In the morning, we woke up feeling like we had just won the lottery – that is, if the lottery prize was a copious breakfast and hot coffee. We were in a state of lethargy and well-being, which was fortunate because it was cold outside and we didn’t want to move too fast anyway. Jan and Rado teamed up with Massimo to fish in an area that required a bit more effort, but Gabriel and I opted for a more leisurely spot: Travnik.
Gabriel made it clear from the get-go that he wasn’t a black goat,he didn’t want to jump from stone to stone or make the “Eagle Feather” Indian warrior from the cowboy movies… I was still recovering from a dislocated ankle, so I agreed with him, so we needed an easier area to approach. Of course, the biggest and most beautiful fish tend to hang out in the hard-to-reach areas, but this time we were happy to make as little effort as possible. We were like rusty old machines that needed a more leisurely day of fishing to get going.
I tried using dry flies, but they didn’t seem to impress the fish too much. I caught a few rainbows, but they really started biting once I switched to nymphs.
Unfortunately, the wind picked up and blew from the north, which meant the fish became inactive and didn’t really feel like doing anything. Jan told us this was a common occurrence, but we still couldn’t help feeling a bit annoyed by it. The water was so clear that the fish could see us coming from a mile away, and the cold weather made them even more skittish.
We had to resort to extreme measures, crawling like we were in an action movie. Gabriel grumbled a bit, saying he didn’t come all the way to Slovenia to act like a black mountain goat. But what can you do?-in desperate situations you have to adapt. We managed to catch some fish, which made us happy, but when we met up with the others, we realised we could have done better. They had caught some beautiful marbles, while we were stuck with rainbows and small marbles under 45cm.
We moved to a new spot near the water station, where we started catching fish again, but we still had to use nymphs. It was a great day overall, despite the challenges. We were happy and joking around, but we knew we had to change our strategy if we wanted to catch more fish. We went back to Zoran’s cottage, where we drank wine and swapped stories about the day’s fishing.
I concluded that fishing was difficult, but hey, at least it’s not rocket science. Or maybe it is, if you count the amount of strategy and tactics involved. Either way, we were determined to catch more fish the next day, even if it meant crawling on our bellies again.
So, the next day we decided to go fishing and split up into pairs. Gabriel and Rado went to the lower area, and Jan and I went to the upper area. But let me tell you, it was a tough morning.
I changed my flies more times than a baby’s diaper and only managed to catch a handful of fish. After a short coffee break and lunch, we decided to switch to streamers.
We were determined to catch those sneaky fish hiding under the boulders. We launched the streamers everywhere, playing them like a softlure, hoping to lure the fish out.
And it worked! Jan took me to a spot where there were some forgotten marbles that were big like monsters. I cast my line and the next thing I knew: Bang, the blow on the line was like a hammer! I saw the black-gold beast! I was was fighting witha big and bad marble that made the water explode. My heart was pounding so hard that I thought I was going to have a heart attack!
But then I realised I had a 0.14mm tippet and didn’t know if it could handle the fish’s strength. It was like trying to catch a freight train with a shoelace. Miraculously, I managed to bring the fish in and Jan caught it like a ninja with his big net!
My feet were soaking wet with happiness as I finally caught the fish of the day. I was as happy as a kid in a candy store, and I knew I had started the season off right 🙂