River Fishing Trips

Fishing the Kızıl Stream at Yaniklar in May 

From Fethiye take the Dalaman road to the village of Yaniklar. At the river bridge turn right onto track or left onto the road down to the sea, and pick your spot.

The  Kizil stream rises in the Cal mountain in the east and flows from two branches – one near Arpacik and Nif and the other in the mountains to the north. In May it is still taking the snowmelt but it has past its high point. The riverbed broadens out to over 50 metres in the lower reaches but at this time of year it is well under 30mm deep at these wide points and only deepens where the flow is constricted by rock formations. The riverbed is rocks, boulders and gravel.

Access from the banks is often restricted and this is a perfect river to wade. Waders are necessary to protect from the very cold water and preferably felt-soled to give added grip on the uneven riverbed. A stout wading stick to test water depth and provide extra support in the faster flows is advisable.

I was using a Daiwa Lochmor-X 8ft rod matched to a Lochmor-S 200 reel with Cortland Micron 20lb backing and, even though the rod is graded at #4 it is a fast action rod that is at home on small rivers and I prefer to use a #5 or # 6 line to get the rod loaded more quickly. My choice today is a Cortland 333 Floating WF6 with a 7ft tapered floating leader/ tippet.

My guide for the day is Mustafa Kocaçay who has extensive knowledge of this area and this river in particular.

Mustafa drops me about 3 kilometres from the main road and I take to the water to wade upstream. There are plenty of pools and natural fish haunts under overhanging branches. Most of these can only be fished from within the river and by moving upstream the fish are less likely to be startled.

I decided to use a Mayfly, which I had previously dipped in floatant. On the second cast I hooked a small 8”trout which did not require the net but gave a good fight even as I was putting it back.

The fast moving stream required some work to stop the fly skating across the surface and I had to use the ‘aerial mend’ action to correct the effect of the current. I’m not that proficient at this, especially with a short rod fishing close-by, but I managed to make a fist of it. In the faster flowing sections, probably running at 6 mph, I was finding more success casting across the stream, rather than up-stream, as the rate of flow was catching me out on the line retrieval to the extent that sometimes the line was passing me going downstream before I could work it. Although the target area for the cast was sometimes less than 10 metres I felt the water was sufficiently rippled to obscure me from the fish. This river, at this stage of the year, is not one for slow contemplative fishing with trout resting in pools of slow moving water sipping bugs off the surface.

Late in the morning the wind coming up behind me from the coast increased to the point it was collapsing my cast. Luckily there were no witnesses to the scenes of me untangling line from my head.

Only one more small trout from under an overhanging tree with branches dipping into the water and that was my catch for the morning.

One deep pool with a footbridge over it was funnelling the flow into a width of a few metres creating a central pool with sand and gravel banks to the sides. As it started to widen out, the river formed quieter pools with fish avoiding the main flow waiting for food to be pushed towards them. Turtles sat on the far bank basking in the mid-day sun and it was here I stopped for lunch.

This truly is a beautiful spot.