Trout Hiking – Part 2

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.

Mobile phone panorama of lake Bucura

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.

It's Romanian for "Danger"

Nice excuse for a break :) ... "Let's take a few pictures:))"

Is this the right way?... NOPE

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.

Only 2251m ?!.... Another 231 to climb

Made it to the sumit.

Another cell phone panorama of Retezat peak

The weather was with us on this day. No wind on the summit... no one could believe it

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.

Here dogy, dogy...

Peleaga summit.

Retezat mountains

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.

Long hike for no fish!

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.

I finally cracked the glacier rout code.

Panther Martin no.2 on the job

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.

And when you thought there was no one to take me a picture.

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 big one on the last cast.

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!

About Andrei

Professional angler, rodbuilder, lurebuilder, if it's about fishing you name it, he does it. He hates "relaxing", and takes each day as a challange. Whenever he's got a spare moment he's either fishing, cycling, hiking or training his ass at the gym. He's fishing for more than 20 years now. Strictly on artifficial baits from the age of 7, he's always on the look out for the newest stuff and techniques out there.
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5 Comments

  1. Posted September 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    very cool! I really like the story :)

  2. Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Very interesting story…

  3. alex
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Cool! the air at 2500m (7500ft), and especially the adventures and the memories after such challenges (especially with the trout) are amazing. Hope to hear more.

  4. Posted January 19, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Very good ;-)
    The first trout looks very green !?

  5. Bogdan Bajenaru
    Posted August 22, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Salut Andrei,
    Felicitari pentru acest articol si deopotriva pentru spiritul tau de aventura. Reusesti sa deschizi cititorilor acestui articol “apetitul” pentru aventura si evadare din cotidian, in natura salbatica, originea vietii si a frumusetilor de pe acest pamant, inca neatinse de civilizatia “moderna”. Bravo!
    Cu apreciere si bucurie in suflet ca mai exista inca tineri, din generatia ta, plini de viata si dornici de natura si aventura.
    Bogdan Bajenaru

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  1. [...] have the same trebles as the Krakusek, and they bend quite easily. I’ve lost a good sized trout because I was lazy changing them. Other than the trebles, the split rings look to be tough, and [...]

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