Croatia has an understated network of water bodies, which makes it an excellent destination for fishing. Fly fishing in Croatia has been on my to-do list for quite some time, so I decided to give it a shot.
For some reason, the country is not given due recognition in the international circuit for its fishing opportunities. But as you will discover in this post, Gačka is not the only river where there is an abundance of fishes for fly fishing.
Fly Fishing in Croatia
I cannot write about Croatia without mentioning its scenic towns and beautiful nature. It is a scene straight out of a book. The quaint little towns with its gorgeous houses and castle-like architecture are something I couldn’t ignore. Or maybe I am overly observant. 😉
Either way, a fishing trip to this country will be fun and worthwhile.
Now let’s get serious with what you came here for – fly fishing in Croatia!
License and regulations for fly fishing in Croatia
The use of fishing licenses for fishing is strictly enforced in Croatia. There are different types of permits in the country. All of them are valid for either a day or a year.
You can get the license for fly fishing in Croatia from the owners of the fishing rights. These are third party groups that distribute the permit from the Ministry of Agriculture of Croatia.
There are 130 owners of fishing rights in the country. Here is a list of the owners from where you can get the license. You can also get their contact number as well as their addresses with all the necessary information.
One of the best things about procuring a fishing license in this country is that you do not need to sit for an exam. If you have the fishing exam certificate from your country, this is enough to get you the fishing license.
But in case you do not have a fishing certificate from your home country, you will have to take this test in Croatia. Securing a fishing permit without this certificate may not be possible.
Another great feature about fishing license in Croatia is that there is no difference in pricing for a license between the locals and the foreigner. I have been used to paying extra for licensing as a foreigner in most parts of the world, so this is a welcome relief.
To learn more about the types of fly fishing in Croatia along with the licensing details, you can visit this link.
To buy your fishing license, you can click here.
Regulations for fly fishing in Croatia
- The fishing rod, as well as the gear, should be under your constant supervision. This means you cannot leave it unattended.
- You cannot use artificial bait with more than two hooks. However, for anglers who practice recreational fishing, you can use only one hook. But you can add up to three rods.
- The sizes of artificial bait are different from different fish species.
- Catch and release type of fishing in mandatory for graylings, irrespective of their sizes.
- The minimum age for applying for a fishing permit in Croatia is 15.
- The different fishing clubs determine the regulations for night fishing as well as the size of the catch. They are vastly different from one to the other, so you must refer to them before you start fishing.For more information on the fishing regulations of Croatia, click here.
Best seasons for fly fishing in Croatia
In Croatia, the official fishing season starts from April 1st and goes up to October 10th of every year. This applies to all types of fishing.
However, if you want the specifics, here is the information:
- For graylings, the best time to get lucky is between May and October
- For trout, the best time is from May to September
- For salmon, the best time is in the winter. Specifically, the latter part of October to February is the ideal time.
Best locations for fly fishing in Croatia
Croatia has numerous opportunities for fly fishing. Its clear waters and the fishes can make even the pickiest angler a happy one.
These are some of my top recommendations for fly fishing in Croatia.
This subterranean river is undeniably one of Croatia’s best and probably all over Europe. Unlike some water bodies where there are different types of fishing allowed, this river is exclusively reserved for fly fishing, especially in the upper parts of the river. So, if you can make it to this place, consider yourself lucky.
The river is home to a good number of brown and rainbow trout. The river is a chalk-stream type of water body which moves down steadily through the valley. You will have no trouble getting to this river as it is close to the town of Otocac.
Find more information about this river here.
This is another river that is ideal for fly fishing in Croatia. Graylings are the primary fishes in this river. But there are decent numbers of carp, river trout and some of California carp. The latter species is mostly found during the fall season.
Some sections of the Kupa River flows through a National Park. This means that you will come across some animals and birds that are local in the area.
However, the upper part of this river is a popular place for summer bathers. This can become a concern but does not affect the quality of fishing in any way.
Learn more about the river in this link.
This is also a fantastic spot that you cannot miss while fly fishing in Croatia. Graylings and river trout are found in this river so you can catch some prized fishes in this river.
The Slunjcica branches out into a number of waterfalls, which looks impressive. The landscape of this river adds to the natural beauty and the overall experience of the river.
However, the water in this river is quite cold even during the summer, so you need to keep that in mind.
Find out more about the river here.
This river is a tributary of the Kupa River. The reason I decided to add this river to my list of the best place for fly fishing in Croatia is because of the fish. It is home to graylings and brown trout, which is nothing uncommon.
However, the fishes in these waters are remarkably tough and do not give in easily. As a seasoned angler, I have a deep respect for all the fishes that deem it worthy of visiting my hook. So I don’t expect my catch to give up quite easily. But the fishes in the Kupica can really put up a fight. This made the fishing experience even more memorable for me.
You can employ all methods of fly fishing in this river. However, catch and release are predominant to the Kupica.
You can find some information about the river here.
The Cetina is the second most popular river in Croatia in terms of fly fishing. It is a massive river that also powers a number of power plants. You will find several species of fishes, including graylings, salmon, and carp.
The landscape of the river is very diverse, which makes it a popular spot for visitors from all over. You will find plenty of rafters, kayakers and rock climbers in the area. Of course, the numbers of anglers in the water body are also impressive, especially in the summer.
You can find more information about the river in this link.
This is a mighty river in terms of water current and level. However, the mouth of the river where it converges with the Danube River is a hotspot of fishing activities. This portion of the river is rich in catfish, pike-perch, carp, and bream.
You will also come across some lone sturgeons which are a critically endangered species. So consider yourself lucky and feast your eyes on them if you see one.
A lot of anglers converge in these waters in the early summer months when the spring water has receded. Needless to say, the best time to fish in these waters is during this period. If you need me to be precise, June and July are the best months for catching a prized trophy.
Find more information about the Drava River by visiting this link.
Fly fishing in Croatia is, no doubt, an undiscovered paradise. It has some less known fishing spots that beckon to be discovered. The fishes in this part of Europe are not the largest. But they are tough and put up a fight. The diverse water bodies also make the overall experience of fly fishing in Croatia a challenge as well as a treat.
If you haven’t been to this amazing country for a fishing expedition, you are missing out. So the next time you want to get your dose of fishing, make sure to include Croatia to the list. You will have an experience that you are proud to retell for years to come.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!