Sava Bohinjka, a short train ride away.
Unfortunately I started this post then totally forgot about it so its some 2 months late!.
My 3rd and final day fishing in Slovenia was to be had on the Sava Bohinjka. The journey there had 2 options, by car which takes around 2 hours or by train which takes 40 minutes or so. By train? yep that’s right.
Leaving the lodge we had a short 15 minute drive to the local station. After a brief wait for the train to arrive we were parked on a flatbed carriage waiting to leave. The journey was surreal as you can imagine. The sound and smell of a big diesel engine but sat in your car. The tunnels and train had no lights, so once in a tunnel the only lighting was our car and most of the time it was switched off which meant you sat in utter darkness.
The icy waters of the Sava Bohinjka.
Arriving at the section of river we were going to begin with, It was quickly noticeable how much bigger this river was than the others we’d fish the past couple of days. Tackled up and raring to go I slid down the bank and into the water, This river was much colder than the previous. The water was very calm on this particular beat and movement needed to be kept very minimal to prevent masses of disturbance in the shape of ripples. Not long into the fishing a van arrived and a man started emptying stockies into the waters edge. This seemed to put all the fish down in the near vicinity so a move was on the cards. And with the temperature of the water, getting out seemed appealing.
After a quick bite to eat we moved up river to a beat which sees less traffic. Starting in some faster runs I opted to try some Czech nymphing which only resulted in a very small brown. Richard on the other hand was fishing a large dry fly in the faster runs and after some searching started picking up fish. One of the challenges for the day was to bag ourselves a Grayling because as of yet we’d only had trout. Well luckily for me I had Richard with me who managed to bag himself 4 Grayling saving us from failure, where as I only managed Trout again.
The last couple of hours fishing in Slovenia.
Moving up the river the fishing got more and more exciting, casting to the opposite bank into the faster seams of water and waiting for a splashy take. Further up above we could see the start of a pool, which appeared to be full of life with plenty of rises. With not much more than an hour left to fish, as we needed to get back for the train we decided to finish the day fishing the pool.
Positioning my self into a slack section which was relatively shallow it gave me a good position to fish from and target the feeding fish in the deep channel. There were two fish that caught my eye that appeared to be large rainbows. They would occasionally rise and take out of the seam after the bend. The seam really swirled round and made it extremely difficult to present a fly as the fly line was trying to go one way and the fly the other. With a bit of practice I eventually got it bob on and as the fly left the seam into the deep section above the fish, one of the large rainbows lifted and spiraled its way to the surface. The fish swallowed the fly and I set the hook which began a short fight resulting in my tippet giving way. Frustrated that I’d potentially lost my last good fish of the holiday I considered packing up. But as i stared out into the river the 2nd of the rainbows sipped from the surface. So with a new tippet and fly tied on it was time to try again, I knew if the cast was right there was a good chance I’d lift the fish. with a couple of casts the fly was on the right path and sure enough up he came. My heart started beating faster, and time slowed down but luckily it was meant to be and the fly disappeared down the hatch. What line was off the reel was soon out the rod rings and being used by the fish. With some big charges stopped, I’d managed to keep the fish out of any snags and eventually drew him to the net. What a great fish to end the trip.
Unfortunately most great things come to an end and this trip was no exception. With a train ride back to Tolmin followed by food, and a late night packing our bags. We eventually got some sleep before the 3 hour drive back to the airport.
The trip has certainly opened my eyes, and I’ll most definitely be returning to Slovenia at some point to fish many of its other waters we never fished. Slovenia truly is an amazing destination for fishing, but unfortunately this is known throughout Europe so it attracts large amounts of visitors daily. But that aside I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t done so already to go give it a go.