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Closing Huchen Season in Slovenia – 2019-2020

Huchen Fishing

Huchen, Danube salmon or as it is scientifically known  – Hucho Hucho has been on my mind for almost a decade. It is the biggest salmonid in Europe and a dream for many anglers. King and Queen of the upper sections of Danube and its tributaries. It might as well be the biggest freshwater fish you ever catch. Huchen fishing, catching and releasing should be done with great respect for this magnificent species.

Slovenia should certainly be considered as a top place to fulfill your fly fishing dreams. Huchen season opens 1st of October and ends 14th of February.

It took me many years before I started catching this fish. If I did not have the right mentors, I would probably still be hanging around without great success. Fishing for Huchen is not easy at all. Winter time fishing conditions can be rough. Being in a good physical shape is an advantage but knowledge on fish behavior, astronomical sequence and the ability to read the waters are even more essential. Simply put, you have to be there at the right time and in the right place. Know what you are doing and do it consistently.

You need good preparation before you begin fishing for Huchen. I will try to make another article on this topic before the start of the next season. Now I want to share with you how me and a group of friends closed this one.

We fished the rivers Sava & Savinja in Slovenia the last few days of the season. Sava is certainly one of Europe`s best places to fish for the mighty Huchen. And rightly so. We had perfect fly fishing water conditions on the Sava and really low water conditions on Savinja.

I couldn’t ask for a better start of the trip. First day I had 2 fish and a take. Fish measured 105 cm and 90 cm.

My friend Vesko caught his first ever Huchen on his first day fishing for it, joining the meter club as well with 102 cm.

Both of my fish had a tag on the side of their dorsal fin. The first one I did not notice, but the second one I did and carefully cleaned it while holding the fish in the water. I took a picture of the number. I was in a hurry to release the fish. I didn`t realize that I cleaned only one side of the tag with the telephone number to inquire for tracking information. The actual number of the fish was on the other side. Well next time I`ll know. Most importantly, that fish is safely released to surprise another angler in the future.

Vesko was the man who stroke again on the second day we had on Sava. This time with an even bigger 107cm Huchen. Congratulations my friend I am so proud of you!

On the third day we decided to fish Savinja. We knew that it is going to be hard, but the water level was really low. I had a good take just about half an hour before dark and it was a beautiful 86 cm wild Huchen.

The last day fishing for us this season we decided to spend on Sava again. Rosen then had his chance and caught his first Huchen over a meter -105 cm of pure muscle.  That was our 6 th fish for the trip.

Only my dear friend Mitko did not have the chance to catch it this time, but it still added to his experience. I am sure he will get it next season as he has the right mindset!

All fish were safely released. We are all learning every day and can make a mistake because of over excitement of the catch and the fight, but one thing is really important. The right handling and release of the fish is more important than everything. Fight them hard, keep them wet, do not lift them and press them if they are really big and heavy fish. Take pictures quick while the fish is in the water or dripping wet. Respect the Huchen and the surrounding it lives in. I am sure we all hope for a bright future for the Danube salmon and we should all stay strong against anyone who would try to harm them or their habitats. It depends on us to preserve the Huchen for present and future generation.

Season 2019-2020 was a great success for me catching & releasing 9 beautiful huchen for a total of 12 days fishing. Next season I will certainly try harder.

This might be the last post on this webpage as I work on a newer version of it now which should be released by the end of March. There you will find more on how you can join us on a fly fishing adventure. I will certainly make sure you know about it.

Wish you all a great season for whatever fish is next on the list.

Photography by Rosen Velev, Dimitar Kumanov, Veselin Spasov & myself.

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