Miro is showing casting maneuvers. He has got something special to teach. Not to teach really. It’s more about transference and sharing. Technique easily slides into habit and patterns after many years of fishing. Miro seems to review style and skill of the fisherman who joins him for the day. In fact every new location a fisherman goes needs a reset or even an adaption of technique. It’s refreshing to go over the basics. The Soca river in Slovenia is not like any other river. Actually no river is like any other river. Rivers flow. It’s waters finding the way of least resistance. Exemplary for us, our lives. Slowly to slowly learning to flow like water. Practicing as the Japanese call it, Wu Wei.
The more rivers one wades the more skilled one becomes. Or not? Is one more skilled having fished rivers in Japan, New Zealand, Tasmania, the Pyrenees, Montana and Alaska? Yes and no. Yes because one learns how important it is to constantly adapt techniques. No because the knowledge how to adapt them doesn’t rise like the sun does. It comes with learning, sharing and transference. Today is a fishing primeur in the Alps. The fishing guide Miro is a Slovenian fly fishing champion who posseses a wealth of Alpine fishing secrets. The acquaintance momentarily feels like the beginning of a new fly fishing chapter. Like so many other chapters passed by and to follow.
Your enthusiasm is beautiful. You could be a teenager. Like your sons are. At the same time Miro looks like he could be your father. He tells us he doesn’t have children ‘yet’. He is fifty five. His character reminds me of you; soft and articulate, hiding strength and boltness.
The two of you are fishing the Soca River. There’s dogs and children playing around and never before I saw torrents as light and bright turquoise as here. The sun happily casting it’s bright silver shine. Sun rays seem to chemically crystalize completely translucent clear water. Girls on holiday are walking down stream with inflatable swimming toys. I don’t think we’ll be here at this seriously trodden section of the river much longer. But that depends on Miro. If he’ll let you pass and move on to deep down Slovenian fly fishing. He’s initiating you into some of it’s rites called European nymphing. It involves fluorescent paint on the fishing line as an indicator where the nymph is dropped in the water, rather then having a marker floating on the surface of the water with the nymph dangling underneath at the end of the fishing line. The last one being the default method at places outside this peculiar continent.
Why are you so kind? You make a small waving movement with your hand, looking at me. Maybe to make sure I am okay. Maybe to share your joy with me. I don’t know. I get tears in my eyes. You impact me deeper then anyone or anything else. I look at you while you let the rod slowly hoover over the river upstream to downstream. You’re fishing with a dry fly now. It’s quickly gliding over the surface of the strong mountain current. You are happy. And so am I.
We end up spending the whole morning at the heavily trodden spot in the Soca river where the fish are too lazy to bite and the water is too bright to resist. This nice and warm Slovenian summer’s day in August the world is too glorious to conquer.
After lunch at another beautiful spot where it’s very quiet you catch the first rainbow trout of the day, alive and kicking both the trout and you. It’s catch and release. I remember your words, you liking the catch more then the chase. You say it about girls when I think I need the playing hard to get game better. Three more rainbow trouts follow before it starts raining from heaven heavily. A good omen as usual. At the first cast in a river steaming from damp heath on this nice and warm Slovenian summer’s day you catch a Marble Trout, the special indigenous species you’d come all the way to the Soca river for. The purpose and destination of this Slovenian trip. Which at the same time we call our honeymoon. The Slovenian’s fishing champion Miro and four hours of his Alpine fishing technique teachings is what it takes to catch the Marble trout. The whole experience is overwhelming and deeply satisfying.