sLOVEnia 2 0 1 1

Waiting..dreaming..and planning.. ..And finally, slovenia paradise 2011 !!

Last year we were in Slovenia for the first time. (SLOVENIA 2010)
We fished mainly Trebuscica and upper parts of Idrijca because other rivers were flooded and discolored. Even though the trip was rainy and flooded, it was the best fishing trip of our lives!
Slovenia conquered our hearts and so we were forced to come back again.

Our trip started on friday 13th of May from Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
Our plane landed in Ljubljana 11:45 am. The weather was cloudy but warm, +25c!
Unlike last year, this year we decided to take a guide with us.
The best Slovenian guide Matevž Jus was waiting for us at the airport.

Afterwards we had talked with Matevz we were extremely excited, because we heard that the water condition was good in Soca. Last year Soca had such bad water condition that we weren't able to fish there. But now that we had a chance to fish in Soca, we decided to go there at once.

Canon 5D MK II, EF 24-70, f/7.1
Jani, Aleksandra, Wiljami and Ma-ma-Matewz Jus! :)
Canon 5D MK II, EF 24-70, f/9
Fishing team from Finland
Canon 5D MK II, EF 24-70, f/7.1

When we were getting closer to our destination, the views started to get more and more magnificient and the driveway was getting narrower and narrower.
We went up in to the heights of 1400 meters, driving on narrow and curvy roads down to the valley.

Some parts of Soca flowed through canyons

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/4.5
The blog keeper =)
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/4.5
Matevz Jus

Canon PowerShot D10
With Canon you can!
Photo by A. Kiviniemi

Just when I was about to puke, we arrived to Soca. What a relief! :)

We arrived to a place where the rivers Lepenja and Soca comes together.
The views were so incredible, that I was just thinking if I'm dreaming. The water was crystal clear and we were able to spot the first marble trout.
This sight got us so excited that we started to gear up our selves, hands shaking. After few minutes we had the first fish on, but the fish was more clever than we were!

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/11, 1/50s, Iso 200
Soca & Lepenja comes together

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/11, 1/50s, Iso 200
A pool in Lepenja
Matevz Suite

Lepenja is a nice small river full of pools and fishes.
This place is Matevz's favorite river in Slovenia. And cool river it really is!
We walked up the river for a while and then we found a nice spot to fish.
After few casts we had a fish on. It was revealed to be a big grayling, but after a short fight the fish got off. Damn!

We split up into two groups and started to fish in different places.
I spent some time walking and admiring the views around me. I found a nice pool, where I spotted a rainbow trout eating from the surface. After few casts the fish accepted my fly. It was a nice small rainbow and important because it was the first we got.

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/5, 1/100s, Iso 320
First fish of the trip
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/5.6, 1/40s, Iso 800
Aleksandra, Jani & our guide spotting a fish
Canon 5D MK II, 43mm, f/5, 1/60s, Iso 3200
Ville casting in Lepenja

Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/4.1, 1/60s, Iso 1250
Ville's first Rainbow

Ville succeeded also to get a beautiful rainbow trout from Lepenja.
After all it was a nice first fishing day. The views were perfect and we had lot of fun while we were fishing.. We were able to hook six rainbows during the first day :)

Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, Iso 1250
Now, can we go drink some lindeman and eat Rambo pizza?
Ouh yeah, we can!!

Day 2
Towards Soca..

Last year we liked our village and apartment where we stayed, therefore we chose the same apartment again. Our apartment was in Most na Soči which is a comfortable little village.
The views from our backyard were pretty amazingly beautiful, as you can see -->

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/10, 1/80s, Iso 200
Ville photographing the lake in our backyard

After morning breakfast we called to Matevz to come to pick us from our apartment.
The weather outside was very promising, some clouds and otherwise clear.
Cheerful Matevz arrived to our apartment and we decided to drive to Tolmin to buy a fishing license. In Slovenia fishing licenses were easy to be obtained, because they were sold in many places, even in small villages. We bought our licenses from a hotel in Tolmin and there we found a mummy of a dead Marble trout, that was over 120cm long. The dead marble was found from a bank in Soca river.

Pretty big or what?

Mummy of dead Marble trout. Over 120cm!

Next we continued our trip to the Soca river.
The Soca river was about sixty minutes of driving from our camp.
I was very excited to see what would the middle parts of the Soca river look like..
We parked our car and ran to the river.
WOW! PERFECT, I said. Turquoise colored water and big fishes surfing around, could it be better?

