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True Fly Fishing Returns to Idrijca

My last visit to river Idrijca in May 2023 was anything but pleasant (blog: Quo vadis Idrijca?). My criticism of the way how "fly" fishing was performed on the Idrijca by quite a large number of fishermen spread on the internet and lead to discussions. Although I am a fan of nymph fishing and have written a very successful book of over 300 pages about it, for me methods that are used without actively using the fly line as a transport medium should not be allowed in fly-only beats, simply because IMHO they have nothing to do with true fly fishing at all. I would even support to forego nymph fishing completely if this means that Czech, French, Spanish Nymphing and other competition methods up to nymph fishing only with monofilament without any fly line and also the use of these techniques with heavy streamers are banned. Apparently these methods were a thorn in the side not only of me, but also for the local fishing club of Idrija. The solution that has been found and has meanwhile been implemented is a dry-fly-only-beat in one of the most fished parts of the trophy part. From the bridge in Spodna Idrija upstream to the next road bridge (at Eurospin), only dry flies are now permitted for a distance of around 1.5 km. All other methods are banned.

At Idrijca you will find many beautiful spots.

The pseudo fly fishermen have left

This must have spread very quickly among the guild of short-line bottom bouncers, because during the Pentecost Weekend I did not see a single fisherman shooting rubber worms with jig heads or any other heavyweight grenades on monofilament into the pools. I even did not see more than a handful of fisherman at all trying their luck with a high rod tip. This was the case across all stretches. The trophy part has a significantly higher fish density than the other areas and these fishermen preferred to stay in the area of ​​the new dry fly beat. You might object that I had caught a weekend when these fishermen were not out and about, but it was the Pentecost weekend and thus a long weekend when exactly these fishing tourists usually make the pilgrimage to Idrijca. For me it was like a picture from better times. Long lines were flying through the air everywhere, and the fly fishermen had time for a chat between the hatches, instead of constantly tapping the bottom on the long leader from morning to night and without breaks with an outstretched upper arm and a high rod.

The Only Downside: The New Cycle Path!

It would all be too good if it weren't for the now completed, unnecessary and oversized cycle path. It has led to massive bank reinforcements and lengthy construction work over a stretch of more than a kilometre in length along the river. The local association had to put up with this, just like the association in Bled, where the destruction along the Sava Bohinjka was far more massive. Local politicians simply don't miss out on such cash injections from the EU. The train is driving over it, as we use to put it. The cycle path is now finished and runs along the left bank below the Eurospin. It was wisely laid along the road and not moved to the other bank as on the Bohijnka. It is surprisingly easy to dry fly fish under the cycle path along the bank without any annoying bushes behind you. This is of course only a tiny plus compared to the loss of the bank structure and the reduction in the left-hand food input. It remains to be hoped that a few willows will be able to establish themselves on the banks, so that the insects can find resting places again and the fish can find a little more cover.

In this part the vegetation needs a comeback.

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