Just before the second Season start - April the 1st - rivers flowing into Adriatic, the memories keep me coming back to one of the fly fishing days at River Idrijca. From the memory, after few days guiding at different rivers in Slovenia at mid-September, where fishing was good, but nothing spectacular, we have chosen one of those mellow days. With an outlook of possible rain shower, when company at the day fishing is more important than the fish count at the end of the day, but with a potential of mid-day hatches that could make or break the day.
It all started first week of October, where we shared a car with a colleague and already on the drive in, made a plan to start fishing at a smaller confluence of Idrijca. Water level relatively low, but still, we choose the upper section to get us going into the day. Before switching into fishing gear at 9:30, we were overlooking few nice pools and no wonders, good fish were already taking positions at the out tail of the pools. A sight that never ceases to get me started into the day at water. The first count revealed a good size marble, two nice hybrids and few smaller rainbow trout. First rain drops have met us before entering the water, the bushes dump from the morning rain and the creek just the perfect color. Guide colleague took the upper pool, me decided for the lower. First cast went into... you guessed it, the bushes behind my casting position. A beginner’s mistake if there is one. Due to a tight casting space and the rocks on far right, the switch cast was a bit off and the anchor has been placed a bit too close to the overhanging branches. Wanted to save the nymph tied on a long, supple tippet and the first shadow darted to the far en’ of the pool. The second cast went to the spot meant for it on the first – no reaction. The third was ok too, but the rookie mistake has cost me the (wanted) good fish. Fish cleared the shallow water. Heck… Closed nearer and few casts later connected to a smaller rainbow trout in the deeper part near the rock on the far end. Casts later a second smaller trout shacked the leader and fish landed too. Nothing to write home about, but nevertheless a start into day. Colleague went on high sticking the lower pools and pulling number of fish from the deeper parts with a deep nymph. Me moved down river and went behind him, a pool or two and got only two smaller hybrids in between.
Changing the spot and driving to a lower pool, where I expected the second brood Baetis mayfly hatch to start. Was not far off, with my assumption, as the fish were visibly feeding in mid column of water. Colleague started with a fish or two, I was looking for a potential dry fly action. One spotted in the broken water, at the right corner where the fast current prolongs into a long glide. Due to the bushes covering the spot, had to move well downstream and only a team effort enabled the take to be registered, Again, my only option was backhand switch cast with a puddle. First two were amiss, the third landed just right and the fish followed the emerger, took it aggressively. A mid-sized rainbow was playing hard and it took me a good minute to steer it into the slower water. Meantime, colleague was trying the far bank and the fish rose from the deep cervices between the rocks and took the nymph with vigor. From the position, he was not able to land it though, so again the team effort landed a good strong rainbow trout. The good size natives were too elusive for us - till next.
The next decision - move to Idrijca, to explore our options at the second stage of the hatch. Me took the shallow water, where many fish were feeding – albeit selectively. Colleague took the faster water a good eighty meters higher up. Changed the tippet to 0.11 and a small unweighted semi-realistic olive-nymph tied at the end. Fishing itself was relatively easy, at least casting and presenting the fly, the biggest obstacle was to spot the take. Even when registered, a single shake was all needed to get the fish rid of iron. Landed a few good sized rainbows’, but that is not why I come to this water. Lost a good marble trout sitting under the overhanging branches – explosion of motion was twisting the tippet into them and all was still then. Huh… It seemed; the day just didn’t want to come together. Finally spotted a solid sized hybrid trout on the feed. This time, with no obstruction around and after a good number of casts and many refusals, the fish couldn’t resist the drift. Finally, the splashing water and fish flying for cover. Goose bumps pure. All in control and after few faster spurts, the fish safely landed and a photo for a memory.
The colleague was coming out of sight, therefore moved behind him and landed few natives all well under 15 inches. The big pool held many surprises, but again too many loses. Rainbow flying and released, but good sized native fish were to smart at that day. The rain picked up again and even though it was just late mid-day, we decided to call it a quit. A bite and we drove out of the valley. Making plans for our next outing, which was unfortunately cut again with the start of the second Wave :(
Solid days are often, what keeps us coming to the river. But my guess would be, if some less eventful days would not mix in between, the fishing would lose a bit of its magic for my person. Fish hard fishing friends!
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