THE RIVERS OF BALKAN PENINSULA - THE RESAVA RIVER
The Resava is the longest tributary of the Velika Morava on the right side. It flows near Despotovac and Svilajnac. Its flow is 70 km long. The Resava originates from two smaller brooks: Zlotska Reka and Bobovački Potok. These brooks have springs at an altitude of about 1100 m above sea level, while the place where the Resava meets Velika Morava is at 94 m above sea level. The originating springs are on the Beljanica Mountain. On the other side of the same mountain, in Žagubica, there is the river Mlava spring.
In its upper part the Resava flows through beech forest called Vinatovača, which is a site where nature is specially preserved, as is the canyon of the Kločanica river, a Resava’s tributary which disappears in summer in a part called Suvaja. The upper Resava flows through canyons for about 25 km. There the river goes through Sklop, its most beautiful gorge. Upstream from Strmosten and area called Lisine there is a small dam on the river which completely divides the upper from the lower part. The upper part is especially interesting because it is inhabited with brown trout, with bullhead as the only accompanying species. Below the dam the river is also split with two more smaller dams, which collect water for trout farms. These dams also divide the river and fish have difficulties to pass them. In that area the other fish species appear like chub, Mediterranean barbel and bleak, while below Despotovac all other fish normal for a “barbel type” water appear. Below fish farms it is also possible to catch rainbow trout, while between Stromsten and Stenjevac brown trout becomes scarce, although there are some fine specimens there.
At Lisine Resava receives a small river called Vrelo. It appears from a strong limestone spring. One of the most attractive waterfalls in Serbia is created by that river, and it is also regarded as the highest. Trout live in that tributary and also in the Kločanica, which is called Suvaja in its lower part. It should be noted that those rivers are small and the trout is also not large. Below Strmosten there is a road crossing for Resava Cave, which is famous tourist attraction and one of the most beautiful caves in Serbia.
From Strmosten the river broadens gradually until it reaches a lace where it accepts its largest tributary The Resavica. That river used to be very polluted with coal dust from the local mine and it used to have very bad influence on all organisms that live in Resava. Below that place the river enters another gorge which is ending near the Manasija Monastery (one of the famous monasteries of medieval Serbia and an important tourist site). After Manasija the river reaches wide plains. Further down from Despotovac to Svilajnac and meeting with Velika Morava the Resava flows though fertile flatlands.
There is a rod going near the whole river, so the Resava can be regarded as very accessible rivers. For fly fishing the upper part is the most interesting – in the area above the mentioned dam. The river is not big, some parts are very densely overgrown with trees, so that fishing is not easy, but the effort can be rewarded with a fine trout catch. Until recently brown trout was almost completely extinct, but after reintroduction of trout fry and two years of fish ban the situation is improved and from 2007 the fishing is allowed again.
Like all limestone rivers, the Resava is offering to its trout huge population of Gammarus shrimps as a foundation of bottom fauna, while caddis flies are dominant among aquatic insects. It was on the Resava during ninety-eighties that we first tied and successfully used two imitations: Resava Shrimp and Hairy Sedge.
Trout from Resava River