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Czech republic – 28-06-2014

Czech republic – 28-06-2014

Our last fishing day would be spent at the Úpa river (German: Aupa) .
We had been at the Úpa before but then it was in flooding stage and unfishable.
As we drove to our destination Slatina nad upou I found the landscape a bit flat.
Even more alarming was when we actually crossed the Úpa and I saw that it was a
straight channel with concrete banks left and right.
Luckily it all changed when we entered Slatina nad upou as the road was winding down
in to a gorge.
There was a carpark at a dirt road and gathering from all the people on mountainbikes
it seemed like a well frequented tourist destination.
A look at the water instantly revealed fish so hopes where high for this water.

One of the passers by (a lady) asked us in English if we where about to fish and if we had the
proper licenses – off course we had.
When we asked the rethorical question if the fishing was any good she had too think for a long
time and just mentioned “fishing good, small fish”.

Úpa river

Getting in to the river was actually a struggle for me, not only because I still had trouble with my knee
but the water was actually deep at the bank and dotted with some big boulders.
One of my buddies was almost going for a swim as he got into the river at a deep outside bend.
I eventually made it to the adjecent shallow bank and tossed segdes at rising fish.

Úpa river, brown trout and brook trout

As one of my so called “friends” had entered the river not that far stream upwards from me it made
no sense to walk in his footsteps so I opted to fish the deep waters I had just passed with a streamer.
I was amazed at the number of trout that came out of nowhere to chase the streamer but as it
often happens with streamer fishing none of the fish got hooked properly.
When I spotted some rising fish near a weir I changed back to the dry fly but again no solid takers.
Allthough the skies where filled with clouds and some droplets of rain fell the predicted downpour
luckily did not happen, it was hot though.
The heat combined with my sore knee eventually got to me so I carefully tried to cross the deep water
to get onto the bank and hop on the roadside bench for a rest.

After I had regained my posture I figured sitting all day on a bench was not the reason to come out
here so I crawled up the mountain via the dirt road to reach a section of the river upstream.
I passed by some of my friends and entered the water via a meadow.
The river was wide and shallow here, not a sign of rising fish anywhere.
Eventually I found one of my friends sitting on  a rock, his face expression just spelled “struggle”.

Úpa river.

Allthough the first section of the river seemed pretty decent to me the other guys where I guess a bit
dissappointed by the results they achieved at this location.
It did not take long before the radio call came in that the guys wanted to move to another location.
As I had overdone it with my little mountain venture I opted to get out of my waders and rest for a while.
We would not fish another section of the Úpa but would head back to Peklo to fish the Metuje.
Back at the gorge in Peklo to guys disembarked into the river while my buddy and I followed the
road to the end where the restaurant was located.
Instead of getting in the river for a couple of hours and sweatting it out it seemed more sensible to get
a cold beer at the terrace of the restaurant – and so we did.

IMG 3411IMG 3410
The restaurant at Peklo, ote the top entry of the menu – no they do not serve plastic explosives – its an energy drink 🙂

A relic from the past, a trabant – East German export product.

At the end of the day we would again head to Nové Město nad Metují for dinner but a piece of Apfelstrudel with a Vídeňská káva (Viennese coffee)
as appetizer was more than welcome.
To kill the time we checked out the little Olešenka stream than ran into the Metuje at Peklo, A small brook with very clear water and off course with a few trout.

Olešenka brook.

After sunset we joined up with the other guys whom had fished the Metuje downstream but only caught a few small brown trout.
The excellent diner in Nové Město was again a very pleasing end of the day.

Nové Město nad Metují, at restaurant Dům č. 14.

So this was the last day of fishing trip to the Czech republic.
I was apprehensive to go on this trip as I had not much faith in the fishing and allthough the numerous references to small fish have come true it was better than I had expected.
To me this was more a fact finding mission than a fishing trip especially with some of my friends whom seem more intent to go sightseeing than fishing.
With all these factors plus my immobility due to a sore knee I think I have barely scratched the potential of fishing down there but at least I got a broad impression of the region I fished.

I would I go there again, yes I would – beautifull rivers and a beautifull country.

Heading home.

All I have left to say is to thank our hosts at Pension Novy Hradek for the excellent service
and information they provided, highly recommended.

Czech republic – 27-06-2014

Czech republic – 27-06-2014

On fishing day nr. 3 we planned to visit the Divoká Orlice river.
Intersting to know is that these parts used to be inhabited by German speakers so many towns and rivers in this area had also German names,
The Divoká Orlice also goes by the German name of “Wilde Adler” translated as Wild Eagle river.
The mountain range adaptly known as the Eagle mountains.
The area we where in was also known as Lower Silizia, nowadays part of Poland and the Czech republic.

On the road again.

