A lot of planning went into this – second fishing session planned in the April. Changing weather conditions and work assignments have left me visualizing the magical Gacka, but all in all it just wasn't meant to be. Month May started full of work and no free time for a two-daily session...
Therefore, the mid of May the plan was seeded - to go and try the selective Gacka trout at work. Only a call was required to get the colleague startled and all was fine with me.
Guiding at upper Krka a day before has ended up successfully, with the client having a blast of the day dry fly fishing, catching a solid Krka strain brown trout and loosing few more... A colleague was already awaiting me at the lodge and after a round of beers we hit the bed to start up early at 6:30 AM direction Otocac.
Already the drive-to has made me started. Well before nine we reached bridge zero, Covici. Only a glance over the bridge was needed to get me hyped, the trout was visually feeding at the depth of 2 meters and few smaller put-in brownies were taking dries. We started at upper Gacka, begin of Marshes section. Few active rainbows and put in brown trout have started the day. Nothing worth bashing about. The management at Gacka is really outstanding, we have a river warden checking us a good half an hour after the first cast. All kudos to the professionality of the Gacka Ltd. staff. Afterwards, few fellow fly fishers from Italy, started their dry fly dance, with a little effect for their side, as the fish hasn't got highly active until the mid of the day.
Moving on to the higher section, where all the water has been had for ourselves. Many of smaller brown trout has made our fishing interesting, but nothing serious went for our nymphs. Though, a walk around the opal blue Gacka is an experience not to be missed by any fly fisher. Even though, I fish at most of prominent rivers in Slovenia, this water will always hold a special space in my heart. Moving on with the story, though. The change of fish activity has been spotted, as soon as the good sized-trout took the best positions in the stream. Again, was stuck with a good-sized trout and was willing to lose the main part of the day, to get it to my hands. Only on first two passes, the trout has moved to a smaller Baetis pattern. Multiple passes later, the trout has once more moved to a deep-heavy Siphlonurus nymph almost scraping the bottom. And that was it… Although, me being persistent and having rested the trout few times for five minutes to try it out with different morsels. None, very successful. In the meantime, have been taking the solid brow trout at the other side of the bank. And few smaller sized trout later… In the same time-span a colleague has been taking numbers of wild fish, just a good 50 meters above the position – making the statistics. I had to call it a quit, after a good an hour, with not much success. It just wasn’t meant to be.
On the way to the car, have taken a few solid wild brownies. Although the wind has picked up considerably, we knew it was already a day for the books. We made a pause for a lunch at banks of Gacka. Drop dead gorgeous. Smalltalk at the river banks, washed out with a cold beer cooled in the stream…
Decision was made instantly, by yours truly, to move to one of the prominent turns at Gacka and try our luck over there. The first part was showing too many hatchery rainbows, which when hooked made a good run… Moving on, to forget the fishing I dislike and all went slow again, getting an odd non-stocked trout or two on each slower moving glide’s on a deep caddis pupa. Then it started – seeing few solid sized trout tailing at the slow glide just before the turn. Training session… No success, on the dead drifted presentation. Few off-takes on the moving pupa, has made me unsuccessful, but with a new experience, that have made me ready for the next session.
Just before the evening we have seen the solid hatch. Seeing is believing, but success rate was low in the begin. It lasted only for a good 15 minutes – guess the high waters have cooled the waters a bit too much for the trout liking. The remaining sun rays, have provoked a second spell of caddis coming to the water. And with a dry caddis imitation, we made a few good trout coming to the net. We called it a day and took a walk back to the car… The last beer cradled us to a good night’s sleep.
The day two, has seen us waking a bit earlier and hitting the water after breakfast before eight. Wanted to explore what the area around bridge 1 has to offer, before the crowds hit the place. All in all, an average fishing, sight nymph’ few brown trout holding near the banks. Have seen the first caddis hatch at 9:15 AM, but wasn’t willing to lose more time there.
Next position - lower Marshes. Coming there, we saw the Italian “dry” guys, moving down river. Just right, as me wanted to fish upper stretch anyway. The walking was slow, as we had to walk in a good feet of water, Gacka was still out of banks, and marshes at such times call for a laborious wading. All was fine, as ‘ve seen the first tailing trout and the next, an’ next, next... Started with Baetis nymph, just for the sake of it. No avail. Thinking it over, has seen me changing a few patterns, before deciding for the right one. Smaller midge pupa did the trick. Am not providing you with all the intricacies of the method, as this would take out the magic for you, enough to say that a good presentation and a minor twist made each tailing trout to take after first few casts. A very successful beginning of the day in my books. To mild up the success, had to say they were wild rainbows (white tipped fins), no brownies ;) The colleague, wasn’t able to move them, therefore after a good two hours wanted to shift the position.
Drive to the upmost stretches of water. The Baetis hatch started before we reached the water. I’ve checked the position of big fish – still lying there. Huh, first two passes made it move, but that was it. This time didn’t want to lose more time. Colleague had a hit of another big brownie a minute before, bashing and splashing was all I heard, from then on only the silence… I moved down stream, spotting a solid brown trout, which took on the second drift. Getting phony and all world was good with me. A slender but healthy large red spotted Gacka sub-strain trout is what keeps me traveling to this piece of god’s land/ water. Good eighteen inches of wild trout. Moving upstream and having few more takes of wild/ies, was all I needed. Proper lunch time.
Move to the upper Marshes. Not a lot of time left for us, as the colleague had a long drive home in front. We caught the out-tail of the caddis hatch and were not in the position to catch them easily. But few smaller trout have been tailing and responding territorially on caddis pupa. As good end of the two days at the water as any, therefore we switched to regular clothes and hit the direction home. The drive home was filled with the stories of when to go back. Addicted!