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/9, 1/160s, Iso 200
The Soca

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/8, 1/80s, Iso 200
Joni in soca
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/9, 1/80s, Iso 200
Jani in Soca

Our guide Matevz said that the water level was quite low and added that the fishing would be very difficult.
Fishes were very easily scared and they were accurate about the fly's.
Soon we noticed this to be true. Fishes noticed us before we spotted them.
Challenging but also rewarding fishing, if you are lucky to hook some fish.

Aleksi (Aleksandra like Matevz says)  received the first try on the marble trout that we spotted -->

Canon 5D MK II, 116mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, Iso 200
Spotting a Marble

Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, Iso 200
Marble is hooked!

Of course the big Marble was danced away..

We continued our trip higher up the Soca river.. Fishing was very difficult and it seemed that any fly wouldn't work! With "luck" Matevz hooked a nice grayling ;) Damn, the fishes were eating something.. Apparently the trouble was on my skills. More training, I guess =)

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/10, 1/80s, Iso 200

Ville and I went forward together and we found a nice pool where were lots of fishes.
Fishes had their spots where they were just standing and didn't seem to eat anything.
We tied little size 16 PT-nymphs into our leaders. Ville had the first try on the fishes and sneaked behind a bush to cast. After few successful casts fish took the PT-nymph and the line was running from the reel. Not a big fish, but the strength was huge. Absolutely great fight!

Canon 5D MK II, 42mm, f/3.5, 1/60s, Iso 3200
Wiljami & nice Rainbow Trout
Canon 5D MK II, 38mm, f/5, 1/50s
Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/3,2, 1/60s, Iso 3200
Fierce rainbow is being released

 For next hours we were able to just hook the fishes, but our leaders just couldn't take the pressure. SNAP and we lost fight after fight, it was starting to get hopeless. Eventually I was able to get a rainbow landed, what a relief!

Canon 5D MK II, 67mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash
Rainbow.  C & K
Canon 5D MK II, 67mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash
Canon 5D MK II, 67mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash
Eating samples

Although the day was difficult, we manage to receive three rainbows and two graylings :)
Little rain tomorrow would be good. Otherwise tomorrow's fishing would be also really difficult!

Day 3
Baca / Idricja
Rainy Day
Finland VS Sweden

Wake-up call at 8:00 a.m.
Awful rain outside.. But this is what we hoped! :)  Quick breakfast and then towards the river..
Usually the rivers get discolored in a moment if it's raining heavy, especially Soca gets discolored quickly. So we decided to go watch if the water would be clear in Baca or Idricja.

Baca river was pretty clear in the morning and we spotted some nice fishes eating.. About thirty minutes of fishing and the first fish was in the net.

Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/4, 1/60s, Iso 800
First fish of the day
Rainbow Trout in Baca

The weather went worse and it began to rain more and more.
And at this stage we decided go to eat some food. The restaurant was familiar to us, the restaurant SLAP. Mixed Grill meal was perfect, awesome food.. Suddenly we received two bottles of Krappa to the table. One bright and one black one. One hour later both bottles were empty. We were feeling a bit tangled! :)

Then we drove to Idrijca and we were laughing all the time, wonder why..
It took only thirty minutes to tie my fly to the leader! New record?

The water was muddy and I wasn't able to spot the fishes.
Anyway I decided to show Wiljami how to catch a fish from the same point he hadn't got any.
First throw and fish was on! Tension began.. What fish could it be?
It was a BARBEL!(barbel trout, as we called it) =D
Extremely beautiful fish with a nice mustache!

Canon 5D MK II, 55mm, f/4, 1/25s, Iso 800
47cm Barbel Trout ) =D

Canon EOS 50D, 35mm, f/4, 1/50s, Iso 200
Barbi & Ken

- Photo By Matevz -
Boys In Baca

Our fishing day ended happily and everyone was having fun already, but most of the fun was ahead =)
After fishing we decided to go to a familiar and safe location, the restaurant Slap..
Each boy took a pizza and 'few' krappas.. We deserved them after wet fishing day ;) 
When the krappa bottle was empty Matewz drove us to our apartment. Quickly tv open and we started to watch the hockey final, Finland VS Sweden. And what a match it was! Finland won the World Championship 6-1! A day that won't be forgotten!

