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The Soča

The Emerald River

Due to its colour the Soča is one of the most unique rivers in the world. It is the home one of the rarest trout species, too, the endemic Marmorata (Salmo trutta marmoratus) which can exceed a weight of 20 kg.

The Soča Headwaters

The Soča, also known as the emerald river, is the pearl of Slovenia. The crystal clear, bluish green water of the river fascinates its visitors. The Soča originates in the Triglav National Park. There the very cold river has the character of a mountain creek with parts that have carved deeply into the mountain. In this area the fishing is forbidden. You should nevertheless have at least a glimpse  look at the river also in this area. The strength and energy of this genuine and purest water is impressive. Take a gulp of water from the Soča in the uppermost part and enjoy it!

The endemic trout in this river is the marmorata  (salmo trutta marmoratus). Marmoratas usually hide under or aside stones or other underwater shelters e.g. cliffs and hunt in the morning or evening for smaller marmoratas or sculpins. Soča starts fishing well downstream from the mouth of the Lepena. There Camp Klin is situated. The well known guest house consists of a campsite, too. Lepena can of course be fished, too, although fishing this extremely clear stream can turn out to be difficult. Up to two fisherman per day is ok, but the river does not stand more than that. Unfortunately sometimes bigger numbers of adult rainbows are stocked in very few plunge pools where they circle like in a fish farm. That's a pity for such a pristine and healthy water.

The Trophy Part

Below the confluence of Lepena and Soca the so called trophy part begins. In this part huge sterilised rainbow trout, partly are stocked, too. Because autochtone, slender Soča grayling disappeared from this area approx. 20 years ago on account of not cleared causes and browns trout are not stocked any more as they mix with the marmorata the stocking of rainbow trout remained the only alternative. Marmoratas are shady and not easy to catch. Due to the sometimes very strong kayak, rafting and canyoning traffic during the summer months even at low water levels you will hardly see any marmoratas leaving their shelters during the day. After 9pm the fishing is closed and therefore the chances to catch a sizeable marmorata quite are low, although electrofishing results showed a reasonably high marmorata density. The rainbow trouts feel very well in the Soča and tolerate the kayak traffic much better. Indeed, they are also not easy to outwit in the crystal clear water. Taking into account the very high license prices the quality of the stocked rainbows (missing and round fins and gill covers) does not correspond with the beauty of the river. That's a pity.

Soča Koritnica

The gorge section of the Soča is spectacular. At the narrowest spot it is only just 1m(!) wide and very deep. The weekends should be avoided in this area because of the boat traffic. During the week this part is not disturbed that much.

With some luck one can spot one of the really big marmoratas of more than 1m in length in the up to 9m deep water at the exit of the gorge. There are still around, the giants of the Slovenian rivers, although a catch usually only occurs by chance as you would need heavy streamers that cannot be cast correctly with the use of the fly line. In the waters of the Slovenian fly fishing club spin fishing is not permitted.

Soča near Kobarid

Near Kobarid the river widens up and this was the part the graylings were most common in former times. The population was heavily decimated by cormorants. Nevertheless, the local fish-farming institutions do their best to reach a high stocking capacity of Soča graylings to get the water back to its former status. That is not easy. Good hunters backed by law are required to get the cormorants under control.

At Tolmin the absolutely natural run of the river ends in a reservoir. The fishing in the lake is very popular and also successful. Only the fly is permitted also here too, but you are also allowed to fish from a boat. The largest marmorata up to now, a female fish of 24 kg of weight which was found perished in the lake. It was stuffed and is displayed in town for the future generations. The dam of the lake is situated in the town Most na Soči.


In Tolmin the Tolminka enters the lake. This little stream next to the fish farming institute has also gut a good stock of endemic marmoratas and can easily fished with a fly rod.


Most na Soči:

Vila Noblesa Lodge
Branco Gašparin s.p.
Drobocnik 2
5216 Most na Soči

Tel: +386 5 381 3116
Tel: +386 5 388 7542
Fax:+386 5 381 3117



Hotel Krn
Viago D.O.O.
522o Tolmin

Tel: + 386 (0) 5388 1911
Fax: + 386 (0) 5388 1061


Hotel Hvala
Topli Val ****
Cvetka in Vladimir Hvala s.p.
Trg svobode 1
5222 Kobarid

Tel: +386 (0) 538 99 300
Fax:+386 (0) 538 85 322


Fly Fishing Slovenia
Soca fly fishing
Unec (Unica)
Unec (Unica)
Sava Bohinjka
Sava Bohijnka
Copyright © Günter Feuerstein