The way to our next destination leads us across the entire Transylvanian highland: exceptional green hills with their specific aspect of escarpments, mainly formed on sandstones, conglomerates and salt and on which small landslides or ravines bring the former Pannonian Sea deposits to daylight.

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(from l. to r.: the Dragons’ Garden Geological Nature Reserve, marine fossils in NW Transylvania, escarpment developed on salt)

Our first stop is on Someșul Cald River, where Liviu’s the fishing adventure started. The river is one of the biggest midland rivers in Romania, where the chase for a beautiful asp has held us there for over one hour! :) But is was definitely worth it!

Next stop: Sovata, one of the many well-known Romanian health resorts that flank the Eastern Carpathians. Its uniqueness is given by the big number of salty, helio-thermal natural lakes formed around here, which are used for their therapeutic properties.

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The thought of swimming in such a special place, where one simply cannot completely sink, and the appetizing smell of the local pastry specialty, Kürtöskalács, make us plan a come-back for a whole afternoon sometime soon.

Being eager to catch some fish though, once we’ve charged our energy tanks we move on towards the banks of the upper Tarnava Mare River, where we also want to take our guests in our tour two. Here, the local fishing club, AVPS Tarnava Mare, has taken care for the last 6 years of 8 km of the river as a catch and release area, which now promises the catch of big brownies and graylings. Upstream they’re also in charge of the access and administration of the artificial Lake Zetea, the home of gorgeous lake trout.

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The water conditions seem to be the best this time of the year, so after our arrival we quickly prepare for a check-out session :) Surprised, I notice that this river cannot be compared with the others I’ve fished: not only it’s a highland river (the other ones were mountain rivers), but its water is the one that makes the difference: it appears to be chalky, but has a dark reflection, given by its volcanic, slippery, rocky bed. It’s mainly difficult for me to walk through the river, but once I pay more attention to my first-time-used streamer, I realize it vibrates somehow strangely and it gets harder to take it out of the water! And guess what?! Now that’s a surprise!! A beautiful rainbow trout shows itself to the surface and astonished and unexperienced as I am, it quickly makes its way free in the water again so I don’t manage to photograph it :-P

Soon after though Liviu makes the breakthrough, so I definitely have to take this picture!


What follows overcomes my expectations: there’re days and places where fishing is a true spectacle and it makes so much fun chasing fish with the right fly, that one doesn’t want to leave that place anymore! Fly fishing in Transylvania is fun indeed! The exaltation you feel when you catch one after another glittering, swimming beauty cannot be compared!

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There are also “pay-back” times when fish play that well “hard to get” that I cannot believe others have caught lots of them in the same place… That’s nature I suppose so I keep on thanking each and every single one I catch for the great show it has offered me :)

The guys we’re fishing with, Silviu Stricat, George Minculete, Zsolt Györfi, Ionut Petrica, obviously have more experience, ‘cause they’re catching bigger ones. So I watch and learn …


… and I finally succeed for the first time to catch a brownie and a grayling at nymph. I cannot lift them out of the water in time though, so that I can show them to you.. But I’ll gladly show you what the others have caught ;)

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After a few days of fishing Tarnava Mare we want to taste the pleasure of being in this part of Transylvania also by visiting some other great sights and trying out some bearwatching!!!

This experience was crazy good! :D So happy we could see from such a small distance these beautiful brown bears – and this by being in the wilderness!!! But not to worrie, we and all the visitors are accompanied by one or two rangers and they stay in a small wooden cabin, with large windows, from where they can see these gorgeous creatures in their natural environment! ;) Just wonderful!

And here wo hit the road again.. Wanna find out more about our adventures? Like us on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll post there every news we have for you ;)

With many thanks for their pictures to George Minculete, Györfi Zsolt, Silviu Stricat, Laszló Nagy and Monika Rempler!

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