Canon 5D MK II, 32mm, f/9, 13s, Iso 800, Flash
Go, Go, Go!!!

Guess who? :D
Canon 5D MK II, 32mm, f/4, 0.8s, Iso 800

Although the day was rainy, we received three Rainbows and one Barbel.
Weather forecast promised a nice sunny day for tomorrow, sounds promising for fishing!

Day 4

In the morning some of the boys (read Aleksandra) had a bit hangover. Some Norwegian lanquage was spoken :D
After the breakfast we waited for Matevz at the nearest cafe and we enjoyed the nice weather.
It was twenty three degrees and some clouds in the sky.
It didn't rain during the night so the water would be also clear. Perfect!

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/9, 1/160s, Iso 200
Boys in the terrace

Matevz arrived and promised to show us some new spots from Trebuscica, while we were driving. We parked our car near Trebuscica and walked through forest to the river.
Ville and I liked the first place Matevz showed immediately and there we spent most of the day.
Near this spot Matevz got a huge marble, just a week before our trip.
The fight took over thirty minutes, but Matevz was able to net the fish..

Matevz Jus and 76cm Marble Trout

Ville and I spotted right away about ten fishes. Our heartpulse was high and we draw straw which one could start. We noticed soon that the fishes weren't easy to catch!
Hours went by without any fishes caught.
Only a few heart stopping takes and a few broken leaders was the result.

Eventually Ville put on a 0.12mm leader and a size #20 Hares ear nymph. A few casts and a fish was hooked! The fish jumped four times to the air and fought well.
Nice big Rainbow was landed. Great!

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/500s, Iso 200
Noel in action!
Canon 5D MK II, 45mm, f/5, 1/80s, Iso 200
Ville and a rainbow

After the fish was photographed it took about an hour until we had any action.
B A N G ! Suddenly big one was on ! " JONIII..! WHERE IS THE NET "..?!!
Ville was screaming and shaking..
A pretty big fish it truly was! I hope you enjoy the pictures :)

Canon 5D MK II, 25mm, f/5, 1/100s, Iso 200
Canon 5D MK II, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/500s, Iso 200
Well hooked with size #20 nymph!
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/5, 1/50s, Iso 200
Canon 5D MK II, 24-70mm, f/4, 1/250s, Iso 200
Canon 5D MK II, 60mm, f/4, 1/50s, Iso 200
Canon 5D MK II, 48mm, f/3.5, 1/100s, Iso 200

In this situation, I didn't have any fun.. Wiljami landed fishes and I did not. Not so good situation for me!
I decided to try something different. So I put a about three centimeter long streamer on my leader and I started to short strip in the front of the fishes. And it worked! Some of the fishes started to follow it..
Pretty soon I hooked a nice Rainbow Trout -->

Canon 5D MK II, 70-200mm, f/4, 1/125s, Iso 200
Happy boy and Rainbow

Canon 5D MK II, 170mm, f/4, 1/500s, Iso 200
Back to the river

Very nice day of fishing! Perfect weather and clear water.
But the fishing wasn't easy, all of the fishes required hard work and many tries.
On day four we received a total of five Rainbows.

On the fifth day we will be heading to Soca and Lepenja..

Day 5

The ghost of Lepenja

Early wake-up call again. 

The weather was looking promising. Not too warm and not too gold, just suitable :)
With tires screaming we drove towards Soca river!

Alek"sandra"si and Jani went fishing to Lepenja and Ville, Matevz and I went upper parts of Lepenja.
I took a few pictures in the Lepenja and Ville started fishing, while I was photographing..
Pretty nice views for fishing, or what?

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/11, 2,5s & ND 400
Beautiful Lepenja

Canon 5D MK II, 28mm, f/11, 13s & ND 400

Canon EOS 50D, Tamro 100mm macro, f/6.3, 1/80s, Iso 200

After the photo sessions we packed our stuffs and we went to Soca river.

In Soca we spent a nice day! Even we didn't catch any "special" fish, we had a lot of fun and action.
We climbed to the high rocks and fished only spotted fishes. We used mainly dryflyes and nymphs.
Can you imagine better fishing? 8)

Ville and I catch about ten rainbows and I also experienced the feeling when you have over sixty centimeter fish on! AWESOME! =)

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/9, 1/160s, Iso 200
Soca River

Canon 5D MK II, 70-200mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, Iso 200
Joni behind a big grayling

200mm, f/4.5, 1/250s, Iso 200
Zippy Rainbow

155mm, f/4.5, 1/640s, Iso 200
Back to Soca

200mm, f/4.5, 1/160s, Iso 200
70-200mm, f/4.5, 1/200s, Iso 200
Rainbow with lovely colors 

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/11, 1/160s, Iso 200
The View

Also Jani and Alek"sandra"si had a lot of fun!
Jani dropped his new Canon d10 camera to the river and broke leader with over fifty centimeter fish!

