Exzellent Fly Fishing in Montenegro
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 the fish populations there are still quite unique and the country has not been on my radar for saltwater fly fishing. My visit in April 2018 was worth it. Fly fishing on the coast of Montenegro for the fast predators of the Adriatic promises pure adrenaline at an easily reachable distance! But the rivers Tara and Lim are also known for their trout, grayling, and huchen.
Saltwater fly fishing has been fascinating me for more than 15 years. I've been to numerous destinations around the globe to get acquainted with the fast predators of the seas. In doing so, I have evidently neglected the south of Europe. You may have read my blog posts about fishing for Mack Tuna off Fraser Island/AUS. I was not aware at all that there are even larger False Albacores abundant in large numbers on the coast of Montenegro. Whereas in many other places you often have to travel many kilometers by boat until you reach the fishing grounds, tuna, jack mackerels, sea bass, and bluefish can be caught here close to the shore. 5-10 minutes after leaving the harbor you can already spot fish hunting on the surface and if you are skilled you can catch false albacores of 8-12 kg on sight with the streamer. Incredible!
After only a 1h 20min flight from Memmingen (DE), I was in Podgorica, and after another 1.5 hours drive, I was already at my destination. There you have several options in terms of fishing. There is something for everybody. Fishing for sea bass or jack mackerel in the Bojana river (depending on the water level), fishing from the beach or harbor with stationary or spinning tackle or even fly fishing. In December 2017, a bluefin tuna weighing 98 kg was even caught from the harbor wall in Ulcinj. Of course, trolling is also possible.
Whole year fishery at the coast
These fish can be found all year round in the Bojana estuary area. So you can choose to fish alone or share the area with the sun-seeking crowds and mosquitoes in the summer. Fishing for False Albacore off the Bojana estuary in April is highly recommended. It is the peak for this species of fish. It's actually a pleasant time because it can be pleasantly warm then (25°C and more) and there are practically no people there yet. The rivers are affected by the snowmelt at this time and carry too much water. The Huchen are spawning in April, so the sea is the best option at this time.
From mid-April the chances of hooking a bluefin tuna increase. April and May are the best time to fish the coast and again late in the year in November and December when the river is cold and the sea bass and other river fish move to the warmer estuary. However, catching a bluefin tuna on a fly is difficult. These big fish are usually caught by spinning or trolling. In some areas of Montenegro, bluefin tuna are also lured up by baiting. Fish of 70 kg+ were landed from the shore several times in Ulcinj in November.
In summer there are huge numbers of tourists at the longest sandy beach on the Adriatic. I don't like these crowds and therefore recommend avoiding the hottest time, although even then the fishing might be excellent. A week on the boat can be very hot at this time and the streets leading to Ulcinj's promenade are permanently congested. In the evenings there is partying everywhere on the banks of the Bojana River and at the beaches, so it can be very noisy. As a compromise, you can combine three days at the sea with a few days at Tara and Lim rivers in the somewhat cooler north.
Tackle Recommendation for Saltwater Fishing in Montenegro
Rods: #10 -12
9ft. CTS Affinity X
alternative: fly rods with a lot of lifting power (tunas), no flat rods!
RIO fly lines: #10-12
RIO COSTAL Quickshooter XP(WF F/I) or RIO General Purpose Tropical (WF I/) both wit a clear tip
RIO General Purpose Tropical WF/F or RIO Mainstream SW (WF F) for popper fishing
250-300m Gel Spun with min. 25 kg breaking strength
Fluorocarbon 15 kg
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.