Each year the memory of Idrijca is haunting me through the darkish winter days. The pictures of Idrijca are deeply pressed into my DNA and to be honest here, it is one of the waters, that taxes me the most. The fishing pressure is relatively high, fish is relying on a constant food supply, you cannot go on the lookout without spotting the fish. But, that is only one part of the Rubicon cube.
The other is related to fish spotting you, before you make a step to close to the water, feeding ultra-selectively and putting the fly fisherman in the state of constant unbalance. Just for the reference, am referring to the non-trophy part of the district! The trophy part – nick named Aquarium – is a different ball game. Receiving a constant pressure, begin of April the fish is rested and it supplies the dose of large trout for the one in the knowing. Me personally like it in July, when the fishing over there gets excessively slow and each fish taxes you. Admittedly, when the fishing is ultra-slow in the lower part of mid Idrijca, am willing to salvage a day with an evening hatch and a healthy dose of »wild« marble or hybrid trout... Guess a balzame for a soul...
Getting to the first day – fool’s day - at the water. From the touch down into valley, I was spotting a wild fish on the feed. Although, regularly down each April, do not remember such activity for the start of April. Guess, related to the spell of warm weather, that is stretching from the mid-February. Each outlet of the pool was having three or four wild trout on the feed – not counting the rainbows, which were all in great shape. What is more, the fish was of various sizes, visually feeding on the bottom, intercepting the nymph here and there, grazing on the bottom, etc. Already, pumped up before jumping into waders, promised a glorious day at the water.
Switching to waders, putting the rod together, again the longish Sage One 4wt, which has proven a perfect long line nymphing stick, but a shi$#y dry fly rod. More to that latter. Coming near the bank spotted two marbles in the shallows and decided to step 50 meters below the position and slowly progress up-stream. The game was changed instantly as, I saw two fish on the feed closer to my position. A smaller hybrid and a somewhat larger rainbow. Put on the smaller, but heavy olive nymph (general Baetis), which did the trick – with the rainbow - on the second drift. The hybrid was lost, as soon as the rainbow jumped at take. Progressing slowly to the position, where I spotted the fish. No chances I had, the first cast was relatively good, but both trout cleared the shallows on the next.
Me decided to change the tactics to make the use of long reach in the faster runs. Changing the tippet to 5x, which I hoped adequate for the fish. First run a good rainbow, the second saw two grayling in the hatching game, therefore skipped the spot and crossed the river. A next deep run was in front of me. A slow approach and the big bad-bead nymph tied to the tippet end. A first drift with a downstream approach, no success. The second repositioned myself to the more across position. A better drift… High sticking the nymph, felt the bump at the mid drift, contra-acted and felt the weight on. Due to the long leader and sticking weight on the fly-side, thought I’ve made a mess and drowned the nymph between the larger boulders. A next step in the water, the larger shape jumped upstream to the next run in the series. Hand unstable, I figured out what is going on. A heavier weight on the other side indicated a good one. No unnecessary runs and just bumping in the bottom indicated the fish. The rod was uncapable to turn it, therefore had to make three steps forward. One too much. As I saw the black stripped submarine heading down-river. Not willing to discuss the size of the fish here, but a good-sized fish run direction downriver, rapid section, where no crossing was possible for me. I had no other chance then to jump out of the water and follow it. I knew instantly, that two large boulders may help the fish to outsmart me. The first one, I could outmaneuver her out of the hide. She put acceleration mode on and I could do nothing more than watching the leader getting’ tight at the location of the second largest boulder at the mid-stream. All the pumping and jumping around, was of no help to me. The picture of nice trout was deleted from RAM. Few second latter the leader went limp…
“Ohhh”, this feeling of emptiness… What a heck. Moving upstream, casting to the likely looking spots. With no reaction, honestly with no direction either. Not freaking – I blew a good fish – “Who cares, besides me?”. Thinking about it, it is rather interesting. The fish not landed, stick in my head for years; the good ones that posed for occasional photo not so… They grow – don’t want to get misunderstood - not in size, but just as a memory. This itching, what could I have made different…
Ok, coming back to the fishing. Next run, was rather promising. At the out tail of the pool, on the fishy looking spot, the second drift, the line deflected somewhat. Fish on. First jump, I thought another solid rainbow of 19 inches. On the first run, was happily proven wrong. A nice Idrijca type marble trout on the other side, was rushing up and down the pool. Only a good minute latter and she was stranded. Few obligatory photos and she swam off in next seconds. Feeling a bit better.
Another 50 meters upstream and fish rising. The hatch was on. Tied a smaller swimming nymph/emerger and looking for a willing fish to take it. Here the long stout rod and long leader, proved a huge obstacle in the making. By the end two rainbows landed, but good size hybrids or marbles were put down to rest LThe problem was in casting only a good two to three meters of line and a 7 meters leader with a fast tipped rod. Quiet an annoyance. Tried to nymph out the large pool, with no avail. Not willing to put the streamer to test them for aggressiveness.
Another slow glide, found two fish on rise. Another pin point casting game. Pin out casting game… No way for me to close it down with consistency. Two hooks ups latter and two Tiemco 103 Y bent, was closing down the dry fly game. One fish came to hand for inspection.
The shadow has fallen from the hills, therefore shifted the position to just below the trophy beat, where the sun is shining longer on the water. The bottom was fully overgrown by algae, biomass alarm. Fish activity low. With a small unweighted baetis nymph, had another two hook-ups. Only one landed though. A smaller hybrid. All in all, not bad at all. A good day – or not, you decide. I wished for more, but got that much. The rod is great for long line nymphing and s#$& for delicate casting…
The day before was spent in a good company at Radescica chalk stream. A sunny day in a good company. Another great Baetis hatch. Only few wild fish spotted. A good lot of put-in fishes landed. Also, smaller wildies landed. Awaiting the water temperature to rise higher to land more of the solid wild trout.