Alek"sandra"si had also over fifty centimeter fish on. Jani decided to hit the fish to the head with a net.
The fish went crazy and decided to go downstream and fast! Aleksi remain to wonder his broken leader and stayed to hug with Jani =D

With luck the boys managed to catch some nice fish -->
( All of the Lepenja's fish can enjoy Jani's pictures deep down the bottom of the river ;) )

Canon PowerShot D10
Aleksi & 44cm Marble Trout
Canon D10
Jani and her baby
Canon PowerShot D10
Canon PowerShot D10
Jani & Rainbow

Day 6
Idricja / Trophy Zone

Warm day was coming, +25 degrees and sunshine. The weather promised difficult fishing day again!

Last year this C&R part saved our trip to Slovenia. Most of the fish and actions we experienced here. That's why we were excited to go there again!

When we arrived we noticed that the water level was completely opposite than last year.
Now the water level was very low and clear! Also there was a lot of other fisherman, which wasn't nice..
The fisherman had gathered around the world to there, for example Italy, Austria and other parts of Europe. I think that the fishing 'season' started on May fifteenth and that's why there was a lot of fishermen. Fortunately, Slovenia is big enough for all of us  =)

We started to spot the fishes and we saw some big ones surfing around the surface.

Canon 5D MK II, 24-70mm, f/4.5, 1/250s, Iso 200
Big Rainbow eating from the surface

We let Aleksandra to go first to the 'hottest spot' we knew in the river. In this spot Ville caught almost ten fish last year! Aleksi saw a lot of dry fly action on the surface and dozens of fishes in the pool. Matevz was watching while Aleksi was putting the gears up and gave some tips and a dry fly from his box. It didn't take many casts that the first fish was on. Small rainbow but caught with dry fly!
After that the other boys went upstream with Matevz to check other parts of the river. While this Aleksi saw a big grayling eating all the time from the surface with fury. Every cast the grayling came for the fly, but the pressure was too high and fly was pulled out before the take. On third cast the fly was taken completely and after the fish was landed. After measuring and calling the boys to the place fish revealed to be 49 cm! 

Canon 5D MK II, 135mm, f/4.5, 1/80s, Iso 200
Beautiful Grayling with a dry fly

Canon PowerShot D10
Aleksandra and the view :)

Even thought the fishing was difficult and the fishes was easily scared Jani hooked a fish!
I must say that Jani is much more better flyfisher than last year. He have develop a lot! I think that our autumn trip to northern Sweden gave a lot of confidence to him. It's very nice to see that our good friend learn to flyfish and receive a lot of fun from the world's nicest hobby, flyfishing!:)  Learning a new hobby is not always easy!

Canon 5D MK II, 70-200mm, f/4, 1/64s, Iso 200
Happy Man & Marble

Along the evening Ville began to get some fishes.
After a few broken leaders and a few swearwords, Wiljami managed to hook two nice fishes!
Brown Trout and a Marble Trout =)
Photographer in action was Aleksandra with Canon PowerShot D10.

In Slovenia the twilight starts already at seven o'clock. Its very dark at nine o'clock when you have to stop the fishing by the rules. In the dark is not allowed to fish. And in practice it is impossible!
The most efficient time to fish is on twilight. Fishes starts to eat from the surface and they aren't so easily scared.

On the evening I put dry fly on my leader and I was doing long casts.
Suddenly the activity of the fishes exploded and there were fishes eating from the surface everywhere!
I was trying all types of normal dry flies, but without any results. I couldn't understand what was wrong.
Then I remember a fly that worked well in Northen Sweden. A fly that imitates a fly that is moving fast and splashing on the surface. I tied the fly to my leader and I started to strip the fly on the surface slowly.
BANG! Huge hit on the fly and the fish rushed to the bottom of the river and felt really heavy!
After I got it to the net I noticed it was a big beautiful rainbow! The fish had really big fins and had huge amount spots in body. I was just amazed because this was the most beautiful rainbow I've ever caught!
This fish saved my day completely.

