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Spring in Slovenia – Radovna & Sava Bohinjka

Posted on 7 April 2012 by Vincent

Every year I try to go fishing in Slovenia on the opening week of the Sava Bohinjka. This year we decided to extend our stay, and visit the beautiful Radovna river first. For me, it would be the first time fishing on the Radovna.

Radovna

View from the Gostilna Vintgar hotel room

View from the Gostilna Vintgar hotel room

After a 12 hour journey we made it to the Radovna river. We stayed at the “Gostilna Vintgar” hotel (Website). A nice hotel, situated right next to the banks of the beautiful Radovna river. They serve great food and the service is perfect. You can also buy your licences (€39,- a day) there. It’s a 15 minute drive from the city Bled. It’s a fast alipne river with lots of of rapids followed by deep pools. Perfect for all kinds of flyfishing.

The waterlevels weren’t perfect. It haden’t rained and snowed this little in 70 years. That meant very low waterlevels. Fishing was still possible, but it didn’t predict good things for the upcoming flyfishing season. For us it meant looking for the deeper pools, where the fish would school up, and fish there. For me that wouln’t be a problem, because I’m a short-line nymphing fanatic. Fishing deep and/or fast pools with a nymph is kind of my thing. But for those of us who loved to fish a little dryfly and stalk the fish in the slower waters, that would be a problem.

Difficult fishing conditions

Difficult fishing conditions


Perfect nymphing water were the fish would hold up

Perfect nymphing water were the fish would hold up

The Radovna holds mainly brown trout. The occasional rainbow trout and brook trout can also be caught. Sadly no grayling here. The fish aren’t realy big, but their lack of size is compensated by their beauty. The colours of the fish are astonishing.

Beautiful colours

Beautiful colours


Not only brownies

Not only brownies, the fish not only loved nymphs, they also loved heavy tungsten marabou streamers


One of the bigger rainbow trout

One of the bigger rainbow trout


The Slovenian folks take good care of their fish. They started a tagging program a while ago, and as you can see, it works!

The Slovenians take good care of their fish. They started a tagging program a while ago, and as you can see, it works!


Incredible clear waters, but can you spot the trout?

Incredible clear waters, but can you spot the trout?


Small fish didn't mind taking a big, heavy tungsten stonefly nymph

Small fish didn't mind taking a big, heavy tungsten stonefly nymph


They also loved my Bombas

They also loved my jig-Bombas!


Some fish where willing to take a dryfly

Some fish where willing to take a dryfly

Sava Bohinjka

After three days of great fishing it was time for us to drive to the Sava Bohinjka river. The fishing had opened only three days ago, so we would be able to fish water that hadn’t realy been fished this year.

The first day of fishing was perfect. I caught massive amounts of fish. Incredible how hungry the fish were. Usually these kind of numbers can only be caught in the pools were fresh fish just have been stocked. But somehow the resident fish where also taking flies like crazy. You can quite easily tell the difference between a fish that has been freshly stocked, and a resident fish that has been born, or has been living in the river for a long time.

Freshly stocked rainbow

Freshly stocked rainbow


Resident rainbow. Can you see the difference?

Resident rainbow. Can you see the difference?

We were staying at the appartments of Emil Pintar (Website). A perfect place near the river.

Of all the rivers I’ve had the pleasure to fish in, the Bled part of the Sava Bohinjka is without a doubt my favourite river. It’s a fast river, with lots of rapids, very deep pools, and some slow water at the end of pools. There are lots of big, beautiful and strong fish in this part. It’s mainly a nymphing river, but it’s also possible to catch large amounts of fish on a dryfly when there at the right place at the right time.

A nice variantion of pools

A nice variantion of pools

Water conditions were great. Altough the waterlevel was lower than normal, it was still perfect for fishing. The only worry was the upcoming rain that was forecasted. It would start to rain somewhere in the next couple of days.

The river at the Bohinjska Bela club house

The river at the Bohinjska Bela club house


Perfect nymphing water

Perfect nymphing water


Strong rainbow trout from the Sava Bohinjka

Strong rainbow trout from the Sava Bohinjka

The fish in the Sava Bohinjka are mainly rainbow trout. There are also lots of graylings, and the occasional brown trout.

Strong and nicely coloured rainbow trout

Strong and nicely coloured rainbow trout. They loved the Simon Templer nymph!


Grayling love some pink in the flies!

Grayling love some pink in the flies!


Another strong rainbow trout

Another strong rainbow trout


The fish at the Sava Bohinjka also loved the bomba!

The fish at the Sava Bohinjka also loved the bomba!


Even tiny grayling took it

Even tiny grayling took the heavy tungsten jig nymphs


Another nicely marked rainbow

Another nicely marked rainbow

Bad weather

After a great day of fishing, the weather turned around. It started to rain. Usually a bit of rain won’t hurt. But because of the long dry winter season, a lot of sand and dirt was still lying around. A heavy rain would flush all of that sand and dirt into the river. Not very good for fishing. And what we were affraid of happened. The beautiful and prestine river turned into a mud monster!

A lot of dirty water was flowing into the river

A lot of dirty water was flowing into the river


More dirty water coming at us

More dirty water coming at us


We tried to fish a little, but needles to say, fishing wasen't any good

We tried to fish a little, but needles to say, fishing wasen't any good


A depressing setting...

A depressing setting...


...

...

After an hour of fishing we decided the weather wasn’t going to change, and the water wouldn’t clear up the next couple of days, we decided it was best to drive home again. After we got back to the appartment Emil told us that if it would stop raining that evening we would still have a chance at fishing the next morning, so we decided to wait until the next morning. But the rain didn’t stop. Water was still terrible. We had 4 great days of fishing, so it was time for us to go home.

Going home...

Going home...

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