Now and then opportunities arise.

Stories long forgotten pop fresh into mind and the next thing you know is that you pack your stuff and go.

It was the case for us as we were invited to attend a traditional wedding in the county and historical region of Maramures in our homeland. Maramures is one of the richest regions in Romania regarding tradition and folklore and we were happy to visit it again.

We drove from Germany the 1100 km to the city of Oradea and after resting one day we took the road to the heart of Maramures, to Sacel village, located on the Iza River.

Ruta IN-Sacel

Within close reach are some of the most famous and emblematic places of interest of Maramures: the old train called Mocanita which leads its passengers through the beautiful gorges of Viseu River (for details click here), the wooden houses and monasteries in Moisei, the National Park Rodna Mountains and a little further, Barsana Monastery and the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta. Here  is the tourist map of the region.

Marcel and Ionela, our best friends from Bucovina, the neighbor historical region (east to Maramures, where the well known UNESCO-monasteries are), decided to marry, following a traditional ceremony involving also traditional costumes.



Being both Geographers, teachers at the University “Stefan cel Mare” in Suceava, they’ve learnt how to truly appreciate their own identity, their routes and the beautiful nature they grew up with and how to share their knowledge with others. We know them for some years now and because we resonate with their way of being we plan to have them in the near future as our main partners for the planned fly fishing tours in the beautiful region of Bucovina. The wedding and the traditional ceremonials were a joy to attend, the photos speak for themselves.




If you ever get the chance to attend a traditional wedding in Romania, don’t miss the opportunity :)

Having some time off during the preparations, we headed on a steep mountain road to the springs of Iza River, high up in the mountains. I only fished for 2 hours, managing to fool some small wild brownies chasing the small size 16 PT nymphs. Dry fly was unfortunately out of the question.



The heavy rains and floods from 3 days before we arrived have raised the level on all rivers in Maramuresh, so we simply enjoyed the nature and the amazing surroundings near Sacel.




The second day after the wedding, having another 3 days off, we headed to the north regions of Maramures, to explore some rivers that we heard of and read about in the old fly fishing magazines we bought last year. We found them to be as wild and beautiful as 100 years ago, clear green-grey waters rushing towards the valley.


The rivers we explored seemed to be utterly wild. We met nobody on the rivers on the border with Ukraine, but there was also no fish. We spent unfortunately only about 3 hours on the water, but it was worth every minute.


We made a note in our agenda to take a better look in the near future into what this river holds hidden.

Heading from Viseu towards Baia Mare, we stopped briefly on Mara River, which next to Iza and Viseu rivers are the symbols of Maramures. It was late in the evening, we started fishing around 19:30 and Smara managed to fool a small brownie before we needed to move on. Very nice tunnel-like river, but the fish population is rather scarce.



In the evening we got to my grandparents in the village of Lemniu, on the shores of Somes River, where my fishing childhood started.


After spending the night there and enjoying the folklore festival the evening that we came, we headed back to Oradea. We still needed to arrange a lot of paperwork so we spent 2 days running through different offices. After getting all of our stuff cleared and suffering from the heat wave that got to the western part of the country, we decided to call our friends and head up to the mountains close to Oradea and explore a wild valley that we heard of from some locals.

And that was the cherry on the cake. After a strenuous road trip involving real “off-roading”, we descended into a narrow canyon where every corner and every pool is a joy to the eyes.


I fished many rivers in different countries my whole life, but this got to be the best. The surroundings are just breathtaking, it is out of this world.





We also managed to fool some trout and chub and we left the river with the darkness settling into the valley and the sun singing in our hearts. This must be the dream river we always wanted to find.


Join our adventures and exploration tours by following our posts and photos on our website and on Facebook, and why not, give us a call or drop by, we’d happily take you with us.

Enjoy the summer!

Smara and Liviu

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