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Without a doubt one of the best fly fishing rivers in Lithuania. As many other southern Lithuanian rivers it starts in northern Belarus and flows into Lithuania near Tabariškės village. Then it continues its way through farming fields, forest and small villages till it connects with Papys lake by a canal. The middle and the lower parts of Merkys flow through Dzūkijos National Park. And finally it joins Nemunas river in a small town called Merkinė. Merkys could be devided into three different types of river: the upper part – small “chalk stream” type of river, perfect to fish in the early spring till the beginning of summer and autumn. (NOTE! The upper part needs a separate licence! More info – in the “Licences” paragraph.) The middle part – mostly slow with some rapids and runs, that become more frequent going downstream.
Fishing is good there almost all the summer till late autumn. The lower part, or as we call it “sands”- again – even flowing current with a few disturbances. Almost all the way till it enters Nemunas, the bottom of the river is sandy with deep holes, which makes it an ideal place for big grayling to hang out. Best season would be mid autumn till the beginning of winter. A regular 5 weight 9 foot fly rod would do the job in all the parts of the river. In the upper part usually we would fish with dry fly. Middle and lower parts – czech style, upstream nymphing or wet fly. Merkys holds one of the biggest grayling population in Lithuania. Of course there are some wild brown trout too, but it’s very difficult to spot them, not mentioning caching them. There are some other species as well: chub, carp, pike, ide. But these species would be overshadow by grayling unless you’ll hook one of them by mistake. It\s a poplar river not only for fly fishermen but for kayakers too. Especially during nice summer kayakers traffic can get very heavy. Despite of that it’s still possible to fly fish and enjoy the nature. Luckily there are not so many flyfishermen as kayakers.
The longest Lithuanian river is Nemunas, called the father of rivers. It is the biggest and the most important river in Lithuania used for fishery and transporting. Nemunas outflows from the Belarus territory. In this Lithuanian neighbor country the river is called Nioman.
The main facts:
• Length – 937,4 km;
• Pool area – 98200 km2;
• Outflow – Minsk region, Belarus;
• Influent – Curonian Lagoon;
• Flows via Lithuania, Belarus, Russia
• Length in Lithuania- 359km, borderline between Lithuania and Belarus or Kaliningrad – 116km, length in Belarus – 426km.
Neris ( Belarusian: Ві́лія Viliya, Polish: Wilia) is a river rising in Belarus, flowing through Vilnius (Lithuania) and becoming a tributary of the Neman River (Nemunas) at Kaunas (Lithuania). Its length is 510 km.
275 km of the river runs through Belarus, where it is called Viliya, and 235 km runs through Lithuania, where it is called Neris.
The Neris connects two old Lithuanian capitals - Kernavė and Vilnius. Along its banks are burial places of the pagan Lithuanians. 25 km from Vilnius are the old burial mounds of Karmazinai. There also are many mythological stones, and a sacred oak.
The biggest tributary of the Neris river. Starts from Samanis lake in Ignalina district in the East-northern part of the country. The longest river that runs only in the territory of Lithuania – it joins the Neris river close to Jonava town in the central part of the country. It’s crossing tree regional parks: Gražutes, Sratu and Anyksciai. This river has lots of small tributaries that feed the river. To mention a few: Virinta, Siesartis and Širvinta. These streams are the beloved places for sea trout spawning.
If the water level is normal, it’s a very pleasant river to flyfish. However the water in Šventoji usually clears out only towards the mid summer. Šventoji is mostly a quiet river with only some nice rapids and a few of powerful stony runs that can be quite far away from each other.
There are variety of fish species that you can catch on a fly in Šventoji: grayling, trout, sea trout and chub. To fly fish for them we use all of the fishing styles, depending on the water level and the fish that we’re after. During the summer we mostly use czech style nymphing. In the Autumn, during the blue dun hatch – small wet fly fishing or sometimes even delicate dry fly fishing. For trout or sea trout – big streamers. And in Autumn Šventoji by all means is THE river for salmon. Fish over 1 meter where caught here on the fly and we are sure that’s not the limit.
Fish in Šventoji can be very picky sometimes and you have to work hard to find a fly that works. Some flies that do work from time to time: electric green hydropsyhe, dark brown nymphs, bright brown wet ants, light pink czech nymphs.
On the whole, Šventoji is not a very easy river for fly fishing, however it is favored by many fly fishermen as sometimes it can be very rewarding.
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