River reports – San River Poland

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fly fishing in Poland

Archive for March, 2011

Jeremy Lucas’ – introduction to 2011

Tuesday, 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.