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Fly Fishing in Montenegro
Fly Fishing Montenegro

Fly Fishing in Montenegro

Fishing in Tara, Lim and Plav Lake

There are fly fishing destinations that are much better known and more developed in terms of tourism than Montenegro, but perhaps that is exactly why it has not been on my radar for fly fishing for a long time. The waters in Montenegro have a huge potential and as soon as the people will start releasing their catch more often the fish sizes, especially those of the huchen will be rising.

Fishing Tara and Lim

The Tara River is famous for its canyon, which is the deepest canyon in Europe with a depth of over 1300 m. It is considered a rafting Eldorado. The Tara is also known for fishing for huchen. The population of Hucho permanently living there is very good. As huchen are often killed by locals before reaching their top size a fish of 1 m is a relatively large fish there. In spring, some very large fish weighing over 30 kg move up from the Drina to the Tara to spawn there. July is the best time for fishing for this fish there. You can then fish until midnight. In addition, there are also beautiful endemic trout and grayling. As everywhere in Montenegro, nature is still in order and the insects and lizards are not yet endangered by herbicides or pesticides. However, you will recognize a lot of plastic and other rubbish on the banks as spring floods inundate entire areas and transport rubbish from Albania. The local population needs to learn to care about nature if tourism is to be expanded in the long term. Fishing in winter is tough and not recommended. It can then be as cold as -25°C and there is a lot of precipitation. Hucho fishing in Montenegro, therefore, takes place at more pleasant temperatures than in the Alps.

The Gacka Ressort

There is a 5 km long private catch and release beat on the Tara near Mojkovac. The beat is only allowed to be fished with a guide. He picks up the customers and takes them to the best spots on the river. This C&R beat is managed, maintained, and controlled by the owner of the finest and most luxurious accommodation in the area, Gacka Resort. This little paradise of a high standard is situated on a hill about 3 km from the river. The resort's 54 beds are spread over numerous bungalows, some of which are very luxurious and spacious. A wellness area with a fitness room is also part of the facility, as is a sports field with a tartan surface. Everything had to be brought up the mountain in 15 years of construction. The owner Iman Jerakocevic has every right to be proud of the hotel & resort. Everything is made there in-house and even the 29°C warm water from the indoor pool comes from local mountain water and is kept germ-free with special biological agents. Everything that is needed in the kitchen is planted on the site. Grapes and various local delicacies are also grown in the organic area. The meat comes from organic farming in the area. The Gacka Slow Food Resort is the only resort regularly visited by international guests. There is a reason for this as in addition to the fantastic location with a view over the valley, the price-performance ratio is also great. Fly fishermen vacationing in Montenegro usually stay there. The distance from the airport in Podgorica to the resort is almost 100 km. This is also the distance to the Lim River and Lake Plav, which is fished in guided day trips from the resort.

Lim, Ljuca and Plav Lake

After about a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive along breathtakingly beautiful rivers, you reach the small picturesque Plav Lake. It is fed by the river Ljuca. Out of the lake, it runs as Lim River, and the first few kilometers below Plav Lake are considered to be the best waters for fly fishing in Montenegro. The river is rich in macrozoobenthos and the fish population is therefore very high. Grayling up to 60 cm and very large trout live in the river. The river's endemic trout are a feast for the eyes. Fishing on the rivers of Montenegro starts to get really good from the second half of May when the water levels drop sharply. May and June are the best months on the Lim and also on the Plav lake, where large trout also rise after Mayflies. You can rent small wooden boats with electric motors to catch the big trout and huchen in the lake. Motorboats with combustion engines are not permitted. These are not necessary either, because the lake is barely a kilometer long. When the trout are active, an average of 2-3 trout weighing 2-5 kg ​​are caught per angler per day. Huchen are also regularly caught there. Most anglers put these back as well as the trout. This is actually unusual, but there are very dedicated fly fishermen and guides at work there who know what such fish are worth. Grayling is plentiful for those who want to eat fish. The Lim in Berane has got a catch and release part where the huchen are more plentiful and larger than in most other areas.

In the village, you can also find the taxidermy of a huge huchen, which was caught in Plav lake by a local fisherman in 1985. The local fishermen speak of the world record huchen. The weight of 41.3 kg Huchen from Lake Plav is indeed significantly higher than the current world record fish of 35.1 kg from the Drau in Austria, but unfortunately, the fish was not caught with a rod but a net. Fishing with nets has not been permitted on the lake for a long time.

On the Lim near Berane, there has been a catch & release route for a few years that is better controlled. The population of huchen is better there, and they usually get a bit bigger there. In contrast to the Alps in Montenegro, catching a fish with a length of 1 m or more is rather the exception, since the fish usually do not get that big because they are killed beforehand. This is a common problem in Montenegro when it comes to larger fish. Too many still fall victim to poaching or even to non-compliance with minimum size rules. The lack of understanding of the value of good spawning fish is actually a pity because the habitat is perfect in terms of reproduction. Unfortunately, the poverty of many people also plays a role in this regard.

Fishing and Travelling in Montenegro

In order to know exactly what will await you in Montenegro, I would like to share the following information with you to make sure you will be well prepared and do not experience any unpleasant surprises.

Copyright © Günter Feuerstein