Three days of fly fishermen's joy in Idrija
We had a blast at the first Idrija Fly Fishing Festival, from 6th till 8th of May 2016. It proved to be a one of a kind event of this sort in Slovenia and even broader in Europe, as it combined a unique mix of: fly fishing films, new fishing gear presentation, hands-on casting demo from Mr Pozzolini, from Italy, river photography, children activities, fly-tying super skills demonstrations and strong debates concerning water management, ecology and Slovenian trout preservation.
When a team of three friends was having coffee by the river Belca (upper part of Idrijca) and dreamt about creating something new and fresh in the region, a plan was made to make dreams a reality, and that with a good cause. After a couple of months, in December 2015, the first public announcement of the Festival was made. At the beginning we planned just a screening of films from International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4), owned by media producer Fly Fusion Magazine. But films were not enough if we wanted to connect the happening with the local community and with preservation of local rivers and fish, especially the Idrijska trout. With this set, the festival was given it's true spirit and meaning, which made it more challenging but also more fun to organize.
On Friday, the official openning night started with screening Damnation, filmed in US, where fresh water fishing used to be a commercial business, not only sports, especially for natives. The film vividly shows history of American dams building, the excitement and frustration around it. With building these concrete walls on American rivers many river's life habitats were destroyed or changed forever. Some of these were home of salmon and steelhead that presented also a staple for men and animals. You may ask, why did we chose a film with this topic for the opening.
Well, we asked this the experts that came to our round table themed "Our river, our lives". They agreed that also Slovenian fish species are endangered by water dams and consequences of building them have negative effects on local tourism and the lives of locals and everyone that enjoys an unspoiled, wild river surroundings.
We concluded the first day with musical and comedy recital that was a great hit!
On Saturday, the beautifully wooden decorated, fair opened and visitors were able to watch fly-tying demonstrations that were supposed to last for an hour each, but lasted much more as the fly-tyers got additional energy from the interest of visitors and each other. It once again proved, that even professional fly-tying is more of a passion than a job, and only the ones that see it like this become truly great. And we had the pleasure to host only the great!
The skills they showed and the tricks we learned by observing their work on a big screen are priceless. The one's that missed it, well...you better come next year. Just a few examples how entertaining fly-tying can be:
- Dušan Dolinar made an interesting mayfly using recycled material (an old plastic glove);
- Vladimir Mikec- Miki, the legend, thought us about which materials to use, that we might have at home already, and how to tie a strong "šaš";
- Arne Roels who came all the way from Belgium was restless and fascinated everyone with vivid colors and patterns for pikes and bass, and even enchanted girls with pink hair clips "alla fisherman";
- Diego Riggi introduced us with Spring/Summer Edition 2016 of Italian fashion for dry flies, which is themed glitter, bright and gelish.
On Sunday morning Aleš Lukmar and Simon Urbas ruled the fly-tying sessions and brought a special atmosphere of enthusiasm and heart to the last day of Festival.
We should not forget to mention some additional program, such as the photography workshop that took place by the river and was mentored by professional photographer Iztok Bončina; a workshop for children themed fly fishing; and the utmost interesting lecture about trout genetics by prof. dr. Aleš Snoj from Faculty for Biology in Ljubljana.
And the best part of it all was that everything was happening on one place, even lunch for all present took place 50 meters away.
On Saturday afternoon the Idrija's hills offered a picture perfect background scene for a casting presentation. A rain shower soaked the main town's square just enough, that the demonstration of impeccable fly casting was possible, mastered by Mr Antonio Pozzolini. We saw a demonstration on three different rods, from lines of weight 3wt to 9wt. An opportunity was given to anyone there to test these great rods using demonstrated techniques. Lesson learned: It looks much easier than it actually is :)
We concluded the Saturday's program with IF4 films and some raffle of prizes kindly given by the producer and also Patagonia.
