By now, you likely know a few things about my trip to Greece - but in case you missed it, check out my discovery on the origin of the sport as well as a proper introduction to my Greek fly-tying friend, Tolis.
Since this was my first time fly-fishing in this region of the world, I relied on Tolis to take me to the supreme spots - where we could see the beautiful rivers and I could try to lure some of these Greek trout to the end of my line. Tolis and I met over coffee (as Greeks do for everything) to plan our adventure.
We left on an early August morning from a village near Mt. Olympus. The summers in Greece can get very hot during the day, averaging in the high 90’s to low 100’s, so Tolis chose a river he knew would be shaded and runs fast and cold all year. The river is called Gorgopotamos - which means fast water in greek.
After picking up coffee and pastries, we spent about 2 hours driving through the Greek countryside, with Tolis telling me about his fishing club and telling jokes in each other’s languages (turns out, I’m pretty funny in Greece!). We parked along a dirt road and headed down to the river to find a horse and its handler blocking our water access - they were seeking shelter on the already hot morning, but the horse was calm and let us sneak by to get to the river.
The river was truly magical! I would describe the color as “crystal-blue” and the water ran as fast and as cold as the name describes. Even though the water was cold, the sun was so hot that we wet-waded in shorts, and appreciated the cool water running by our legs for the rest of the day.
The river was about 10-12ft across and a great size to walk upstream and try to find some fish. Of which, we found quickly! The fish were feisty and ready to take our dry flies when we had a nice drift in the tumultuous little river. Only 15min in or so we found a few brown trout eager to take both the “first fly” (learn about that history of this fly in our previous post) and the small mayfly pattern Tolis had tied on.
Once I had one of these fish in my net, I realized these brown trout were different from the ones in the U.S. and also the U.K. They had red spots and were more silver than the deep brown ones we see in other areas - a beautiful and different fish as you can see here.
Tolis and I continued upstream having fun and changing flies to see if the pattern used mattered much; as it turns out, it did not matter. We found that the presentation was more important than the color and size of the flies. The fish charged to the surface for size 16 through 12 flies and none of these fish were over 10” in size.
The trip was a blast, and in a remote area with no other fisherman. The Greeks don’t normally fish in freshwater so this was not a big surprise. I later asked Tolis if he had aspirations of being a guide to help show people this different side of fishing in Greece. In response, he replied that he can’t possibly make money doing something he loves, it would change the purpose of this passion and would put pressure on him - taking away from the positive experience he has doing the thing he loves. This was a refreshing and good reminder for me that this activity is about escaping the grind to connect with nature and the people of similar mentality.
I can’t wait until we are able to travel again so I can get back to Greece and see my friend Tolis. Until then, I know the Gorgopotamos and those feisty little trout will be waiting for me.
Grab a rod, keep exploring, and always be ready to fish!
γεια σας! (cheers for now!)