No rain but lots of rainbows.
With some hearty food in everyone from breakfast, we grabbed what tackle we needed and headed off. First stop was Tolmin to get our fishing permits and visit the local tackle shop. After chatting with the guide and the shop owner I purchased a few flies that work on the local rivers.
Pulling up at the Tolminska river it was clear to see that there was plenty of fish. The shallows held plenty of large rainbows and on closer inspection the odd Marble trout. I decided to carry both my nymph and dry rod to be able to cover all possible scenarios.
The fun begins.
With 3 of us fishing we spread out a little and worked upstream. I started just below a weir in some turbulent water were I began drifting nymphs. The fish showed very little interest and before long I moved up. Richard had been fishing a pool which held around 20-30 rainbow trout. Richard had a break and kindly told me to give it a go, now that’s a friend!. First cast I hooked a rainbow Trout a couple of pounds on a sedge type pattern. These fish fight hard and with the weir only a few feet behind, made for some interesting fishing.
Not wanting to push Richard out of his spot I crossed beneath the weir and fished the shallows against the opposite bank. The casting was super tricky and required the fly line to land on the gravel edge so only the tippet lay in the water so not to spook the fish. Couple of good casts failed to tempt a fish and trying that bit too hard I put the fly in an over hanging bush a foot or so in front of them.
With that I turned my attention to the entrance of the pool I’d caught from earlier. At first I tried the nymph and got one pluck which never amounted to anything. Where my drift ran, 2 fish rose confidently. Down with the nymph rod and back in the flow with the dry. The water was really fast and easy to lose sight of the fly, so it was a case of strike on a rise. Half a dozen casts and a good fish emerged with its head and back out the water, I lifted the rod and pointed downstream in hope. A solid connection was made and a strong fight was on my hands. With some line stripping and an air display I managed to persuade him in the net.
With one of the other guests leaving later that day to fly home, we traveled to his favourite section of river. This was a very big, wide section of the Soca which Usually favours the use of streamers. We didn’t stay for long as there was no sign of any fish and numerous runs with varying streamers produced nothing. Non the less it was good to see another stunning stretch of river.
Evening rise at the Tolminska.
With no fish showing on the Soca, Kevin took Tim up to the upper Baca for his last hours fishing before flying home. Richard and I decided we’d drop back on the Tolminska and fish locally so we could fish later into the evening. Arriving back at the river a lot of other anglers had a similar plan so we had to drop down river and fish our way up. The fishing was spot on, picking out single fish and taking it in turns to present a fly to them.
The weather had cooled slightly and standing out of the water had become somewhat bare-able. Due to the recent run of extremely hot weather for that time of year, the river offered very little in the way of fly life. Although that said, it didn’t stop the fish rising when presented with a fly of their liking. The pattern we used was a local specialty and resembled a sedge, but also covered a basic outline of terrestrial’s found locally. With the water being relatively low and the clarity so good, the pool areas were hard to fish. The conditions allowed the fish too much time to inspect the fly resulting in many refusals. My success came when I targeted fish in the much faster water.
moving on up.
Moving up river we came to the pool we fished early in the day. There was around 7 anglers all casting lines at the same time, with some guides stood either side on their phones. Was hilarious to see and obviously made us take a wide berth and move on up swiftly.
after a brief walk along the rocky bank the river split into two sections with a large gravel bar in the middle. We were nearing the edge of Tolmin town. The sound of a local band bellowed out of a building into the gorge we were in and gave quite a surreal atmosphere.
With the light fading, spotting fish was becoming a little harder. I chose to work on 3 fish that were sat behind a fallen tree. Drifting the dry through some difficult currents I got a couple of signs of interest from 2 of the fish. On one particular drift it appeared as though I’d get a take as the fish followed the fly downstream. The fish turned away from the fly in front of me but allowed me to spot a better fish sat tucked to the bottom.
My next few casts I lengthened my drift to cover both fish. With a quick mend after the first fish It set the fly up for the next and bam. This fish fought strong and sat with its head tucked against the stones with its tail occasionally breaking the surface. after some toing and froing Richard slipped the net under its head.
Hard to stop.
Heading back down river to where we were parked the number of anglers were slowly depleting. Just above the pool there was a handful of very darkly coloured rainbow trout occupying some shallow water against the edge of some trees. A couple of anglers were casting lines at them and then moved off the water and headed to their car.
We both looked at one another and said why not, may as well give it a go before we leave. After a dozen casts or so I began thinking the fish were possibly spawning. Each time It appeared I was going to get a take the fish would turn and bump into another. It was hard to tell if they were spawning or being territorial. Next cast everything must have fell into place and I hooked one of these beautiful dark rainbow trout. After un-hooking and holding the fish in the water it released some eggs, so what we thought was spawning clearly was.
Just below us an angler and his son were fishing the pool, and as the light faded he called over to his son to tell him to pack up. His son lifted the rod and the water erupted, his nymph had been taken near the surface on the lift. After a lengthy fight the lad landed the fish and I managed to get some photos for them. It was nice to see such a young angler fishing on a river never mind witnessing them catch, good on you!.
After the two of them left we tried our look in the pool fishing dries in almost darkness. It was quite funny but exciting as you couldn’t see the fly so just struck when you saw what you believed to be a rise. I managed two fish before we left and to say it was hard to stop fishing was an understatement.