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Off season in the right time
Swedish Robert Kolarik takes a trip to fish the beautiful waters of Slovenia and shares some experiences insight and tips.
I’m down in Slovenia
again and climbing down a steep hill to one of my favorite pools. The weather is just perfect for this time of year, with bright sun, no wind. The rivers are crystal clear and low. On my way down I can see in between the trees there are two trouts surface feeding in just after the current in a small back pocket. Getting closer I can see the two fishes bump into each other aiming to take the same fly from the surface – This is just crazy and it gets even more crazy when I see it’s two nice marble trout’s standing there feeding. The sun is shining from above, the leaves from the trees are fresh and bright green, the water turquoise and on the other side of the stream the mountain starts steep It’s an fantastic place and I have been waiting a long time since last season to come back to this specific place! The trout is feeding on brown emergers, quiet big ones and not many of them will pass the trout spot alive.
I open my fly box
and have two sections in it with brown emergers in different sizes – one with pheasant tail emergers which is a favorite pattern but also one section with dark brown CDC emergers which is the fly I select in size 16. The two trout’s are still feeding and I’m looking up at them every now and then to make sure they are still there. I pull off the line and start to roll out the line. Behind me I have trees close by and have to make sure not to stuck into these as well not trying to go further out in the river to spook the fish. The emerger is placed tree meter up in the current that will make the fly pass in the feeding line. In the first drift none of the two trouts reacts at all – I’m confused – a second cast at the same spot and now I get a reaction from one of the trouts who watching the fly closely and following it for at least a meeting without a take – while the other trout feeds something else from the surface. In the next cast there is no hesitance, the trout breaks the surface with an head and tail the line tightens up – and then nothing more – my 6X tippet broke… Coming down to Slovenia just in the peak time of sea run brown trout fishing with 2X back home in Sweden and it normally takes some time to adjust to 6-7X tippet fishing. Looking up I can still see the other trout feeding, it was not spooked neither of the hooked up fish or my bad language. I gave the trout some time just in case before I presented a new fly in the feeding lane and on the first drift the trout raised and took the fly – this time I was better prepared and could net an fantastic marble trout from one of my favorite pools. The fish is amazing and characteristic with it’s brownish and gold marbles in perfect condition! This is a good start of a fly fishing week, and I can really fly fish the rest of the week relaxed after such a magnific start.
Even though Slovenia
is a small country in the Julian Alps it contains fantastic resources for us fly fishermens with all the top class rivers in the northwestern region of the country. I’m normally fishing the Soca valley and there are some reasons for that on top of the scenery, nice people and local food experiences – all rivers in this area, Soca & Idrijca with it’s tributaries comes from different valleys and affected differently in case of bad weather. This makes it possible to always find a river that are fishable – as well as the small tributaries normally clears up rather quickly. Along the rivers in the bottom of the valleys the road streatches along the natural bends of the waters and connecting to small villages with their own restaurant, café or pub. It’s easy to access the rivers as most of the parts are close to the roads anyhow in many places it’s steep straight down to the rivers so local knowledge is an advantage to find the right path down to the rivers.
I have been fishing in Slovenia
yearly since 2003 and been down one to three times per year. I remember the first years down struggling around not really knowing where to go, of course it was not difficult to find a fish to try to catch but experience makes such difference. Today I know the rivers inside out, there are still some unexplored areas which makes it interesting to come here again and explore as well as the rivers changes from year to year where fantastic pools suddenly is empty while new fantastic places and pools is formed by the nature. My recommendations to new visitors asking me for guidance is to take an local guide for a day or two to get inspiration and places to start their fishing on and out of this explore on its own, but always to have some spots to lean back on if the days are though. It’s not easy to fish here, clear waters makes the fish to see you before you see the fish. Thin tippets, strong and some times big fish can make life difficult if you are not used to it. Marbles are difficult to get and with no experience it’s even more difficult.
For us Scandinavians
Slovenia is easy to access either by air through Ljubljana or through Venice from where you take a rental car. From Ljubljana you have less than an hour to Most na Soci or Tolmin which is located centrally in the Soca valley or from Venice less than 2h drive to the same spot. There a lot of private rooms to rent but if you decide to come here in peak seasons you should make sure to book in advance as the best places become occupied rather quickly. It’s not only fishermen’s in this area, as the whole region is an really ‘outdoor’ region that offers more than just fly fishing like – paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting etc. Soca river is the only river you have to share with the kayaker and rafters, normally they are using the upper part of Soca which has a more wild water character. All other rivers are reserved only for fly fishing!
If you want to explore
Slovenia and Soca valley my recommendations are as described above travel to an close airport and get a rental car – aim at Most na Soci or Tolmin. Have your room booked in advance where you can check out the www.nabiru.si or www.apartma-taljat.com as well book an experienced local guide. I can recommend my friend Blaz Mocnik from Tolmin who is a highly respected and booked guide by Scandinavians! He can be booked directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, anyhow during peak season he is fully booked early so book well in advance. For flies or other equipment you will need during your stay the fly shop check out the new SocaFly shop in Most na Soci.