Fly fisherman Lawrence Greasley contemplates the island water at Zaluz on the San River in Poland.
Fly fisherman Lawrence Greasley contemplates the island water at Zaluz on the San River in Poland.

Fishing on the Frontier – Part 36: An Invitation!

This is your chance to join author, qualified fly fishing instructor and guide Jeremy Lucas on his beloved San River in Poland this year for a magical weeks fly fishing and learn about ‘fishing on the frontier’ yourself.

Following a number of enquiries over the last couple of years from readers of this series, as well as previous annual visits for Fish & Fly members to the San, I thought I would organise this year’s special visits in a rather different way.  I am hosting several trips in 2011, including 3rd – 10th July and 4th – 11th September, as well as two further weeks yet to be fixed.  Fish&Fly members are invited on any of these hosted trips at the members discounted offer (see below).

I have written rather a lot about the San River, because it has had such an enormous influence on me as a fly fisher and in several other ways.  Apart from giving the best mixed grayling and wild trout river fishing in Europe, the area is stunningly beautiful and unspoiled by the ravages of agriculture which has destroyed most of the wild landscape and wild life throughout the entire continent, and Britain.  San River and the surrounding National Park and Carpathian mountain region, is an oasis among the catastrophe that is the European Common Agricultural Policy.  It is as a fishery that the San will impress us all, but we all leave with an understanding that there is, after all, another way in which we can co-exist with all the other creatures of this earth.

All my groups, which are limited to a maximum of six, will stay in our house on the river bank, in a wonderful fishing location, and will fish a different stretch of the tail water on each day.  Accommodation is in en-suite twin or single bedrooms, and the trips are inclusive of all transport, accommodation, food (which is sumptuous!), fishing and guiding. Other than alcoholic drinks there is nothing else to pay for once you arrive in Poland.  I will be with guests throughout, along with at least one other guide, and will introduce you to the river, with the approach necessary, and will be there to help when required. Hardy Greys tackle is available for those who want it, though most people prefer to use their own; but in any case wading boots (not waders), nets and life vests are provided.

The trips are ideally for the more experienced river fisher who wants two things: to experience fishing on a river unspoiled by the agriculture which has damaged or wrecked almost all the other trout and grayling rivers in Europe, and then to explore the possibilities with dry fly and nymph fishing, particularly for the legendary big grayling that populate this river.  This is what I really mean by fly fishing on the frontier (though from the comfort of a lovely house on the river bank, looked after superbly by Wojtek and Anna), and provided the river is not in flood (and the dates are chosen so as to minimise this risk) you can experience the ultimate possible from river fly fishing for trout and grayling.

And it really is that good.  In June the caddis hatches begin in earnest, and are the species for which the San is most famous; but building from this month onwards are the most incredible ephemerid hatches, culminating in the Olive Uprights of summer, pale wateries of high summer and early autumn and the awesome Blue Winged Olives, which actually persist into November.  My own trips are chosen to give plenty of opportunity at mixed hatches.  The fishing is predominantly dry fly, though when the water is up a little the nymph fishing can be outstanding.  The fishing is predominantly on the tail water sections of the San, just downstream of the National Park, where the river is typically 100 metres plus across, though in most places wade-able bank to bank.  There willl also be the opportunity of visiting one or more of the various tributaries or the upper San in and around the park (water level dependant).  I will be guiding throughout and there will always be at least one other guide present to help when required.

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