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Part 1 – Fishing in Slovenia

Sit three club members round a pub table, ply them with beverage, and as can only be expected a fishing trip is born.

Not just any old fishing trip I should add, but one that would take three members to continental Europe and the renowned rivers of Slovenia and Austria.

The plan was to fish the rivers Sava Bohinjka, Radovna and the Upper Soca, before driving across the northern border into Austria to fish the river Moll.

Unfortunately, the weather had her say and turned our initial plan on its head. However, these three intrepid members’ resolve were not to be dampened  and after a quick phone call, Branco Gasparin confirmed our stay at Villa Noblesa, a veritable fisherman’s paradise nestled amid some of Slovenia’s best known rivers (the Soca and some of its tributaries; Idrijca, Trebuscica, Baca, Tolminka etc).

After an early wake up call, coffee, a shuttle to Stanstead, more coffee, and a 2-hour flight, Rich and I found ourselves outside the airport in Ljubljana, greeted not only by dark threatening clouds from the east and their accompanying rain, but also a beaming Duncan and his Renault 5 – a car, which on first sight raised an eyebrow or two, but went on to more than prove itself as a fishing mobile extraordinaire.

Duncan's Renault 5

We drove west to Most-na-Soci, stopping in Idrijca for dinner and a quick look at the Upper Idrijca, which was running clear to our relief and – just to whet our appetites – where we spotted our first fish of the trip. Tempting as it was, we continued to our lodgings, which constituted a modern cabin fitted with everything a fisherman could wish for.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Branco and his wife, Vlasta and were fortunate enough to run into Marjan Fratnik – of F-Fly fame – and Lucijen Rejec – president of the Tolmin Angling Club – and chatted for a while… but that is a different story. We got our licenses for the next day and turned in for the night.

Next morning we were up early for a hearty breakfast before heading off to the Trebuscica – a tributary of the Idrijca. Technical by any standards, it is a peach of a river that throws up surprises and, more importantly, educates.

Trebuscica

It also holds a good head of marbled trout (salmo marmoratus). We spent the morning coaxing trout and adriatic grayling (or at least trying to) out of the river’s nooks and crannies before heading off to lunch and an assault on the Lower Idrijca, where we were entertained by feisty rainbows amid breathtaking alpine scenery.

After getting up at the crack of dawn, wolfing down some much needed breakfast, we packed all our gear into the back of the Renault and sped off, along Slovenia’s narrow and winding roads, to the Upper Idrijca. The fishing was not as hard and fast as the previous day but both brown trout and grayling were caught – most to Branco’s ‘killer fly’.

Reports were coming in that many of the rivers up north were running high. Rich, who had visited Austria the year before (see related blog), was sure that there would be fishable areas, and with this reassurance, and the fact that a large brown trout had recently been caught there, it was time to head north. Austria beckoned.

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