When you drive through the Czech countryside you are bound to travel over many smaller streams
and when you are a fisherman you just have to stop and take a look from a bridge in order to spot fish.
We travel through the town of Vamberk and stopped at the bridge over the Zdobnice River.
An intersting bridge as it was dotted with religious statues with for me most notably that of St. John
Nepomuk which is also present at the local river I fish back home (Patron saint against floods).
Allthough we spotted a fish the the rather low and murky water in the middle of the town did not look
inviting enough to get into the waders and try to catch some fish.
Furthermore the section streamup from the bridge ran past an industrial complex where some
workers where digging and repairing one the banks, probably the reason for the murky water.
We made a short photostop and headed on to the main destination.

We eventually arrived at the Divoká Orlice in the village of Zamel, the water looked good to me
but some of my friends had a serious problem namely not being able to decide when to go fishing.
They looked at the river and thought it neccesary to travel further to look at other spots.

Divoká Orlice at Zamel

We eventually end up at the small village of Potštejn (In German Pottenstein).
A look at the brigde revealed one Czech angler who was tossing a small spinner amongst the ranunculus weeds – he instantly got a fish.
We had a coffeebreak at Potštejn but this would still not be a location to fish in.

Divoká Orlice at Potštejn

Somehow we ended up on a dirtroad through the settlement of Brna and while my buddy was cursing the road and my fellow
indecisive we eventually reached the main road at another bridge over the Divoká Orlice.
A look from the river revealed a nice spot of river with actually some deeper pools so I was ready to fish.
The other guys wanted to move on but I was at the “going postal stage” as it was well in the afternoon, I was on a fishing trip – not a sightseeing trip.
My buddy and I got into our fishing gear, the other guys moved on further upstream.

Divoká Orlice river, bridge on route 14

The location I choose looked promising but curiously yielded no fish.
The only thing I managed where some missed bites by tiny trout so I moved off downstream into the forest where I spotted some rising fish.
Eventually I did get something out of the water but it was all small stuff – where the heck had the Czechs hid their big fish.
With the absence of catch-and-release the most logical conclusion would be that all fish up to size had their head banged in and went home for dinner.
The second conclusion that we where bad fisherman seemed a bit too far fetched.

Divoká Orlice river, small grayling and brown trout – large mayflies.

The other guys had ended up not far from us and had appearantly hit the jackpot as they fished near an aera with small cottages that had just been visited by a stocking truck.
Someone had dumped the river there full of stockie rainbow trout and off course those where easy to catch.
We decided to join them to see if we would at least catch some fish that where of any size.

Divoká Orlice river.

Even though the spot at the cottages had been hammered by my friends I was still able to catch some small brownies on the segde and even two stockie rainbows on nymph and streamer.
The spot I fished had already yielded eight rainbows for one of my friends so you get the picture how many fish where dumped there.

During a break near sunset I noticed that my pants where now zipperless and somehow I did not find it a good idea to walk in this state into the restaurant for dinner later that evening.
All that wading was pretty tiring and a look at my buddy made it clear to me that a detour to the hotel for some new clothes would be a good idea.
The other guys still wanted to probe another spot so we agreed to meet up at the restaurant in Nové Město nad Metují later in the evening.
After a quick shower and new clothes we headed to the restaurant and as expected the other guys where late again, the plus side was that we could explore some of the old town – very beautifull surroundings.

Nové Město nad Metují

Out of pure convenience we ended up at the same restaurant again. Late opening hours, very affordable pricing and a perfect location- what else could you ask for.
The next day would be our last fishing day in the Czech republic when we would make another visit to the Úpa river (German: Aupa) hopefully with clear water this time.

To be continued …

Czech republic – 26-06-2014

Czech republic – 26-06-2014

On fishing day nr. 2 we planned to sample the Úpa river but first we had breakfast.
The unique feature of the hotel was that it catered mainly for groups of small kids.
Appearantly a leftover from communist times the kids from the industrial cities where send off
to the great outdoors with their teachers for fresh air and excersise.
Each morning at breakfast we where greated dozens of time by the kids with the Czech phrase
“dobrý den” meaning good day.

After breakfast it was time to head to the northwest to find a location on the Úpa river to fish.
Way back when before the second world war the living standard in the Czech republic was
very high but war and communist rule had changed that.
Unlike Eastern Germany the Czechs had no rich cousins to help them out so it took longer
to get the infrastructure up to standard.

This downturn was still visable today in neglegted buidlings and poor roads.

The roads … we where with two cars .. a big one and a small one.
I was travelling with my buddy in the small car and everytime we headed in our out of the
village we had to travel over the pretty bad main road.
My buddy would curse every time we drove over that road , on the way to the Úpa we
encountered more of those roads … more suited for a T72 than a car 🙂

On the way to the Úpa I noticed something disturbing, the small ditches and streams had
water with the same color as the soil = red.
Appearantly the downpour from the previous day had continued into the night and washed
out the soil from the fields.
Once we saw the Úpa for the first time we knew instantly that fishing would not happen here.

