Fly Fishing on Unica - the Queen of Slovenian Rivers!

By Matej Godec 26 Jun 2020, 14:19 PM Travel
Fly Fishing on Unica - the Queen of Slovenian Rivers! Screenshot

Earlier his year we had an interview with Matej Godec, of FLYFISHINGODEC, a boutique tourist agency specialized in organizing fishing and other excursions around Slovenia. Today he tells of a recent fishing trip to a favourite spot in the country.

The Unica River, managed by the Fisheries Institute of Slovenia, is considered one of the most beautiful fly fishing areas in Slovenia, and a visit is always something special. The gorgeous scenery and landscape of Planinsko polje, the beautiful sunny weather and the green hue of the river, which is dominated by brown trout and grayling, ensure that you’ll spend a wonderful day fly fishing.


Unica, aka the Slovenian sinking river, is formed by the confluence of the rivers Pivka and Raka in Planinska jama. Their merger represents the largest confluence of underground rivers in Europe. The overhead stream of the Unica is about 10 km long. It flows from south to north along Planinsko polje.


I decided to start mine from the large parking lot at Hasberg Castle. You can’t miss the well-trodden paths by the river, as the river attracts anglers from all over Slovenia and world. The water level on the day of my visit was ideal - 32 cm / 4.59 cm3 (you can check it now here) - and the swarming of insects in the air let me know that I’d be fishing with a tied dry fly and my box of heavy nymphs would stay in the bag. And it really was that way. The mowed fields do not pose a problem for the anglers with longer throws, so it’s also possible to approach the secret fish on the other side of the river, hidden under trees and bushes.


Not Matej in the video, but the same place

Grayling, 15-20 cm in size, played in the spring sun and picked up my dry fly as if for a bet. For a start, I used a dry fly, a classic, Fratnik's FFly in natural colour tied on a hook size 16. The turning point came when I replaced the Fratnik’s FFly hook size #16 in a natural shade tied to hook #14. The fly on hook #14 made my fishing even more interesting that day, as among the many hatches of small grayling there was also a larger grayling that did not belong to the 50+ club, but is still an enviable size between 40-45 cm. I did not have any brown trout during all the catches that morning, but that soon changed.



Not Matej in the video, but the same place

After lunch, which I had in the middle of a Planinsko polje, I went to Malenščica. This is the right tributary of the Unica River, and is a smaller and narrower river, overgrown with bushes and greenery, and like Unica it offers shelter to graylings and brown trout. I continued fly fishing with a tied dry fly on hook #14. Hidden behind the bushes and with shorter throws, I tricked a few more beautiful grayling, who were just competing to see who would be first at my fly. When I saw a one picking up, at first look and estimation I thought he could get close to the 50+ club, I was surprised by a 40+ brown trout from the stream, which bit into a dry fly as if it hadn’t eaten for three days. The fight with the hungry brown trout lasted a full 10 minutes. Finally I managed to get it safely to a shore and catch it in the net. All the caught fish, some after being photographed, I returned safely and unharmed to their realm of the depths.

trout fly fishing slovenia.JPG

I ended the day with a visit to Hasberg Castle, which in its time on the banks of the Unica River inspired and reigned over the area with its beautiful gardens, staircases and courtyard. It was a wonderful day, not only for the fishing, but for the peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings, and I will definitely be back at Unica soon.

If you’d like to book a fishing course, day school or trip with Matej, throughout the year and at many places in Slovenia, then check out his site (in English) FLYFISHINGODEC.

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