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Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

A Czech fishing trip on the Jizera River

Photo+courtesy+of++SmugMug.%0AThe+Jizera+River%2C+which+forms+part+of+the+border+between+the+Czech+Republic+and+Poland.+I+recently+took+a+day+trip+to+the+Jizera+River+for+a+fly+fishing+trip.
Photo courtesy of SmugMug. The Jizera River, which forms part of the border between the Czech Republic and Poland. I recently took a day trip to the Jizera River for a fly fishing trip.

So far in my experience abroad, I have been lucky to have the opportunity to travel to some of the popular destinations of Europe. I have taken weekend trips to London, Berlin and Sevilla and look forward to trips to Edinburgh, Dublin and Vienna.

While each of these cities are certainly worth the visit, the day trip that I recently took to the foothills of the northeast Czech Republic tops them all in terms of beauty. 

In late October, two classmates and I hired a guide to take us fly fishing for trout and grayling on the Jizera River. The river is in the foothills of the Jizera mountains and forms part of the border between the Czech Republic and Poland.

Our guide, Oleg, picked us up from our apartment early in the morning and drove us to  a small town called Boleslav located an hour and a half away. The town was a typical small European town—a couple blocks of red roofs and a river running through it. 

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Oleg parked the car in front of a town house where the “river keeper” lived. He then took our licensees from under the mat of the front door, replacing them with Czech crowns. Another 15 minute drive brought us to our first fishing spot. 

It was still early morning, and the sun had just started to rise. The river was coated with a mystic layer of fog. Frozen dew covered the tall grass we marched through, making a crunch with each step. It was bitterly cold, but the pure beauty of the river distracted us as we slowly waded into the current. 

“Pick up some rocks from the bottom of the river to see what flies are here,” said Oleg. We each reached into the frigid water to examine the flies. We found plenty of nymphs crawling on the underside of rocks, which was a good sign.

Then the fishing began. After about 15 minutes, my classmate reeled in a sizable grayling. Oleg immediately followed this success with another smaller grayling.

The fish then stopped biting for a couple hours, which gave us the opportunity to examine and take in the surrounding nature. Hundreds of red, yellow and brown leaves trickled down toward the river like snow. The sun had risen much higher and, with it, came much needed warmth. I caught a glimpse of a trout artfully tailing through a stretch of fast-moving water, which paused my taking in of the beauty around me.

We had better luck at our next fishing spot. My classmate caught two more graylings and one trout. I was finally able to hook one and reeled in a relatively small brown trout. I wet my hand and grasped the fish, examining its colors and patterns. Its yellow and brown skin glistened in the sunlight. 

The continuous falling of leaves made it progressively more difficult to fish because our flies frequently got caught on the foliage. After lunch, we did not see another fish and decided to call it a day in the mid-afternoon. 

On our hike back to the car, we walked past little wooden cabins in the pastures next to the river. The vibrant green of the valley gradually turned into the fall colored foothills of the mountains. We even took a drink of water from a natural spring waterfall.

The fishing trip served as a sort of escape from the city life of Prague, London and Berlin. It was rejuvenating to fish on such a serene river with its beautiful surroundings.

It was an unforgettable trip. On our return back to Prague, Oleg mentioned that he is also a singer in the Czech State Opera, and he kindly offered us tickets to attend a performance. 

We thanked him for such a wonderful day on the river and the kind gesture of offering the tickets. 

As beautiful and storied as Prague and other major European cities are, they do not hold a candle to the untouched natural beauty of the Jizera River.

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