Published Dec 3. 2019 - 4 years ago
Updated or edited Dec 3. 2019

The Gradac River in Serbia

Discover the myriad of opportunities that the Gradac River in Serbia has to offer.

A Gradac trout
Three guys on the stream
Nice Gradac brown trout
Presenting the catch
Gradac River impressions
Sasa Bencun Roka

Due to its exceptional nature and diverse flora and fauna, the Gradac River in Serbia has been declared a protected nature park. The river is 11 kilometers (7 miles) long and varies in width from 5 to 20 meters (15-65'), with an average depth of 1 meter (3'). In some areas the river is deeper than 2.5 meters (8').
The Gradac River is salmonid water with an average temperature of 13 deg. C. The river is fed by multiple sources.
There is a footpath that runs through the canyon, and fly fishing is possible in almost all places. In certain places, clean rocky cliffs rise to a height of 500 to 700 meters and the river has a total fall of 187 meters. The highest mountain is Povlen with its 1347 meters peak.
Due to the specific mild and temperate microclimate of the Gradac, it practically does not exist in the winter. The water level becomes appropriate for fishing mid April and it provides good conditions for dry fly fishing. The fishing season ends September 30th. The water is clear and clean with fast rapids and deep pools. Its emerald waters provide the perfect habitat for wild trout and grayling.

A deer in the river
The Gradac River
Ready to release
Kneeling on the bank
Sasa Bencun Roka

When it comes to fly fishing and catch and release fishing, the Gradac is one of the key rivers in Europe. The use of barbless hooks is required. Trophy wild specimen trout reach up to 70 centimeters in length. The most common catches are from 20 to 50 centimeters. Apart from trout, which is dominant, the Gradac is also populated by grayling, which grow up to 40 centimeters.
This is the reason why the Gradac is often the choice for the most passionate fly fishers from all around Europe and other continents.

Standing in a river...
Sasa Bencun Roka

Gear and flies

The fly fishing season starts on April 15th.
The flies that are most commonly used in the beginning of the season are tungsten nymphs such as

  • Hare’s Ear
  • Pheasant Tail Nymph
  • Quill Nymph
  • Prince Nymph
  • Various Caddis larvae and emergers

All in sizes from 8 to 14.
The tippet used is 0.14 to 0.18 mm (5X-4X) about 70 cm (2½') long. The leader is usually a tapered mono 9’ to 12’ ending in 0.16 to 0.18 mm (5X-6X).
The typical line is a WF 3 or 4, and the rod length is 8.6 to 9’ suitable for the line.

In mid-May, aquatic insects are hatching in the river, and there are excellent conditions for dry flies such as:

  • Hawthorne size 16 and 18.
  • Brown Elk Hair Caddis size 14.
  • Mayflies such as Adams, BWO and Quill Gordon in sizes 16 and 18.

In early June and July are great for fishing imitations:

  • Big stoneflies size 8 and 10.
  • Ephemera and Epeorus imitations in size 10
  • March Brown in sizes 12 and 14
  • Granom Sedge in size 14.

The tippet used is 0.14 to 0.18 mm (6X-4X) about 100 cm (3') long. The leader is still a tapered mono 9’ to 12’ ending in 0.16 to 0.18 mm (5X-6X) and the rod used is still a 3-4 wt 8-9’

For August and September, terrestrial insects are great tu use:

  • Ants in size 16 and 18
  • Grasshoppers in green shades size 8 and 10.
  • Various bugs in black size 10, 12 and 14.
  • Caterpillar imitations in size 8 and 10.
  • In August the water level is low and the use of small nymphs such as Perdigon of various shades is also good. Go down to size 16, 18 and 20.

Use a 0.10 to 0.14 mm (7X-5X) tippet about 120 cm (4') long on the same leader, line and rod as above.

A tributary
The garden
The Tetrebovac
Sasa Bencun Roka

Practical info

The nearest airport is Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade.
Further transportation to the city of Valjevo and it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
A good place for your vacation is the Tetrebovac cottage, which is located in the canyon desert near the river at 70 meters. Only an all-terrain vehicle can access the house. Transportation is organized through the canyon with jeeps. The house has comfortable accommodation, internet, two bedrooms, TV, bathroom, living room, kitchen, gallery, and terraces facing the river, local gourmet specialties and wines. The terraces are a favorite place to watch gray falcon and tie flies.
Flies and small accessories can be purchased at the Tetrebovac.
Prices are low compared to the Scandinavian countries. Half board at the exclusive Konak Tetrebovac, bed, breakfast, lunch sandwich, and dinner is 45 euros.
Daily license is 10 euros. A guide for one person is 50 euros per day.

More info:


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