Sport fishing in south west Turkey in Winter? Follow our intrepid fisherman as he ventures out into the countryside near Fethiye.
On Christmas Day morning, I was standing up to my thighs in the Eşen River as the sun came up over the opposite bank. The snow-capped mountains to the east formed an impressive backdrop to this scene.
It occurred to me that since I had started fishing this river, I had seen it in all its states, from full flood, where boulders are smashed in the torrent, to the small stream of high summer.
After rains, sections become cloudy with limestone sediment. A local fisherman told me that he considers this the best time to catch trout.
Other sections and tributaries that are fed from surface run-off remain clear. Fishing this river above Ören has been in crystal clear waters all year; fishing it a mile south of the town, after it is joined by a tributary, gives the cloudy grey murk that hides anything below a few centimetres.
The level is higher now and most of the river is easy to wade. In a few months with the snowmelt, some parts are too fast and deep for in-river fishing.
Some of the small streams that feed this river are a delight to fish with a light rod and waders. They are as clear as any British chalk stream. Bank access is impossible for many parts of these streams and unless you are going in the water, you can rule them out.
I have recently been introduced to the fishing potential at the mouth of the river on Patara Beach. This has yet to be explored and is in the planning stage. Watch this space.