As a child I went to Slovenia many times. My father was a passionate fly fisherman and Slovenia in the socialist period of Yugoslavia was an absolute secret hotspot. In the 1990s, Bovec became an insider's spot for white water kayakers and I returned once again as a passionate kayaker. I've gotten to know the Soča and fell in love with the river. I decided to return to go diving as well.
Just a few kilometers north of Bovec, a junction leads up into the wild-romantic valley of Trento and the Triglav National Park. There, the emerald green Soča gently gurgles over her gravel bed before streaming into a deep canyon some meters further.
The river is rich in brook trout. The endemic Marmorata Trout is the largest European species there and can be recognized by its dark pattern. It is, however, displaced by other types of trout, so you will often find mixed species. In some places, the river has dug deep gorges and holes into the rock, which are excellently suited for diving in the river. One of the best places is the "Third Canyon" which everyone knows in Bovec.
Over a swing bridge, one reaches the opposite bank and must look for a way into the water along quite a steep rock wall. You will be rewarded for the uncomfortable entry with a magical underwater scenery of eroded rock formations which force the water into a slalom parcour. The water pushes you quickly through the canyon, until the ravine runs out into a wide gravel bed. At low water, in the autumn, you can start diving from here and dive against the flow direction into the canyon. The Soča is a mountain stream, which carries a lot of gravel and stones in the spring, so that the canyons are sometimes deep, and sometimes flooded with stones.
River diving is an experience in itself, but before you dive into the water with diving equipment, you should explore all parts of the river you would like to dive. There are important cornerstones that should be considered: What is the safest way to dive? What is the pathway of the water? Are there hazardous waste or siphons in the river? How do I get out of the river again? Also, you should always remember that the river can injure you. Make sure that you know the rescue procedure beforehand; take a mobile phone with you and deposit it safely at the landing place.
Autor: Gerald Nowak
You cannot look twice at the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in.
Heraclitus, „Die Vorsokratiker“, Matthias Hackemann (Hrsg.)