River reports – San River Poland


fly fishing in Poland

After 2013

December 22nd, 2013

Well it has been an interesting time since I last wrote.
I decided to give it a break with groups for 2011. Still fished the San a lot by myself and had a few small groups of friends mainly. I used this time to create Polishquills which grows to be a very successful fly tying business and to travel a bit fishing in Europe.

Now it is over – 2013 was probably the best year on the San since a looong time – what happened this year with a peak in October was simply incredible.
Hatches, fish rising – just like it should be.
The amount of good size trout is just unbelievable and the grayling… I’ve had 4 biggest grayling of my life this year…

So we’re back and already have pretty good amount of bookings for 2014, still a few weeks to fill.

I’ll be present with Polishquills on the fly fair in Charleroi (end January) Paris (end February) and Munich (end March)

I wish you all the best and tight lines for next year!



Jeremy Lucas’ – introduction to 2011

March 22nd, 2011

Wojtek has been very frustrated by last year’s fishing on the San.  I write the following to clarify matters a little more.  I was therewith groups from (mainly) Britain in June, September and October, while friends of mine hosted groups at other times.  In all cases we could see that there has been some structural changes wrought by the big floods.  As Wojtek points out, some traditionally good areas fished not as well as expected, while other usually less productive areas were surprisingly good.

Caddis activity was strong, with tremendous hatches, either side of the floods, while the mayfly (danica) was the strongest show I have ever seen.  The other, famous ephemerid hatches, particularly the BWO, were strong, but a little later than usual.  I subscribe completely to Wojtek’s view that the fish populations have never been better on this still magnificent river.  In fact I think there are now far more respectably sized trout in the system than ever before in my memory, while the grayling fishing remains the best in Europe!  On all my visits, and those of my friends, great catches of both species were made, even in June when the floods were at their worst last year.

Anglers are all too ready to blame the river for their lack of success.  This is, finally, nonsense.  There is very little wrong with the San and, indeed, it should be seen as a model trout and grayling fishery for the rest of Europe.  Floods will seldom do any long term damage.  Only industrial pollution (not present in the San River Basin) and agricultural damage (hardly present here) can do that.  The Polish Angling Association, along with careful management of the forest in the region as well as almost entirely sustainable agriculture, has protected this river; and this is very rare in modern Europe.

As anglers we should be applauding and revering this river.  If we fail to catch here because of a flood, then we should live with it and come back another day.  If we fail to catch for other reasons, then we should blame ourselves and learn how to do it better.

Thoughts about 2010

December 23rd, 2010

2010 season is over. Not the one, we will remember as outstanding. Huge floods, long lasting  rain have influenced the fishing in worse possible way. Honestly – the fishing was non existent till half September. It did get absolutely fantastic in October, but I really thought for a moment things are lost.

From the other side I couldn’t believe many people say – the floods have washed out all the fish – there is nothing left. Well – it is true – such was the impression. But look at it from the other side – how the hell did these fish survive for 1 000 000 years if there were floods every year before? (the dam was built mainly to prevent every years’ huge floods)

Fish did move to strange places – that’s true – some best pegs seemed empty!
Fish had stomachs absolutely FULL with food after floods – no wonder they were hard to catch.

For all these who were so negative – please explain where did the great, absolutely fantastic fishing come from in October?
Ask Paul Procter, Pat Stevens, Jeremy Lucas.

After what I’ve seen in November – incredible amount of spawning reeds and how the October fishing was I will risk the following statement – San is in a better condition than it ever was – certainly with trout. The soon-coming changes in fishing regulations will make it even better with grayling. San still is the world’s leading mixed trout and grayling fishery.

And if you can’t accept weather conditions influence the fishing – please stop telling lies and don’t spoil my day. I was born to live happy.
(this should be translated in French- in that language I have heard biggest nonsenses ever)

All the best to all of you for 2011, tight lines!


