Fly Fishing Report – Transylvania -Doda Pilii

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Persistence Pays Off: A Tale of Two Days on the River

The sun, barely awake, peeked over the lush Carpathian peaks, casting long shadows across the pristine waters of a Transylvanian river. The air, crisp and cool, carried the sweet melody of awakening birdsong. Mist clung stubbornly to the forest canopy, clinging to the ancient trees like a veil of secrets. As the first rays of golden light pierced the morning fog, they warmed the riverbank, sending wisps of steam dancing upwards.

This was the second week of June, a magical time when the Transylvanian wilderness comes alive. The rivers, their waters invigorated by spring melt, ran clean and clear, a haven for an abundance of aquatic life. Wild boar rummaged unseen along the bank, leaving their mark in the soft earth. A flash of emerald green caught my eye – a kingfisher perched on a branch, its sharp eyes scanning the water below.

With a deep breath, I inhaled the intoxicating aroma of pine and damp earth, the quintessential scent of a fisherman’s paradise. Today, the river held its own challenge. The previous day’s colder weather had kept the water high and stirred, pushing the fish to the bottom.

My trusty companions – a classic pheasant tail nymph with a hot pink hotspot (size 2.5/16 tungsten gold) and a Pink Tag (size 3.5/14) – were my first line of defense. Each cast sent ripples across the glassy surface, a silent invitation to the unseen denizens below. The reward? Several strong strikes, each tug a thrill that resonated through my rod. As I reeled in, the morning sun glinted off the scales of various-sized fish, a testament to the river’s bounty.

But the river, like a capricious friend, had a twist in store. The next day, sunshine brought a dramatic change. The water, now crystal clear with a normal flow, demanded a different approach. Gone were the bottom-feeding tactics. Today, the fish were exclusively focused on dry flies, and remarkably selective at that.

Hours were spent exploring the river’s intricacies, seeking the perfect location. Success finally emerged in the calmer stretches – streams and shaded areas with deeper pools and large boulders. Here, amidst the dappled sunlight and the gentle whisper of the current, I found them.

A simple dry fly pattern, size 10 or 12 with an olive body, blue light or dark brown CDC feathers, and a touch of deer hair, became the key. Each rise, each delicate take, ignited a surge of adrenaline as these selective fish tested my skills. Some even put on a spectacular fight, snapping their bodies with the force of a miniature torpedo, their strength testing the limits of my X6 and X7 tippet.

As dusk approached, the evening hatch brought a final shift. A smaller fly – a size 18-22 light brown kapok body with light brown CDC wings and a sprinkle of rabbit hair – became the ticket to renewed activity. The surface erupted with a flurry of rises, a delightful finale to a day of constant adaptation and discovery.

Throughout these two days, the Transylvanian river unfolded its secrets, demanding resourcefulness and patience. But the rewards were far greater than simply catching fish. It was a dance with nature, a conversation with the river’s current, and a deep immersion in the breathtaking beauty of the Transylvanian wilderness. And as I packed my gear, the setting sun painting the sky with vibrant hues, I knew I would return soon, ready to answer the next call of the river.

Gear Used:

  • Ultra light Hanak Superb 9’0″ WF2F Rio LightLine Dry Line Rod
  • Arkay Hanak Superb 9’6″ Nymph Line Rod


A huge thank you to Sebastian for his contribution to this article! Sebastian is a licensed and incredibly experienced fishing guide who operates a guiding agency in Transylvania. Renowned for his hospitality, Sebastian offers exceptional experiences for guests, including comfortable accommodation, personalized fishing lessons, and expert guiding services. This article delves into the beauty of Transylvanian rivers and the art of fly fishing, drawing on Sebastian’s wealth of knowledge. His website is: and if you are interested to fish in Transylvania please contact him directly or give me a short message .

Cheers, Lucian

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