After a long night sleep in our comfy Coleman tent a coffee was really refreshing at 5:00 o’clock in the morning. I was going to fish the largest, and deepest of the lakes in the area. You have to understand that glacier trout are really finicky, considering 9 out of 10 days they feed on insects rather than minnows. Of course the large ones prefer the minnows, but those are solitaire and cautious, and more often very difficult to catch.
Let’s now get back to some more fishing. I only fished for 3-4 hours without any results, other than a couple of strikes. Trout were present, as I’ve seen a couple jumping, and a lot of them feeding on flies on the surface, but it seems I haven’t been able to convince any of them. It’s not my last day here, and we still have a lot to explore, as you’ll see.
Enough fishing for the day, we have some serious hiking ahead of us. Even if we have set foot to go to the deepest glacier lake in Romania (no fishing rod this time – no permit to fish in that area), we passed the mark that should’ve lead us there, deviating 20 minutes from our original trail.
We decided to follow this trail to one of the tallest peaks in the area, Retezat peak 2483 meters high. In total a 3-4 hour hike to the summit, and another 2-3 hours back. It’s a medium difficulty hike, that I don’t recommend if you’re scared of heights, because it’s as nature left it, except the trails are marked.
This was it for the day. We were exhausted when we got back, so no fishing.
Next day we were engulfed in thick fog, so our plans to go to lake Zanoaga were again left aside. After the fog scattered enough we decided to to make a shorter hike, considering the weather was unstable, to Peleaga summit, 2509m high – 1.5-2 hour hike to the summit, and about the same back. This is a medium to light difficulty hike, with a few rougher spots.
Enough hiking … I have a special date with some trout mamasitas.
After returning to base camp from Peleaga, I just couldn’t stay still. I had to go fishing. As I said, until you figure them out you’d think these trout are impossible to catch. I’ve had a lot of strikes, but again, no fish. Something wasn’t right. I had to fool them somehow. I’ll have the next day just for doing that, and nothing else. One entire day just for trout fishing.
Tired as I was, I just couldn’t get up at 5 o’clock again. We woke up at 8-8:30, had our traditional food breakfast: home made dried and smoked ham, tomatoes, fresh cheese (darn… my pack was heavy on the way in), had a coffee, and now I needed a plan. I’ve seen a lot of minnows with large black spots on them, white belly, almost black back. None of my spoons matched the description. This might have been one of the problems. Luckily I always carry a black marker with me, just in case. I’ve put my artistic talent to work, and painted about half of the lightest spoons I had with me. No need for the heavy ones. This lake wasn’t very deep.
Packed and ready… let’s do some trout fishing. They were feeding all over the lake. Anywhere was a good place to start. After struggling with my hand painted spoons for about half an hour I had about 10-15 strikes, but still… couldn’t catch any. Have tried the Megabass Izabella spoon again, but with no luck on this lake. The area was overstocked with black and yellow striped flies. I could easily mistake them for wasps if I didn’t know better. I needed something to imitate, at least the colors, because I wasn’t fly fishing. I must try out those Panther Martins. It was really sunny outside, so I chose a copper bladed one with yellow body and black stripes. It was an instant hit. Only 2 casts and the fun was on.
I was catching about every 5-7 casts, and had at least 1-2 fish follow the spinner each cast. Just amazing. I finally cracked it. The majority were under 30cm, but in 3 hours fishing I managed to catch about 20 trout between 25 and 35cm. Tons of fun these little guys.
I was starving, so i had to go eat some, but got my ass back for some more fun. They weren’t as active as they were earlier. A storm front was closing in, so I had to get me some picture worthy fish. Surprise… only the larger ones were biting. After catching a few 30-40 cm ones I had to change to a larger spoon. I just couldn’t resist the temptation. Lucky guess… on the first, and last cast I’ve nailed he largest one so far. Amazing fight on 3lb line with this one.
The rain just started pouring after this one, so I had to report back to base. It was an amazing C&R experience, with no one to bother me. Had tons of fun. The landscape here is amazing, as you can see from the pictures, and you might be surprised of what kind of wild life you might see. For the first time in my life I’ve seen a wild marmot… didn’t get the chance to get a picture, as it was running scared on the Retazat mountains vertical cliffs.
I’ll definitely come back next year for some more adventures!
P.S. All trout were released!