It started during the morning; and rained; and went on raining. During the night the forecast didn’t bode at all well for the rest of our stay in Slovenia. Over some slivovic, some italian guys say that the next morning they will head to Bosnia to check if the rivers are running any better over there. That spring of 2005, the name “Bosnia“ didn’t ring any bell to me regarding fly fishing. The Italians came back the next evening with bad news; I tried to satisfy my curiosity about a fishing destination that was totally unknown to me… with no success. The only option left was to explore on my own. In June 2007 I got my waders wet in Bosnia for the first time; the experience was fantastic and, since then, I have fished in that country several times each season in different times of the year.
Bosnia is an anomaly in the middle of Europe: rural economy; huge native forests; crystal clear spring creeks, with abundant submerged aquatic vegetation providing epic hatches; kind and friendly people; an exotic culture mix of East and West… and an ambience in which to immerse oneself and get back 50 years in time. And fish; lots of grayling and trout —many of them of trophy size— that utterly disregard any fly drifting with the slightest hint of drag. An addictive cocktail indeed. Take a look to this picture gallery to get a glimpse of it.
My two first experiences with some local guides weren’t satisfactory at all: guiding is something more than acting as driver. But on my third visit I met the best of hosts: Zeljko Prpic (Prpa). I hired him again the next season… and the next one. We eventually became friends, and this was how Prpa turned into my mentor in sight fishing, in which he is a true master. Because you go to Bosnia for that, to spend the whole day presenting your fly to active fish that you have previously spotted. But if an image is worth more than a thousand words, nothing better than this short video that we shot in September 2018 with Álvaro G. Santillán (http://focusonthefly.com) to show the ambience on rivers Pliva and Ribnik:
Bistro is the Serbo-Croatian term equivalent to “tight lines”. In Bistro! Fly Fishing School we propose an extraordinary fishing experience: a complete package in which —apart from catching trout and grayling guided by one of the most skillful anglers I have ever seen— our main goal is that you get back home being a better fly fisher.
A different approach
We don‘t offer hosted trips, whose main appeal is just accompanying some renowned angler. And we don’t do it simply because neither Prpa nor me are there to fish, but focused on you, your fishing and your learning of an array of interesting things in the process. It is not just about getting comprehensive advice from a world-class competition angler and guide; nor about keeping aside any worries about accommodation, meals or logistics —aspects that, of course, are included in our program—, but about an experience that will provide you with many new ideas to put into practice in your daily fishing; an experience to grow as an angler while getting fun.
How to decide the strategy for the day? What kind of line? Which leader and tippet? What casting technique to get the right presentation in this situation? Is my fly drifting right? Every day we will answer those and many other questions.
Balkan fly fishers have developed their own, very interesting and successful techniques, among which downstream dry fly presentations and long line nymphing play a leading role. This is an opportunity to leave aside your prejudices and open your mind. I am sure that you won’t regret it. Take a look to these videos to get an idea.
Day 1: arrival in Zagreb Airport (Croatia); transfer to Pljeva (Bosnia). Dinner and lodging at Pliva Complex, on the river Pliva banks.
Days 2 to 7: fishing on rivers Pliva, Ribnik and, eventually, Janj y Sana.
Day 8: early morning transfer to Zagreb airport and end of our services.
Number of anglers: 6 at most.
Price: 1.480€ per person.
The offer includes:
- Casting course before the trip, as an approach to the techniques we will be working on during our fishing week
- Seven nights/six fishing days
- Transfers airport/Pljeva/airport
- Accident insurance
- Full board lodging (drinks aren’t included)
- Transfers lodge/river/lodge
- Fishing permits for rivers Pliva, Ribnik, Janj y Sana
- Guiding and instruction about the proper techniques
- Photo memories of the trip
Zeljko Prpic: Fishing guide and competitor; born and raised on Pliva banks.
- European Championship 2010: first position.
- World Championship 2016: sixth position.
- World Championship 2017: fifteenth position.
Aitor Coterón: Fly fishing and fly casting photographer, translator and writer. Certified fly casting instructor (PAIL and FFI), with over fifteen years’ experience teaching different techniques to fly fishers of all levels of ability.
Week from 6th to 14th: fully booked.
Week 14th to 21st: fully booked
September 2020: inscription open