First snow

December 3rd, 2010

First serious snow this year

Spawning trout

November 25th, 2010

Trout spawning is definitely getting to an end. However the amount of spawning redds impressed me enormously. They are in huge numbers all over the place, some of them HUGE, some of them certainly made by VERY BIG fish, seen the size of gravel they moved, these were fish the size of an average huchen… Wardens reported some monsters spawning – hey that doesn’t surprise me!

One of the biggest spawning redds on the San

Spawning redd made by a biggy

More grayling

November 21st, 2010

Good day fishing, grayling still difficult,


trout are so hungry after spawning that it is difficult to target the grayling – trout come from absolutely nowhere to steal proper grayling flies.

Trout come from nowhere

Feels colder already they announce big cold coming within few days…

Fishing season at its best

November 19th, 2010

Good warm weather and rising fish, do you need more?
Could you do with absolutely  noone on the river?  is that better?

So – great grayling time, even that fish are, as usually in late autumn, very picky and not easy to catch.

Someone throws stones from the bottom...


November 12th, 2010

We should have made the season much longer this year – all the way through till now the weather was very generous. Fishing wasn’t bad either, with few more brilliant days. The temperature has few times approached 18 degrees! Warm nights too…

Autumn in beech forrest on the San bank


October 27th, 2010

We made a little trip to the mountains and came back filled with confidence, that this is one of the most fantastic places on earth that we live in. I would give everything to be there ever day…

Autumn in the Bieszczady mountains

Solinka river

Rainbow over the Otryt

Solina lake in Wolkowyja

Incredible coulours of the mixed forest

Friend's group – Jeremy's report

October 23rd, 2010

You know, words begin to fail me when I describe the fishing on the San River in the autumn.  We had a magnificent trip, a special, stolen week with great companionship among close friends, right at season’s end among the fire and blaze of the forest under the sun, and the foam laden river.

Old man and his stick aka Tremendously Experienced Angler, appearing regularly in fishing magazines and books, Carefully Studies the Water

Low, clear water throughout our trip, and every day trickle hatches of BWOs, and huge caddis numbers (these ignored by the fish), and rising trout…  Among them the gold of the San, the grayling, the best grayling in Europe. I managed a 45 cm specimen (somewhere around two and a half pounds in weight), and four other 40cm+ fish.  Paul Fear caught about the same, along with huge numbers of trout on a mixture of French nymphing and dry fly.  I fished most days exclusively dry (19 and 21 plume tips), though had two morning sessions with duo (Oppo and PTN size 18) and averaged 15 ‘measurers’ each day.

Autumn on the San

Lawrence Greasley claimed to be right at the limit of his ability, but I observed him fishing carefully and with some success.  He caught trout consistently well and also grayling when he committed to the plume tip and ignored the dreadful deer hair abomination in which he has so much faith.  There was a moment, actually on our first afternoon, fishing in the river by our garden, when I found a long line of grayling (where they always are).  I caught three of them (all 35cm plus) before calling over Lawrence to get on the drift line: who then enjoyed this special moment with this, the ultimate prize among single handed fly rod exponents.

Pat Stevens – probably the finest fly dresser in England – had already hosted a group on the San the week before our trip, so he was now relaxed and determined to fish dry.  Of course, this paid off and I witnessed two special moments when Pat singled out big grayling rising to BWO duns.  Lovely fish and a smiling Pat.

Nice grayling returned

There, in the Blitzkrieg dazzle of autumn leaves, and the steady, reliable hatches of BWO, we suffered.  We endured.  Wojtek’s dreadful cooking (we all put on a few pounds during the week); the dismal absence of fly hatches (every day – more than you will ever see in agriculturally destroyed Britain) and huge grayling (a 60 cm grayling was caught by Lechu, and photographed, during this week), the lack of enormous numbers of brown trout (Paul nudged into the twenties most days) – well, if the place wasn’t so ugly it would be ok.  You get the message.  If you want the best that trout and grayling fishing can possibly provide, there is only one place in Europe where you can find it.  Take it from me, who has fished throughout Europe.  San River is the worst place on the continent.  Stay away, please.