Slovenia, Day Five: A Fantastic Finish

Matt Calderaro throws a nymph up into a canyon pool in search of a marble trout.
Photo by Sandy Hays

For our final day fishing with Matt Calderaro of Worldflyangler, we decided to go back to the small stream where we’d caught the first marble of the trip. It’s a stunning freestone stream at the bottom of a very steep valley, and it has great pools all the way up. At the top, you enter a short canyon with sheer walls about 80 feet high. It’s simply gorgeous.

Our arsenal for the day represented a range of rods for different purposes.
Photo by Sandy Hays

Things started out slowly, and we took turns getting first whack at each pool. We had quite an arsenal going. I was fishing a 4-weight Superfine Glass rod rigged with an Olive Sedge dry fly; Sandy had a 6-weight Helios 2 with a mouse pattern, in hopes of catching a monster; and Matt was fishing with the very first production rod in the Superfine Touch series, which he had developed in his time at Orvis, and a weighted nymph.

Matt’s beautiful marble was the fish of the trip.
Photo by Sandy Hays

Matt spotted a big marble trout in the tailout of a run, and it was my turn. Very carefully, I waded into position and made what I felt were a few good drifts over the fish. Since it had not risen to my fly, I backed out and let Matt try with the nymph. After a few casts, we thought the fish had spooked, but Matt persisted and cast a little higher in to pool. He soon set the hook on a great marble trout, in the 25-inch range. It was the best marble we’d seen so far and incredibly beautiful.

The perfect colors and shape of this wild trout were remarkable.
Photo by Sandy Hays

A couple pools on, we had our first riser of the day, which meant I got first dibs. On the very first drift, the fish moved two feet to its right to inhale the fly, and I was on. Immediately, the trout came rocketing out of the water–a fine rainbow. After three more leaps and a tough fight, it came to the net. Its healthy physique lead Matt to believe that it was a wild, streamborn fish.

When Sandy wasn’t fishing, he was working hard to capture great images of the day.
Photo by Sandy Hays

We worked our way further up, ran into lots more fish, but we eventually got to a place in the canyon where high water meant we could go no farther upstream. We called it a day and headed back to Kobarid, where we celebrated at an outdoor cafe, as workmen were setting up an outdoor festival, our plans for this evening. . . .

Previous Posts in the Series:

Intro: Follow Our Adventures in Slovenia All Week

Slovenia, Day One: Discovering the Monster Marble

Slovenia, Day Two: Working Hard for the Marbles

Slovenia Day Three: Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows?

Slovenia Day Four: Into the Soča Canyon

11 thoughts on “Slovenia, Day Five: A Fantastic Finish”

  1. Spectacular snaps, Phil.
    What type of beer and vodka do the fisher-folk drink in Slovenia?
    Thank you for the inspiring pix!

    1. Hey BugBoss. I didn’t see any vodka drinking, but the beer is most definitely Laško. For something more refreshing, there’s Union Radler, a beer-and-fruit mix. I found the grapefruit to be quite good.

  2. That rainbow IS gorgeous! That has to be me the most handsomely proportioned fish I’ve seen. Were they all that ideal?

  3. Phil all I can say is way to go. You just added two more species for the DDH. I would love to see a pic of your Marble and also the Hybrid you hooked into. If you ever need some more DDH Leeches let me know. Great article and wonderful pictures. My hat’s off to Sandy.

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