Alright! Another country visited – the country of Slovenia… if you don’t know where it is, the country is located east of Italy on the Adriatic sea and is also bordered to Croatia’s west flank. Once part of Yugoslavia, the country broke off like the other nations such as Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, etc. to become their own nationalistic, independent countries rather than be held together as they used to be for so long during the Austria-Hungary Empire days prior to Yugoslavia when Tito held the country under an iron fist and basically kept the country’s unification together before its eventual separation. Now Slovenia is now on a different path as the country has become richer and more productive without the Yugoslavian shackles upon the Slovenes who became the first post-Yugoslavian country to join the EU thanks to meeting the requirements necessary to join.
I went to Lake Bled in the winter which turned out to be a great decision because there weren’t that many people in terms of tourists there. A local Slovene said in the summer time, Lake Bled is a madhouse of craziness and chaos, as if someone yelled “FREE PIZZA!” and handing out slices of freshly-cooked pizza slices to a huge group of survivors living off of nothing but mushrooms and bark for several days. I could imagine that hu-maniac turbulence which made me thankful because I saw all these parking spots, restaurants, and other tourist activity things such as boating, tours, etc. all which were catered to the tourists who would all collide into one spot: Lake Bled. This is because of the internet making the place a sensation, basically made into one of those “Must Visit List” sensations which doesn’t help the locals unless you’re profiting off of it. A local told me that Slovenia shares the same history as Croatia as well as the same tourist capability to make money off of the tourists coming in. Like Split, the late-spring, summer, and early autumn times are crowded and filled to the brim with tourism craziness but any other time, it’s like a ghost town. Slovenia is the same in that regard.
As for my fishing exploits, I came up empty-handed as the first day fishing for Huchen, also known as Danube Salmon, was somewhat productive getting me 3 hookups, 1 good take (but popped off after 2 seconds), but zero lands. The next day was even worse as the rains came and just blew out the river not to mention there was just too many leaves in the water so it made it difficult for the fish to differentiate a lure from a leaf. Fishing for Huchen was a different challenge as my guide likened it to trying to catch a muskie or huge pike. They are that smart that if one of these is hooked or landed, they will remember it for a long time, meaning that they will never take the same hook or lure again in that season or maybe not even the same hook/lure in several years.
Also, like a big pike or muskie, they won’t take a hook/lure unless they are hungry so it is extremely challenging. That’s why that one good hookup that I had which was probably a 7-8 kg (over 15 pounds) Huchen and my best chance to get one, basically swam away because I wasn’t able to set the hook right. I did hook it but I should have tried to hook it at a different angle to get a chance at it. Like my trips to Scotland in trying to catch an Atlantic Salmon, I’ll be going a blank here because of things out of my control – leaves in the water (which make the lure look like a leaf), blown out water levels (lots of rain don’t help making the water muddy and/or muddier than it is), uncooperative fish, etc. However, I will definitely be haunted because I had one good chance and failed to capitalize on it, and will likely die with this regret for the rest of my life. Thus is life. But the more important thing is to keep moving forward, even that means failing forward. And that is still progress.