Hucho - Huchen - Danube salmon (hucho hucho)
Hucho, Huchen, Danube Salmon even called Danube Taimen is a cousin specie to Hucho Taimen that is indigenous specie in Asia. Found in Russia and Mongolia it is considered to be worlds biggest river resident salmonoid. European Hucho – Huchen - Danube salmon is present in the rivers that drain to the Black Sea. Main is Danube river. That is why sometimes it is also called Danube salmon despite having nothing to do with other sea going salmon species like Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon, King salmon that migrate back to the rivers to spawn. There is a sub specie that does migrate to the sea it is called Hucho Perry and can be found in Japan and Sakhalin island in Russia.
In Europe population due to damming and loss of habitat was decreasing. Only lately fishing organizations and research institutes successfully started to breathe them in captivity. Releasing 1 year fish back into the wild. In Slovenia program is extremely successful since most rivers are not damned and we didn't lose habitat. Now populations in some rivers are even too high and it is allowed to take fish under strict rules and bag limits. On most rivers seasonal bag limit is between 4 - 6 fish, when quote is full season ends. Most fisherman nowadays practice catch and release, so populations are increasing every year. Hucho/Huchen/Danube salmon are carnivorous already from early age, similar to Pike/Musky.
Since they spawn in the spring it is only allowed to fish in the late Autumn and Winter. On all rivers have to be two fisherman fishing together mostly for self-patrolling porpoise. On better rivers or parts of the rivers also club member or guide has to be present.
Hucho/Huchen/Danube salmon is generally present in the area where it is abundance of other fish species like nose carp, barbell, grayling, rainbow trout, chub. Those are its food source.
To fish for Hucho – Huchen - Danube salmon it is allowed to spin or fly fish. In both cases fly or lure needs to be presented as close to the bottom as possible where they feed on other fish.
For spin fishing best time is morning and evening since lure makes vibration. For fly fishing it is better at daytime when Hucho use eye sight to catch its pray. We normally use 9 to 12 wt rods with heavy sinking lines 400 - 700 grain or 10+ ips sink tips.
On smaller rivers, it is normal to get about 3 takes a day quite often resulting in 1 to 2 fish landed. On bigger rivers it is a lot more down to daily conditions and skills to cast, but reward is generally greater resulting is trophy specimen that can exceed 50 pounds and 50 inches.
Nowadays Hucho/Huchen/Danube salmon can be found in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosna and Hercegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.
Spawning population highest in Slovenia also due to European nature protection law Nature 2000.
It is one of my favorite species, that is why I dedicated its own web page: huchofishing.com