Tenkara Comes to Croatia!
by Jeffry Gottfried
(Portland, Oregon, USA)
I had the pleasure of fishing in N.Croatia/S. Slovenia on the Kupa River with my friend and guide, Darko Gorjan of Zacrajc Brodski, Croatia. Don't look for it on a map because you wont find it. That was just a part of the adventure.
I arrived at Darko's cabin/fly fisher's apartment, after an all-day down pour that made it necessary for me to pull off of the autobahn. I was feeling very down, wondering if I was going to do any fishing at all during my planned three day stay with Darko and his dad. On the day of my arrival, we toured the Kupa and tributaries and they were the color of chocolate milk. Darko called friends throughout the region and learned the other rivers within reasonable driving range looked equally as bad.
Nonetheless, after a nice breakfast, we took drove off, stopped at a coffee shop in Brod na Kupa, a village that boasts a modest fly fishing museum and is on the map at a Slovenian border crossing.
After buying a day license good for either country on the Kupa and meeting some fishing buddies of Darkos, we were off the headwaters of the Kupa in Risnijak National Park, home to a great population of European grayling and other wildlife including European brown bears, wolves, martens, foxes, wild pigs, three species of deer and chamois!
Day one: I fished my Ito tenkara rod; Darko fished his 5wt Sage. Day two, Dark fished by Ito and I fished my Sato. Day three, Darko traded a decent portion of his guiding fee for the Ito rod. We both caught many very nice grayling and a few browns on kebari, nymphs and size 18 mayfly parachute patterns.
I would love to return to these beautiful rivers under better fishing conditions and fish with Darko for bog browns, soft-lipped trout and marbled trout, all fish native to the region. Want to join me and Educational Recreational Adventures? www.era-nw.org. Feel free to contact Darko directly. You will not be disappointed.
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.