I can’t believe it’s such a warm and pleasant weather in the middle of October! The specific nostalgia one would feel in this time of the year, after the busy summer program, is more or less not there! Enjoying such a great late summer vibe – ‘cause I’m not the one who spends masochistic hours on water during cold and rainy days – I can only think of planning some more days off for fishing. Just like the beautiful experience I had a few months ago… Oh, but I guess nostalgia is still somehow there, haha! :)
It was the first fishing trip ever spent away from Liviu and all my motherhood responsibilities. I have no idea if you can imagine the joy I felt, realizing the freedom I was up to enjoy at that time! :))) But I wish you had the chance to have similar feelings at least few times in your lifetime – that should be a healthy way of living ;)
I prepared for the 4 days (yes, only 4…) planned for visiting our friends András and Zsolt from Borisfly & AVPS Târnava Mare and for supporting them during their fly fishing camp for children, and so left our adopting country behind.
I got even more eager to arrive while thinking I’ll get to fish again, after 4 years, Târnava Mare, the river where my hosts have invested a lot of time, energy and finances and where I’m organizing fly fishing tours for my guests… but obviously not that often for me ;)
Shortly after my arrival I rented a car, and set off from Oradea to Sub Cetate, drove approx. 370 km and very much enjoyed the partly idyllic landscape along the road N16 between Cluj-Napoca and Reghin: a magic combination of rural with natural sites on a hilly relief – specific for the Transylvanian Basin.
In Sub Cetate I finally got to meet again our good friends and very talented fly tyers, Zsolt and András. We were all accommodated at Zetavár, a perfect place to organize camps and family break-outs either for fishing, or for other outdoor activities, since the whole region is a great destination for nature and culture lovers as well.
The last time I met the guys was at the EWF (Experience the World of Fly Fishing), where we shared our exhibition stand the second year in a row now and where Zsolt also won the German fly tying competition! He simply has magical hands and ties his flies to perfection! :)
After my arrival at Zetavár, as you already can anticipate, I took care of priorities and as soon as I got “green to go” I was on my way to the river, which flows right by the lodge.
I quickly prepared my gear and set it all up for dry fly fishing… until I saw the water… And it was too high and turbid for what I had in mind. Luckily Zsolt (Boris) was just helping children with their gear, so I joined the group ;) He had planned for those water conditions to teach children how to French nymph. He explained that French nymphing is very effective on rapid waters and when fish are choosy and aren’t rising that much. This method should help every fly fishermen or woman having a direct and good contact with both, bait and fish. Moreover he considers that French nymphing is also the best method for casting further distances just by using a correspondingly long fly rod.
On the other hand, I know that dry fly fishing lovers, such as our friend and very appreciated rod builder and caster George from Tightloop Fly Rods, can consider using a 9’6″, 10′ or 11′ feet long rod and fishing with 2-3 m of monofilament not that “ethical” anymore – by not being able to name this “fly fishing” :D But, if one knows how to cast with a 9′ feet rod, it still should be the most effective method in specific places, especially on small to medium, rapid streams.
So back to setting up my gear, I was very thankful for the instructions from Zsolt. I was advised to use a normal fluorescent monofilament line of 0.20 mm (so that I can follow it better in the unclear water) and tie it to a transparent 1,5 m long monofilament leader of 0.18 mm. On the latter I knotted a thinner tippet on which I tied two nymphs at approx. 30-50 cm distance from each other, the swimming one being knotted at approx. 20 cm from the main tippet line. Both of them were pheasant tail nymphs with either blue/purple spot, or an orange one, while the one touching the ground was a bigger, heavy one of size 6.
Why on Earth haven’t I taken some pictures of the flies I used, I don’t know… In any case, I just know I needed some time to figure out how to handle this technique, whereas keeping the line straight and stretched, while moving it with the natural speed of water was the catchy thing for me. Then learning again the difference between a bite and just a stone/algae was again challenging :D That’s the way it is when you’re just used to dry fly fishing! ;) With a little bit of moral support from our friend Calin from the Western Carpathians, who was also there with his kid, I finally did it! :D
It took more or less half an hour (felt definitely more!) to my first catch. Despite my expectations of catching a rainbow trout, I had a beautifully colored brownie at the end of my line and bottom nymph ;) And then it just happened again and again! Aaaahh… Mesmerizing!!! :D
Mission accomplished for that day, since I had to return to the children and the well-deserved coffee.
The camp’s program included a target fly casting competition, to which many of the adults (instructors or not) also participated, moving it one step further and casting from the distance at the same time :D It was great fun, especially since I got among the first three, hehe! ;) Thank God they didn’t organize a competition for nymphing! :D
After two days of being there I felt energized needed some more adventure :) Besides, it was MY TIME! :D
So I had to do something about it and since I had been repeatedly talking to one of our other great fishermen and guides, Marian, it didn’t take me long until I decided to continue my short fly fishing trip and head to the feet of the Eastern Carpathians, on a wild tributary of the upper part of the river Mureș, the second longest river in Romania.
To be continued…
Photo sources: https://colectionaruldeorase.com/2017/10/18/drumul-dintre-cluj-si-reghin-e-presarat-cu-bune-peisaje/https:/ /ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fi%C8%99ier:Soporul_de_Campie-DSCF3167.JPGhttps:/ /ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fi%C8%99ier:Valea_Lunga_Panorama.jpg