Sitting on a granite rock, looking into a pool, I could make out a number of fish swaying to the rhythm of the current at the bottom, jostling for food lanes. The water of the Baca was a transparent blue with a slight green tinge to it and each stone on the bottom stood out as if embossed. Trees shaded the opposite bank and one just had that feeling that fish would be lurking somewhere underneath that rippled world…
Rich and I were back in Slovenia for a four day fishing fest… well, at least that is how we had planned it.
Driving through the lashing rain from Venice to Most Na Soci on the night of our arrival, our hopes had been dampened by the minute. We had arrived at Villa Noblesa at 1.30am to a bottle of wine and a delicious cold meat platter, but also knowing that the rivers we had come to fish would be blown out.
This was confirmed the following drizzly morning over a sumptuous breakfast with Branco and Vlasta. Not quite doom and gloom, but as close as one would wish for. Our hosts, however, mentioned that there might be the possibility of fishing the Nadiza, as this river comes in from the Italian side of the mountains and might not have coloured up. Jumping into the car, we hardly had time to get kitted up – in fact we had flown with wading boots and jackets on, as ryanair have a very lousy luggage allowance.
Upon arrival, our hopes were lifted by the sight of a river which appeared not to have risen and was only slightly coloured. We ventured forth, but with little success – one possible reason being that Italians are rather religious in their fishing and often resort to a ‘priest’. However, as the day progressed the water began to clear and we knew that if we found a good pool there would be fish in it – and so it proved to be.
We managed to catch a grayling and a couple of wild browns and a number of rainbows – stockies mind you, but most welcome. Our optimism grew as the day wore on and by the end, after some pizza and some cold beers, we were positively expectant.
I had never fished the upper reaches of the Baca, so the following morning we drove towards Podbrdo. On route we stopped at the hydroelectric dam, peered over the bridge and spotted a few good looking fish. Down the gorge we went and not before long Rich was rewarded for his efforts.
The Baca is a small river where Rich and I took turns to fish pools, as we worked our way upstream. Each pool one came across would produce at least one fish and these were all wild – browns, hybrids or marble (as they don’t stock above the dam). The highlight of the day was spotting a largish looking fish from above and watching it hoover up duns on the surface. Rich acted as spotter, as I slid into the river below and on the second cast hooked and landed the fish on a ‘Branco Killer’. It turned out to be a marble trout. High fives and smiles all round – this is what makes a trip memorable.
We then decided to explore the Koritnica, a tributary of the Baca, in search of wild fish. This was basically a scrambling, clambering, bruising three hour climb over boulders, falls, weirs and more boulders.
Speaking for myself, I doubt I have had a more enjoyable three hours in a long time. I’m sure Rich would agree. The small pockets of water held the odd jewel-like brown. One cast and you either spooked the pool or felt a rewarding tug… hard earned fish are always the most satisfying ones. At the end of the day we came across a road and the walk back only took half an hour! A four course Vlasta meal topped the day off.
Our trip, at last, was off to a flyer!