Úpa river

We needed a plan B, plan B meant we had to drive all the way back to our base camp and look at the Metuje river to see if the clarity there was enough to go fishing.
When we arrived at the Metuje we could see that the water was high and visebility was minimal.
I was not eager at all to fish there, on the way to the Metuje we passed a large reservoir where a small tailwater provided clear water fishing.
I was not sure it was a good fishing spot but the reservoir boasted clear water so I had a strong urge to try it there instead of the murky Metuje.
I was overruled though so the Metuje it was.

Metuje river

I was not sure how to deal with the murky water, all I could hope for was that fish would rise which I knew occurred now and then on flooding streams.
With the shortest flyrod of my arsenal I dropped the fly to likely spots but no fish where rising, it all seemed pretty pointless.
There was one feature of the Metuje on this particular spot that made me thinking, it had some deeper spots.
Since no fish was rising anyway I started to expirement with the Czech nymphing method, the rod was way to short for that but with the murky water any
fish closeby would not be able to see me so it could actually work.
I tied on a very heavy nymph and started to fish with a short line leading the nymph at the same speed as the current.
To my amazement it actually worked, not on the trout but on the grayling which where surprisingly present in numbers.

Grayling from the Metuje river

It took a while to get accustomed to this way of fishing but soon I could determine bites from bottom contacts.
When I talked to my buddy on the radio he mentioned he had still seen no fish so I told him to change his tactics, it also worked for him
so the day was more or less saved.
The sore knee was playing up again so I decided to stop early and head to the car to rest.
The rest of the guys continued to fish untill later in the evening but not as late as the day before as they struggled to catch fish.

Nové Město nad Metují

The choice for the dinner locations was easy, we ended up like the previous day in Nové Město at restaurant Dům č. 14.
On this visit we wisely asked for their opening hours, they where untill late in the evening ideal for a group of fisherman like us.
As the weather was fine all day we where pondering in we would give the Úpa river a try again but it seemed better to leave that one for last.
Instead we would sample the Divoká Orlice river.

To be continued …

Czech republic – 24/25-06-2014

Czech republic – 24/25-06-2014

I was never that keen to go on a fishing trip to the Czech republic as the locations discussed gave me
nightmares about rivers full of kayaks and obnoxious people.
When the discussion among friends was raised again but another location was mentioned I changed
my mind and opted to go along.

The destination Bohemia was more or less derived from the local tackledealer A&M fishingtackle whom had
visited the area several times and written about it.
As base for our fishing trip we choose Pension Nový Hrádek which was operated by a Dutch couple.
The neat thing about the Pension was that the required Czech national fishing license plus the neccesary
permits to fish the local trout waters where arranged by the Pension – very convenient.

At first the plan was to go fishing two days but since it was a 12 hour drive from our neck of the woods
I would not even consider that option. In the end four fishing days where possible – good enough for me.
The trip to the Czech republic brought us through Dresden and Prague finally to Nový Hrádek near the
Polish border.
We unpacked our gear, got valuable information from the couple who ran the Pension and arranged to
go out eating at the pub in the local village.

Dinner at Restuarace na kovarne, Nový Hrádek

At breakfast the next morning our host showed us the fishing locations near the hotel on a map.
After breakfast he would take us to some of the fishing spots to get us started.
So we headed out to visit the Metuje river at the Czech/Polish border and then downstream visiting
various locations.

The last stop on our Metuje sightseeing trip was the section at Peklo and since it was the most
beautifull location it would be the starting point of our Czech flyfishing adventure.
Our host was ferried back to the hotel while some of us stayed behind to fish.
It was not easy to get to the fish as the spot we fished seemed to have a fairly regular shallow profile
with as major feature ranunculus patches.
At first I tried nymphing but with so shallow water a dry fly seemed a better choice.
After a while the first fish fell for a deerhair segde, small trout but fish nonetheless.

Despite a sore knee I soldiered on in search for bigger fish but I found the water eerily quiet.
With so many patches of ranunculus I had expected more action bot only small fish showed
up now and then.
The location was very pretty, the fishing pretty tough.

At the end of the day it the slow action and the sore knee made me return to the car for a break.
Allthough a small opening in the clouds promised some sunshine and maybe more insects
on the water it did not last.
The skies closed, it got dark and as I got out of my waders the heavenly sluicegates opened, it poured.
The other guys bravely tried to catch some fish but in the pouring rain it was no fun.
At the end the decision was made to seek out a restaurant for dinner and call it a day.
We ended up at the historical marketsquare of Nové Město nad Metují and enjoyed a good dinner
at restaurant Dům č. 14 , highly recommended

Nové Město nad Metují

It was late as we left Nové Město for our basecamp ant Novy Hradek, the program for the next day
would be a visit to the Úpa river which was just as the Metuje river a tributary of the Labe (Elbe) river.

To be continued …