Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mirage of Emerald Rivers - Slovenia 2016

"Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time ?" That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere an that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future."
- Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha  

I just managed to close my eyes when I was awakened by the noise of the alarm clock. It was past midnight and there was not much time left till meeting Silviu. While eagerly sipping from the tiny espresso cup, I passed quickly my eyes over the ready luggage. Nothing was missing.
Embarking went very quickly and the car was heading in a monotonous rhythm to the longed destination leaving behind kilometers of highway. Nor could we choose a better sound background than a late night jazz. When it started to dawn we approach the border between Austria and Italy were the mountain peaks were white, like covered by icing sugar. Snow was waiting for us in Predeal Pass too at the crossing between Italy and Slovenia but as we descend more towards Soca valley, spring green of alpine plains began to predominate. The valley layed covered by a blanket of fog that was pierced by the tops of houses and the church, a very beautiful landscape at the entrance to the Ijdra village. The check in at the pension went fast and then get out to Idrijca. The water level was high and slightly muddy. Fallen rains in recent days speak up.
We started in places I knew like my own pockets but the high flow rate and low water temperature made fishing extremely hard. After we changed several nymphs that have proven to be extremely productive during past fishing without to have any fish contact, we managed to draw both a good unplanned bath in the Ijdrica. Brown and yellow stone flies flew on the banks and medium size nymphs were hiding under the stones of the river. In a later an olive zonker brought me 3 fish.

In the evening we made plans for the following day, choosing Soca for the next playground. The day turned out to be rainy and although the water level was slightly increased, the water was not muddy. After some casts I managed to catch a gorgeous marbled trout about 21 inches long on a large rhyacophila imitation. I called the place were I caught the fish “the onion pool” because the first thing that has caught my eye when we reached water was an onion. Silviu was fishing in a pool downstream of me. Fish began to show surface activity so he switched on dry flies. Small yellow/olive may flies were dancing on the water surface. Fish took the flies when they start to drift. Shortly after Silviu caught the first rainbow, we managed to catch fish after fish in a short time. Trout between 17 and 19 inches was the name of the game. Silviu caught the most fish during this day. I caught a few also on wet flies using a yellow spider tied on a hook no. 14. Towards the end of the day we managed a double.

In the evening we met friends from Sweden with whom I fished in Greenland (Lars and Erik), making plans for the next day and dissecting the fly boxes on a glass of beer. In a later a second group from Sweden arrived with another former fishing colleague, Magnus (our chef in Greenland).
Third day of fishing just sprinkled few drops of rain, but sky remained overcast. We decided to start at the confluence between Trebusca and Idrijca. Overnight water level increased. Although we managed to see trout and grayling, the fish have not left impressed by our flies so after two hours without catching fish, drove to Soca, fishing in the same place as the previous day (“onion and Silvius pool”) . We spent the evening making fishing plans for the coming year with our friends from Sweden.

Next morning we hit the road to get home while our friends staid to fish for the rest of the week.
Before leaving Soca valley we made a short stop before Bovec on a bridge where we managed to see a big fish, that put the bad seed in our minds and souls. The desire to return someday started to grow.


  1. Nice report...Glad you had a good time!

    1. Thank you Vlad ! We had a great time, fishing was not easy cause of the melting snow but we caught some. I think next year we'll go to Bosnia.

  2. Yeah, I think you will like Bosnian rivers a lot.