All in all, we are satisfied with how it all went down and especially happy about the new ties that were made, but not only the ones used for catching fish, but also the friendship ties that will surely last :)
Big thanks to all visitors, exhibitors, sponsors and the Fishing Association Idrija for the support. You are the ones that made it happen, we just helped :)
River Idrijca, jewel of the region, embedded in the history of local environment, industry, and people. And in the depths of River Idrijca lies one of the biggest treasures of fish evolution, a unique predator famed for its pattern, size, and especially cautious character. The ultimate challenge for any avid fly fisherman - Marble Trout type Idrijca. We dubbed it Idrijska Trout. It is for this trout that this festival exists - to protect its rivers, environment of the entire region, and to protect Idrijska Trout itself.
Welcome to a festival devoted to water, rivers, environment, and to Idrijska Trout.
Hotel Cerkno features a perfect starting point for fly fishing on the rivers Idrijca in Soča with all their tributaries that boast the best conditions for the wild marble trout and colourful grayling and a region enriched with decades of fly fishing tradition.
Endorsing #KeepEmWet campaign
Our festival is proud to support and spread the wise words, principles and tips of KeepEmWet movement. Catch & Release (C&R) might seem a trivial thing, but the scientific evidence has defined plenitude of deeds that hamper the survival chance of fish that are caught, handled, photographed, and released if the above is mal-practised.
That is why we want to share the vision of founder of #KeepEmWet Bryan Huskey and we strongly endorse what they preach.
For more information on how keep the fish wet and alive after you have caught them visit the official movement website KEEPEMWET.
May 6-8 2016 I Idrija, Slovenia
Nature, wild rivers, fly fishing and fly fishing films, fly tying demos, exhibitors, casting & tying workshops, with fish and conservation expert lectures and round tables. And of course, as much fly fishing as you can handle and for a special deal, only in festival time.
Friday I 18:00 - 21:00 I Mestna Kavarna Idrija
18:00 - 19:30 Screening of Damnation (by Patagonia).
19:30 - 21:00 Round table: Our rivers, our lives
21:00 - 22:00 Cultural performance: Surprise
22:00 - ∞ Party going on :)
Saturday I 9:00 - 22:00 I Galerija pod Mestno Knjižnico & Town Cinema & Park Mejca & City square
9:00 - 17:00 Exhibition, Fly tying demonstrations, tying workshops, fair...
10:00 - 12:00 Theme Photography Workshop with Pro: Rivers
11:00 - 12:00 Lecture: Trout Genetics
10:00 - 12:00 Children meet fly fishing for the first time
12:30 - 14:00 Fisherman's lunch
14:00 - 17:00 Demo casting technique: Pozzolini
19:30 - 22:00 I International Fly Fishing Film Festival
22:00 - ∞ Party going on :)
Sunday I 9:00 - 16:00 I Galerija pod Mestno Knjižnico
9:00 - 16:00 Exhibition, Fly tying demonstrations, fly tying workshops, fair, talk...
16:00 Idrija Fly Fishing Festival: THE END
Download below basic info on the festival and venue.
join us, enjoy with us, support us
3 days of fly fishing action non-stop. Best fly fishing films, live fly tying demos from top Slovenian & European tiers, fly fishing gear fair at festival prices, fishing lunch and more. Ohh, did we forgot to mention fly fishing on Idrijca? We haven't forgotten - we even have special deals for all you wanting to really experience the River Idrijca.
Featuring for the first time in Europe, we bring you the International Fly Fishing Film FestivalTM with the best selection of fly fishing movies from the entire world. Join us on Saturday evening to experience the incredible waters, fly fishing masters, fish and so much more.
We are not organising this festival just to watch some cool films, have awesome fun, and drink beer in between the fly fishing. No, we are doing it because we have a secret mission - bring the world's attention to our beautiful rivers and establish global community support to protect and preserve our rivers and our endemic trout.
Official Accommodation Providers
Idrija Fly Fishing Festival sponsors
and proudly supported by our partners & media sponsors
Idrija Fly Fishing Festival 2016 is organised by Fishing Association Idrija protecting marble trout type Idrijca - Idrijska Trout