Bistra and Ljubija are right tributaries of the marsh beauty Ljubljanica , which connect to it at Vrhnika city and are home to the indigenous species of beautiful brown trout, elegant grayling and magnificent Huchen (Danube salmon).

These two rivers are managed by the Angling Club Vrhnika. Each of these two 3 km river slowly flow on the outskirts of the Ljubljana marsh all the way around until they flow in to the river Ljubljanica. Both are examples of typical karst rivers (U shape), crystal clear water, which slowly flows from the river bend to the river bend.  Ljubijas spring is located at Verd (Vrhnika), while Bistras spring is located in the same named village of Bistra, besides a remarkable Carthusian monastery, in which you can find the Technical museum of Slovenia.

Despite the short river bed, they are regarded as hidden gems of Slovenia by fly fishermen, since both have been closed for a long time to foreign guests. Fly fishing on these rivers is not regarded as easy to fish on (overgrown embankments, difficulty standing on the river bed, overgrown with water plants in summer), but a patient fisherman with some skill would be handsomely rewarded. This is especially true for any fly fishers, who practice the Indian style of fly fishing. Because of these conditions and the river beds configuration (large river meanders, in which deep pools form and a lot of water barriers), the fish have excellent conditions to grown to trophy sizes. In both rivers the most prevalent species of fish are salmonids: grayling, beautiful brown trout, and the rarer wild rainbow trout. It is also possible to catch some nice chubs. There is also a nice stock of Danube salmon and pike.

In regard to which gear to use, it is important to know beforehand which fish you want to catch, as you can use an entire spectrum of rods, from the lightest to the heaviest (for salmon). I would roughly recommend a 9ft length rod. For grayling a rod action up to #5 would suffice, since you would be fishing it primarily with a dry fly (F-fly, witch-red tag, caddies, ant, Mayfly …) and smaller nymphs. For trout you can decide on a stronger rod, faster action up to #7, which would come in handy for presenting and fitting streamers (weited Muddler minnow, Matuka, Zonker …), which the trout absolutely love.

In case you are tempted to try to fly fish for Huchen (Danube salmon), then it is almost required to have a rod action of at least #10, which would allow you present big, heavy streamers. A good reel with a solid brake would allow you to hold the salmon short, because of all the obstacles your line can tangle into. In such a case it is certain you will lose the fish.

The most appropriate time is practically throughout the whole fishing season, as each season brings something interesting. In spring the fish is hungry and will take larger portions. From late summer up to fall is a suitable time for grayling, which will gladly seize on a dry fly or on a nymph. Late fall, when the fish prepare to spawn, is the most appropriate time for trophy size brown trout. Winter is, of course, reserved for Danube salmon.

Access to Bistra and Ljubija is fairly simple, a simple 15 minute drive on the motorway from the city Ljubljana to the city Vrhnika , then just another 10 minutes to the village Bistra. The hospitality offer at Vrhnika is fairly diverse, so you do not need to go far to get well fed and get some rest. At the village Bistra there is also a hostel and a hotel with full service accommodations, if you by chance need to stay overnight for a day. Of course Ljubljana city, with its own offerings, is not far away.

Warning: Along Bistra River the Grazing association Verd has its own pastures, on which graze very curious bulls. Since in many places the fences are drawn up to water, you should be a bit careful around them. While in most cases the bulls stay on their pasture, sometimes one may get out.

Daily permits for Ljubija and Bistra River are uniform (it applies for both rivers), they only differ in type:

Salmonids (fly fishing, spinning »catch and take«)

Salmonids (fly fishing »catch and release«)


Salmonids from 01.04. to 30.09.

Pike from 01.05. to 30.10.

Danube salmon from 31.10. to 15.02.

For more detailed instructions I recommend viewing the Angling Club Vrhnika web site:

For guides, food and accommodation:

All the above listed permits can be bought on the web site: