Fishing History on Neretva

Fishing History on the Neretva River 

Upper Neretva River - GLAVATIČEVO Village, ŽUPA Valley

Marble Trout - Neretva River, Glavatičevo village, Župa valley - sometime around WWII (glavatice iz Neretve kod Glavatičeva oko 2.svjetskog rata)

Middle Neretva River - DREŽANKA River estuary, Drežnica Canyon

Marble Trout 20 and 25 lb - Confluence of the Drežanka River and  the Neretva River, near Drežnica village, Middle Neretva sometime around WWI (Stijene Neretve, ušće Drežanke i vrlo opasni buk Grabovica, pilot-heroj kapetan Hinko Hubl sa glavaticama 10 i 11.5 kg - oko 1.svjetskog rata)

Lower Neretva River - just before town of Mostar

Halim Koro with Marble Trout, around 50 lb from the Neretva just above town of Mostar - mid 20th century (glavatica iz Neretve sa Bukova iznad Mostara teška oko 22kg - sredinom 20. vjeka)

Fly Fishing History

The first reference to fly fishing is in Ælian’s Natural History, probably written about 200 A.D. Ælian was born in about 170 A.D. at Praeneste, where he later held a religious post, dying in about 230 A.D. :

I have heard and can tell of a way of catching fish in Macedonia, and it is this. Between Beroea and Thessalonica there flows a river called the Astraeus (Astraeum is the name of a town, but no river Astraeus is known; presumably the Axius is intended.). Now there are in it fishes of a speckled hue, but what the natives call them, it is better to enquire of the Macedonians. Now these fish feed upon the flies of the country which flit about the river and which are quite unlike flies elsewhere; they do not look like wasps, nor could one fairly describe this creature as comparable in shape with what are called Anthêdones (bumble-bees), nor even with actual honey-bees, although they possess a distinctive feature of each of the aforesaid insects. Thus, they have the audacity of the fly; you might say they are the size of a bumble-bee, but their colour imitates that of a wasp, and they buzz like a honeybee. All the natives call them Hippurus (this is one of the species Stratiomys, known as 'Soldierflies'). These flies settle on the stream and seek the food that they like; they cannot however escape the observation of the fishes that swim below. So when a fish observes a Hippurus on the surface it swims up noiselessly under water for fear of disturbing the surface and to avoid scaring its prey. Then when close at hand in the fly's shadow it opens its jaws and swallows the fly, just as a wolf snatches a sheep from the flock, or as an eagle seizes a goose from the farmyard. Having done this it plunges beneath the ripple. Now although fishermen know of these happenings, they do not in fact make any use of these flies as baits for fish, because if the human hand touches them it destroys the natural bloom; their wings wither and the fish refuse to eat them, and for that reason will not go near them, because by some mysterious instinct they detest flies that have been caught. And so with the skill of anglers the men circumvent the fish by the following artful contrivance. They wrap the hook in scarlet wool, and to the wool they attach two feathers that grow beneath a cock's wattles and are the colour of wax. The fishing-rod is six feet long, and so is the line. So they let down this lure, and the fish attracted and excited by the colour, comes to meet it, and fancying from the beauty of the sight that he is going to have a wonderful banquet, opens wide his mouth, is entangled with the hook, and gains a bitter feast, for he is caught.
Aelian On Animals, Vol XV, 1. Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press (1972) p 203-4.
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