Hope, the fly fishing trips biggest enemy
By: Ilias karanzas Photos: Arek Kubale
Going on trips to other countries is something most flyfisherman dream about, you can often get away with a trip quite cheap as long as you plan and research ahead. but no matter how much you plan, prepare or research there are always factors you do not have any control over. This is a story about a trip like that, a trip where nothing went as planned, but still in its own way turned out just right.
Me and molly had been planning this trip for close to 6 months. The plan was to drive from Sweden down to Poland to a town deep in the polish mountains called Szklarska Poremba, literally translated to "The glass rift valley", named so after its huge amounts of crystal deposits that grow in the centuries old mines there. This little sleepy ski resort town would be our base camp for the days to come. Me and Molly decided to arrive a couple of days early so we could explore and just feel the vibe of these beautyfull mountain ranges before we went deep into the wilderness for our couple of days of fishing. We had booked ourself a hotel and we where ready to enjoy ourselfs.
The fishing part of the trip itself had been planned together with my good friend Arek, we had planned to visit a small river system called the Izera River. this little river or stream if you will, flows on top of the mountain range and in this part of the area its the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. This little stream is normally full of trout, small trout, but its a place where a 15 inch fish can be a 2o year old bull, that size being a trophy size fish.
Everything was prepared as mentioned earlier, we would drive down, stop by at some family on the way, reach Szklarska poremba and relax for a couple of days. Then we would drive to Wroclaw a good 3 hours from there to meet up with Arek and do some Chub fishing, before we head back and a couple of days later hit brown town. Nedless to say having something planned and then actually seeing it through are two different things.
As this trip was basicly a birthday trip for my wife Molly, you'd hope that it would go as planned. it didnt! On our way down to the Carpathian mountains Molly developted a fever and before we knew what happened, she had the worst case of stomach flu Inhave ever seen. Checking into the hotel the day before her birthday with her having fever halucinations was a somewhat odd experience, especially as we the day after where supposed to drive over to Arek for some fishing.
Well Molly ended up staying in bed the day after during her birthday, while i drove over to Arek. Molly was tucked down in bed at the hotel, building the big Lego box i bought her and getting cakes delivered for free from the staff at the hotel as they felt sorry for her.
Jump forward a couple of days, Molly is still sick as a dog and Arek and his fiancee Aga have just arrived to the parking lot and its time for us to hit the wilderness. needless to say the weather was not on our side. seing as these where the last weeks of summer we knew that we would have some nice warm weather. What we did not expect where the highest temperatures ever recorded in that area, a nice toasty 46 degrees Celcius /115 degrees fahrenheit. This weather did not bode well for our fishing, seing as the Izera in the area we would fisgh it was only about 30 feet wide and about 2 feet deep, but we decided to stay positive.
That positivity was shot down as soon as we reached our housing. Way up on the mountain top was this quaint little hostel where you could order a small cabin or live in a dorm room. We had booked a cabin, they gace us a dorm room, one without kitchen and only a shared bathroom to boot, yes its only getting better. Have in mind that Molly still has the stomach flu. The website also said that they could speak english, but due to an owner swap the month before no one new any english. Now normally that woulds not be a problem, as I, Arek and Aga speak POlish, but Molly being non polish speaking and us being away exploring the water system, ended up having an even worse day as she tried to communicate with the people at the reception. In the end, we decided to go with the flow, accept the situation, cry a bit, of to bed and dream about great fishing in the days to come.
Waking up early and hiking out to the spot of the day, reaching the izera we realize quite quickly that the fishing will be hard, we where there really early and enjoying the first sun rays on our faces in the morning is a feeling il probably never forget but the water, albeit beautyfull was low... really low so low that between the deeper holes along the bottom and behind the stones the water level was about a foot deep. the fish where there, but ohh so spooky seing them scatter and swimming away from you when you're 30 feet from the waters edge does not bode well. We where full of hope though, and started fishing, long leaders, midges, and more hope, and fishing was bad, really bad, what made it even worse where the huge amounts of fish we actually saw. But early afternoon the weather was sunny and scorching, we where wading in sandals, the cold mountain water cooling us down and we where still sweating. the weather and the low water levels have created a mecca for mosqitoes so the amopunt of them in the air is overwhelming and we where litteraly getting eaten alive. So once we reached midday we decide to call it a day, not a single fish hooked, and about 4 gallons of water drunk.
The next couple of days where even worse and needles to say the only fish caught was a small beautyfull brown that was landed by Aga so all in all a trip that was a total failure fishing wise. The weather was shit, the fishing was shit, i mean we actually saw the stream evaporate and lower during the days while fishing it. The housing was shit, and molly being sick all week totally missed out and did not even dip her line. But, and its a big but, we had an awesome time, we created great memories. And if thats not what a fishing trip is about then you should not go on trips like these. Sure alot of fish would have been great, i mean thats what we aimed for, but with all the planning and preparing and seing it go down the toilet and still have as much fun as we did, thats something ill cherish forever. In the end, this trip created more awesome memories as a bad trip than it probably would as a good one.
ahhh... almost forgot, what made my cup to overflow was when i was in the stream casting on a nice big fish for like an hour, swapping fly after fly after fly, getting more and more frustrated when a bicycle comes riding along the path next to the water. A sweaty bigger german man rides about 120 feet upstream of me, strips down full blown naked, plows into the water 20 feet above the fish im casting at and sits down into the water. he then goes to fart and clean himself while smiling towards me asking me in german if fishing is going good....
so yes, Hope is a flyfishingtrips worst enemy, but hope will also turn a bad trip into a good one as long as you have fun, do not kill sweaty germans and just take everything the world throws at you with a smile.