Ribnik River - one of the jewels of Bosnia
With the opening up of Eastern Europe over the past decade or so many new areas have become available to adventurous fly fishers. Following hot on the heels of the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland, we can now bring you a new destination that is still little known but has so much to offer courtesy of outfitter Zepter Passport Fly Fishing.
Ribnik River is one of seven emerald green beauties in west Bosnia. Absolutely pure and clear water with average temperatures from 6 to 9°C it is definitely one of top destinations for all who enjoy fishing using artificial fly.
Ribnik River is 5.6 kms long, 10 to 20 meters wide and 0.7 to 1.5 meters deep, which makes her very accessible for fly fishing. All 5.6 km of this river are available for fly fishing.
This is extremely bio-productive water with the spring located at over 500 meters above sea level, it is an excellent place for growth of all kinds of underwater insects. This makes Ribnik river a 'must fish' destination in this part of Europe.
From the very beginning of the fly fishing season, March 1st and all the way till December 31st, fish are constantly active, thanks to the great number of insects this river hides in its waters. The fish are absolutely wild and reproduce on their own, except for the trophy part of the river near the spring where, on a 200 meter stretch, one could catch big rainbow trout weighing 2 to 5 kg. Do not underestimate them, because they have also been there for a long time and they are very selective with their food and give you a good fight.
Ribnik river is especially rich in wild grayling which makes up to 60- 70% of the fish population, and can grow up to 55 cm and larger, but those specimens are very hard to catch. The remaining 30% is brown trout weighing 5 kg and larger! These fish are extremely selective. The reason for that is very clear water, and so the fish attacks only the fly which is transforming in that moment and leaving for surface. So, only a carefully selected fly or nymph, on thin tippet, can get any result, because fish in this river do not tolerate any form of improvisation.
Fly presentation must be careful and quiet, moving through the water very slowly, trying not to disturb it more then is necessary. It is recommended to cast down stream or across the river, so that the fish first see your fly and then your tippet. At the beginning of the season our recommended tippet should be no more than 0.14 mm, and from June it's best to use 0.10-0.12 mm. Flies that come out at that time and artificial flies mimicking them are tied on hooks size 16,18,20. The recommended rods would be a medium-fast action in 3 to 5 weights and 8-9 feet in length.
The river bottom is mostly pebbles, with some parts having lots of underwater vegetation which makes this river ideal natural habitat for many species of insects. Wading and walking the river bank is another unforgettable experience related to the Ribnik River. Even for older fisherman this will be an unforgettable experience, because it doesn't take lots of energy to explore the river. Accommodation and traditional food are very good and adapted to each fisherman's wishes. The use of of barbless hooks is mandatory and it's a 'catch and release' river with all fish in excellent condition. Cold water and lots of oxygen makes them wild and unpredictable, putting your skills to the ultimate test.
Come and join us on the Ribnik River for a fishing trip you'll remember for a long time!
Articles by the same author
- Essential Skills - Dry Fly and Mayfly with Oliver Edwards
- New Canadian Beaver report spells doom for Scottish salmon
- Fly Fishing for Atlantic Bass - new book reviewed
- The Streamside Guide - Road Trips
- Wet Fly Fishing on Rivers - Essential Skills with Oliver Edwards
- Venezuelan smorgasbord at Los Roques
- Pope of the Madison
- The principles of layering - the base layer
- Game Fishing by Bob Church
- The Streamside Guide - Planning the Trip