After this fish it started to be quite dark, but I continued fishing anyways. On the first cast I had another huge hit on my fly. Again the line was running, but this big one was stronger than my leader. Damn, this one would have been nice to land, but you can't always win.

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash Fired
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash Fired
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash Fired
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash Fired
Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, Iso 400, Flash Fired

I decided that this would be a good time to stop the fishing. Then a group of happy men continued to our safety location, restaurant Slap :) The evening saved my a very difficult fishing day.

Day 7
Soca / Lepenja

What could be more wistful day than the last day in Slovenia?
The day had come.
"Last day boys, enjoy as much as you can" - we said :)

Ville and I decided to spend our last day fishing in Trebuscica. Other boys drove to Soca and Lepenja.
We walked upstream to Trebuscica and enjoyed some cold beer and Jägermeister, PERFECT!

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/9, 1/100s, Iso 200

We spotted lot of fishes eating from the surface.
Quickly we tied dry flyes on our leaders. Time went by, without any action.
I had to put 0.12mm leader and small dry fly to the leader. A few casts and fish was on!
After short fight the leader was broken, the 0.12mm leader couldn't match the fish.

I had to tie a new leader and the same thing happend again! 
Ville laughed and barked at my skills. I stopped fishing and walked to the river bank.
I opened a ice-cold lemon-flavored beer. I couldn't think anything more relaxing!

It was Ville's turn to cast to the fish. "Watch Joni how it's done" - Wiljami said.
The result was three broken leaders =D
Fortunately, I was not the only one who broke all the leaders!

Dryfly fishing didn't seem to give the wanted results. So we decided to put small nymphs on and soon Ville hooked a big Rainbow!

Here is some pictures from the last day:

Canon 5D MK II, 24mm, f/8, 1/100s, Iso 200

Canon 5D MK II, 130mm, f/6.3, 1/320s, Iso 200

Canon 5D MK II, 200mm, f/5, 1/640s, Iso 200

Canon 5D MK II, 200mm, f/6.5, 1/60s, Iso 200

Canon 5D MK II, 90mm, f/5, 1/80s, Iso 200

Canon EOS 50D, Tamro 100mm macro, f/3.5, 1/400s, Iso 200
MY FISH! Photo by. Ville Kiviniemi

Canon EOS 50D, 30mm, f/4.5, 1/200s, Iso 200

Canon EOS 50D, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/3200s, Iso 250

Also Jani and Aleksi had an unforgettable day. 
Especially Aleksi who caught over sixty centimeter big rainbow from Soca!
Matevz told that he knew a place on Soca that usually had a big marble or rainbow in it.
The pool was able to be checked from nearby suspension bridge. Quickly Matevz spotted a big shadow moving in the pool and commended Aleksi to go fish from downstream to the spots. While Aleksi was casting Matevz gave directions for the casts. The first fly had no effects, so Aleksi changed the fly to a size 12 brown nymph. Second cast with this and the fly was stopped completely, just like it would be stuck in a rock. The rock started to move! Fish on! After 10 minutes of fighting Matevz was able to net the fish. Biggest fish of the trip was caught on the last hour of the trip, what a day!

Canon EOS 50D, 16mm, f/9, 1/80s, Iso 200
Photo by. Ville Kiviniemi

Canon PowerShot D10

Canon PowerShot D10

Canon PowerShot D10

Canon PowerShot D10

So.. All good things come to an end..
As our trip to Slovenia and my story of the trip.

You may have noticed, that our trip was awesome! Good friends and survival from the trip made our fishing holiday perfect! :)

From the fishing point of the view the trip could have been better..
More and bigger fish and little easier fishing would have been nice..
But that's not the most important thing! THE ATMOSPHERE IS!
The feeling when you can forget your work and you don't have to stress is now experienced!
Just enjoy having good time with your good friends.
Just to wake up to a new day, eat breakfast and go to the river and spend time with the most nicest hobby, fly-fishing!
Just to concentrate on fishing and enjoy the views what god has offered for us!

Next year a new trip to Slovenia will be made. New experiences are awaiting for us!
Matevz must plan new places for us to go and tolerate the crazy Finns once again! 
Lets hope that the fishing would be a bit easier next time.. Of course we are awaiting to catch the really big one!

I hope that you enjoyed the pictures and the views!



- J. Inkinen -