Fishing for Huchen in Slovenia – Kevin Hospodar

Articles, featured, Photo Essays, Photography — By on October 30, 2014 11:15 am

In early Feb 2014 I had the opportunity to fish for Huchen in an amazing section of Northern Slovenia. Huchen (Hucho Hucho) are a close relative of the Taimen (Hucho Taimen). At one point they were a single population, then millions of years ago mountains split the populations Huchen to the West and Taimen to the east. There are many laws and regulations in place to protect the existing Huchen population with great variations between sections of rivers, watersheds, cities, and countries. Also one common thread is that a foreign angler almost always is required to be accompanied by a guide. Emil Pintar came highly recommended – https://www.facebook.com/emilpintar. Emil offers awesome apartments and extremely reasonable rates and is a true expert of his home water. He knows the fish and knows how to catch them Check him out on youtube to see more http://www.youtube.com/user/PintarEmil/videos.

So my 2 days in Early February came after a record setting winter storm of multiple feet of snow followed by inches of ice. Large sections of the country were without power, roads blocked, just general bad stuff. This also severely limited the locations on the river where we could access and many roads and access were plowed/snowed in, and with so much snow in rugged terrain hiking in was dangerous to impossible. But Emil and I made the best of it.

I had a long drive from Austria to Slovenia through some amazing scenery of small ski villages in the Alps.
Coming from the USA, I was amazed and the length of some of the tunnels, especially the Karawanks Tunnel which was close to 5 miles

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I arrived early in the morning and stuck up 2 rods, met Emil, and we were off.

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We accessed the river where we could, and I was amazed but the brilliant color of the water contrasting with the deep and exhausting snow.

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Navigating knee to waist deep snow was interesting, and the lingering effects of the storm were still very visible.

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Emil was a first class guide on the water and around the area.
He took we well upstream to show me the headwaters of the river and the trout and grayling that call it home.

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And he makes one hell of a breakfast!

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In the end, one ~60cm fish to hand and a few follows that showed the awesome speed and power of the fish.
I was a long cold drive back north through the night.

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3 Comments

  1. jan says:

    Kevin,
    I just can underline your story. This waters and guide Emil are great. Last year, I had a 1+m fish and lost a far bigger one just in front of my feet (it was caught just a few days later by a Tomaz). Check the video and pics out: http://okusfish.blogspot.de/2014/04/huchen-der-sava-fishing-danube-salmon.html
    Greetings from Germany!

    Jan

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  2. Kevin Hospodar says:

    Hi Jan
    Great fish! Emil told me about your trip while I was visiting, and I have read your post and watched the video a few times. Great Stuff!

    Kevin

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  3. John Hall says:

    Aaaaaa, Slovenia, the fly fishing haven…I loooove the pics and the story, I can say that this place is one of the few places on earth that had not been spoilt by the human touch. I do not know anyone who has gone fishing in Slovenia and returned home with a disappointment packed in his suitcase! http://www.govic.si/en/Blog/TabId/147/ArtMID/522/ArticleID/19/Discover-the-Exquisiteness-of-Fly-Fishing-in-Slovenia.aspx

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