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Mention fishing in Slovenia and I’m game. It’s not a destination that I’d call easy – but  what it does offer is spectacular scenery, emerald rivers, good food and some decent fishing – fishing that is earned, rather than handed over on a platter.

August saw Rich and I land in Venice, rent a Fiat 500, and drive the two and a half hours to Bovec, nestled amid the Julian Alps, in the north west of Slovenia. We were there to fish the upper Soca, Lepena and Koritnica. Our apartment at Kaninska-vas become our base camp.

Tickets were easily bought at Hotel Alp, who are open 24 hours, and soon we were into our first fish of the trip, caught from a roadside pool.

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After scouting the Koritnica and upper Soca (the home pool) before breakfast…

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… we headed to a bridge on the upper Soca, from where we had spotted a number of fish. First cast and I had a take from a good sized rainbow… only to lose it on its second run.

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Though Rich fared better than I, we both enjoyed three hours of catching (and losing!) our first marbles, rainbows and grayling of the trip, among some of the most beautiful pools and runs either of us had ever come across.

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We broke for lunch, after which we decided to fish the Lepena. This, for me, was going to be the highlight of the trip, as I have often  heard how well it fishes. However, on arrival, we found the little river woefully low, and the prospect of catching a fish looked slim.

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Surprisingly, the first twenty  feet we fished held a number of good sized trout, ensuring that we moved onto the next pool, and the next…

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Needless to say this continued until we had reached its source. With over forty fish caught that afternoon, mainly on dries, we could only admire this little river and imagine if we had hit it on song and during a hatch!

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The last two hours of daylight were spent further downstream on the Soca, fishing for grayling, were both Rich and I caught our best grayling of the trip… not to mention the ones we lost!

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When night fell, it found us happily eating wiener schnitzel and drinking beer under star-filled skies. Not long afterwards all one could hear were the snores of contented fishermen.

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