Meet our large Mayfly, Ephemera danica – in states known also under name Green Drake. Besides being the inspiration for our Logo and the designation for our Lodge, it acts as one of the most fascinating aquatic insects in Slovenia..
Taking a close look at the two to three years living cycle, you'll never see much of the burrowing nymph, progressing through several instars to the mature nymph, burrowing through fine sandy substrate of our chalk streams, making long tunnels in the substrate and putting on weight. A large mayfly species with three tails and large hind wings hatches mid day. The sub-imago (immature adult – dun) has grey wings, with a yellowish green tinge and heavy venation. The body is creamy yellow with distinctive brown markings on the body segments. The tails are dark grey black and the legs are a creamy olive colour with black markings. Although, the hatch densities are nowhere near to what had been accustomable here, three or four decades ago, the hatches are still going strong and you may expect them regularly app. mid-May to late-May at our nearby chalk treams. The trout seems to be awaiting this big moursels and key at them in first few days of the hatch to the extent of selectively taking only emergers and then big yellow duns. In the same breath it has to be said, that this selective feeding pattern holds only for first few days. Later on, the fish gets possibly fed with them and they switch to small Baetises, or mid-sized gray caddises hatching in the same time window. What it brings though, is a great dry fly sport on our well known chalk streams – home water Krka, nearby Unica, Obrh and few less famed.
Begin of June found me at the magic River Krka for the second part of the day. Guides at play, would describe that day. This district is managed by Fisheries Institute of Republic Slovenia and the quality of fishery is good to great depending on the fish activity and your experience level. Of course, some parts also fishing better then others, especially if you are keying on natural brown trout, which is what we are on. The mid-day temperatures already reached 24 degree Celzius and was expecting the great hatch, which came, but later then normally, which tilted the activity window to the later part of the evening. First came trickling hatch of Baetises at approximately 5 PM, closely followed with first large Ephemeras egg lying activity. This May has brought a lot of rain waters in our Rivers and streams, therefore no problem with otherwise prolific aqautic vegetation.
For the later part of the day have choosen three long glides at Krka, intersected with classic Krka cascades. The action started with smaller Baetis emergers, but subdued and had to try an aggressive dry fly tactics with mid sized caddis pattern. Normally, I choose the Goddard caddis for the sport, but as I had a solid rejection rate, I switched to Gary's dancing caddis and didn't looked back, till the bid Drakes haven't made a return. Few nice brown trout have been falling the victim of the size 14 caddis (all released of course), but nothing from the large territory – read 20 inches plus. Great dry fly sport, though.
Around 7:30 PM the activity risen and the big Mayflies were spoted dancing above the Krka. First higher in the sky and as the light wore down, the activity came lower, almost to the surface. As soon this happened, the trout activity literarly exploded. The glides were boiling of good sized brown trout and a mochican mayfly pattern, has move many to the take. Beware, some takes were strong, but the rejection of the big dry fly by larger, read educated trout was still rather high. Few larger specimen to the water and in the glowing sky, have decided to call it a day. Only – to discover a insuspectable feeding near bushes, at the other bank. For those who know me, I get hyped up easily by a sight of good trout on the feed. Clipped the chewed mayfly and put a fresh one on. By the tingling light of a head-lamp I put on the fresh tippet of 5x. The cast seemed good and the fish rose speedily to the fly, turning its broad flank to my sight. Only too... lost the fly and the tippet at the first fast run into the bushes, were it still roams for the other fisherman to give a try. I put the head down and full of adrenaline, sat down to breath in the surroundings. Had it for that day and the memories will see me drive back to the place.
For our most equisit, but also experienced guests, interested into brown trout, we propose to give a try to Unec River, where the population of browns in latest few years has grown considerably. Althought the daily licenes being on the higher end of the spectrum, we would not count this stream off, due to the quality of fishing it offers. If you decide for Unica, have it in your mind for the first part of the season – months May and June and later at the second seasons peak, months September and October. The second seasons peak is a great opportunity to focus on trophy grayling on a dry fly too. Warmly welcome!
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