Majestic Huchen of the Drava River - Antun Mateš: The enchanted angler

Majestic Huchen of the Drava River

Uranič proved to be a true master, as he caught several other trophy fish such as this one, 29 kg and 133 cm, shown in this very impressive photograph.

On its course through Zagreb, the Sava looked like a sewage collector for the wastewaters consistently and persistently supplied by Slovenia with massive quantities of heavy metals and masut, and rinsed coal particles from Trbovlje and slimy effluents of the cellulose factory in Krško. For us, the passionate huchen anglers from Zagreb, this was harsh punishment, as we remembered the stories of how huchen fishing was possible on the Sava right up to Rugvica. Photographs of the Jakovac angling dynasty, showing 16 kg specimens, only increased our frustration. Our huchen trophies, weighing in at up to 15 kg, seemed to us to be the largest in the world, as we needed to invest greater efforts, travel many kilometers, oftentimes a hundred or more, down poor roads overloaded with columns of trucks and cars, to the Una, Sana, Kupa and Dobra. Just how much time we lost waiting for the railroad ramp to rise at the crossings, before overpasses were built. In fact, it is a true wonder that we even succeeded in catching so many huchen. But we experienced true shock when the occasional photograph would appear in Ribarsko glasilo (Angler's Journal) of a massive specimen caught in the Drava near Spittal. These monsters awakened a rightful awe among us, an awe that could not be experienced in any of the rivers of our country. Though I am not keen on writing about rivers I have never fished, the results achieved on the Drava in Austria near Spittal simply cannot be overlooked.

The big smile of lucky angler Roman Koren, with his Drava huchen weighing 14 kg and 106 cm long, caught near Villach on 20 January 2007.

For huchen, the Drava in Austria is what the Kenai in Alaska is for the chinook salmon. I made a fishing trip to Alaska's Yentna River, where many salmon weighing 10 to 15 kg can be caught. But on the Kenai, the average salmon caught is greater than 20 kg, and the record Chinook salmon caught in the Kenai was 48 kg. The huchen near Spittal carry the same reputation, and rightfully carry the name majestic huchen.

Fisher Karl Tschernutter caught huchen 23 kg of weight and 124 cm long on rubber fish on Drava river near Villach.

3 December 2005 was Wolfgang Kogler's lucky day, when he caught a 23 kg and 123 cm long huchen, also near Villach.

Back to top of the page
Hrvatski Deutsch English