for a large tan Klinkhamer run down fast flowing pools.  Kris Kent went one better, by using a large, brash beetle.  To his amazement, some large brown trout came looking for a meal when the offending fly “plopped” in the water.




~Prime Ribnik brown trout~  


Monday, 12 September 2011

First Blood on the Pliva:


~A well earned coffee before battle commences~



Following an early flight out of Gatwick the boys took a much needed coffee break as we neared base camp before preparing for an assault on the river Pliva. Paul Maxwell was the first to score with a plump, golden grayling of a pound plus. Then it was Kris Kent’s (aka the Silverback…) turn, who managed to charm a string of brown trout out using tiny dries.





~A spanking trout from the mighty Pliva~


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bosnia Beckons:

Bosnia Sept 10 001

In truth, sometimes it’s with a heavy heart I travel to far flung destinations (for fear of missing action on my local streams…)!  However, given our current weather trend, which let’s face it is absolutely pants, there’s a huge degree of excitement about the prospect of exploring new rivers in Bosnia with Fly Odyssey:


Monday, 5 September 2011

A day in the Dales


~Clouds can never dampen your spirits in the Dales:




Happy Dales:

Every time I visit the neighbouring Dales, I’m left wondering……how come I left it so long?  The Yorkshire Ure is an iconic trout & grayling river that should be fished by everyone at some stage.  My recent visit might have seen threatening clouds spilling down the dale, but fish responded well to a range of small dry flies. IMG_8699 And whilst good numbers of wild trout where encountered, grayling stole the show for once.  One fish in particular comes to mind…a hefty lump estimated at some 2lb, which eventually spat the hook…bugger!  The consolation came in this fish below.  Ok-so it didn’t register as a 2-pounder, but it’s a damn fine specimen nonetheless.



~Photos by: Rod Calbrade~

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Eden on song:

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    ~This image speaks for itself~

We can count ourselves lucky up north as periodic rain has kept our rivers replenished for much of the season and the Eden is no exception.  Granted, high water plagued us from time to time, but on the whole, sport has been second to none.  Along with a handful of other trout, I prised this beauty out of the Eden only yesterday on a small beetle pattern.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Ivan's the man:

~Now that's what I call a stunning pool~

We fishermen are a breed apart…ask 10 of us what we'd like to do and frankly, you'll receive 20 different answers! With that, imagine what it's like trying to organise 5 mad keen guys intent on leaving no stone unturned in the Pyrenees? Head guide-Ivan Tarin was charged with such a task and believe me, he did sterling work. Several times our game plan changed though generally speaking, things worked out pretty well. Of course, many of our madcap or more ambitious ideas were borne out of the bottom of a whisky tumbler, which might have seemed good at the time, but implementing them later was a different matter. For my money, searching the deep, crystal clear pools of a mountain stream (above) takes some beating. Salvelinus Lodge:


~Ivan extraordinaire~