The narrow road snaked toward till it reached the top of the mountain. We left behind us the "Rachitele Village" with the few houses scattered along a mountain creek. After a short summer rain, steam rose from the hot asphalt giving a ghostly note to the place. The scenery of the "Apuseni Mountains" has always fascinated me, so I returned after many years to the places I used to walk together with my father.
On the other side of the massif, the beautiful "Firii Valley", one of the left side tributaries of the "Somesul Cald River", accompanied the road to "Doda Pilii", a place where time seemed to stand still. I stopped the car on the bridge and glanced at the water surface . I was like a child looking for the favorite toy in a showcase. The river was slightly grown and a little bit murky after the rains of the previous days.
We made the check in at a cosy hotel and then I went to meet Liviu and Smaranda from Fly Fishing Romania. Together with volunteer fly fishermen, Fly Fishing Romania managed to arrange the river section upstream of the Belis reservoir and the local authorities introduce a catch and release fishing system since this year. As a friend, I know how many efforts these people have made to bring this water in such a shape. Also this year, Fly Fishing Romania together with other sustainers of the game, organized a Fly Fishing Camp for children.
Later, I went out on the water, but did not manage to make ten casts as it started to rain again. I crawled under a bridge and waited for sunshine. In vain. After almost an hour of waiting, took my rod and left.
The next day started with rain again. In the afternoon the sky was still cloudy but the rain stopped for a while so I thought, I should take advantage of the situation and go back to the river. The water was a little bit murky, so I started to swing a pair of nymphs. After a few casts the rain was back but kept only for a quarter of hour. In the meantime I put a dry fly on because I saw some fish rising. Shortly afterwards, I managed to catch four brown trouts, small but brightly colored. I took a break, set down on the shore and started to gaze at the water surface. A small circle next to a cliff that bordered the shore, sharpened my senses. It was a fish and not a small one. At the fourth cast, the fish rose and took the dry fly. I was happy for the rest of the day.
Next day, I joined Liviu and fished the upper segment of the river. The water has returned to the normal level, was gin clear and fish have not been long awaited. The first brownie took a jingler on the surface, followed by a beautiful grayling caught by Liviu. We walked on the narrow paths along the banks fishing the river meter by meter and the effort was rewarded with some nice fish. The beautiful landscape of this region always attracted me, the wooden houses with their shingle roofs, meadows scattered with haystacks, dense forests in which wolf and bear are at home as well as mysterious caves with unique karst formations ... a place where time is passing slower.
We stopped for a few minutes on a bridge and saw many fish rising at the insects on the water surface. Then I remembered what once I read..."bridges are for fly fishermen what windows for voyeurs are". There was a very intense and prolific fishing for everyone. Lovely specimens of grayling, trout and chub have been caught.
We ended the day with a traditional Romanian meal and some glasses of moonshine that made our sleep easier and our dreams sweeter. "Doda Pilii" is located 15 km from "Padis" and besides fly fishing there are many other touristic attractions. We plan to come back next year. More information about fly fishing in the area and possible fishing holidays can be found on Fly Fishing Romania web page.