Mura River – a secret paradise for fishermen and nature lovers
The Mura River can be easily overlooked. However, if we delve into its secrets, we will be again and again enchanted. We walked on the Slovenian side of the embankment. Wild, natural and genuine, as we would step into the jungle. Read more about the experience of this wonderful and secret river!
Text and photos: Sonja Bezjak
The Mura River is somewhat forgotten river
It was forgotten in particular by those who grew up by her, when this river has already represented the border between Slovenia and Austria. I am one of those who live by the Mura river and who are fascinated by its beauty. But have started to discover it only a few years ago. Now I realize that it is not only forgotten, but it is also still undiscovered. Therefore, I would like to inspire the world with its natural resources and beauty.
Rivers always divide, at least on the left and on the right bank. But at the same time they also connect, if we sail their waters, or if build bridges over them. Especially, since they are the source of life. For our river it is already so. With its rapids, rapid waves, dead river branches and wide river bed, this river is full of surprises. Now fast and ruthless, then lazy and slow. Such as it is also life.
The enchanting, secret world
My brother, Boris Bezjak is a passionate environmentalist. He is familiar with every smallest corner of the river on the banks between Ceršak and Trate. After every visit he returns a bit richer. This time he took me with him. He told me the story of the river, in which he sees mainly the exceptional natural heritage. And also a chance for people to breathe with nature.
We walked on the embankment, which is on the Slovenian side wild, natural and genuine, as we would step into the jungle. But still – the beaten path, going gently up and down, and it is also well marked, testifies about human presence. On the other, the Austrian bank side, there are casual Sunday walkers and cyclists to be seen. The path is flat there and adapted to those who are closer to a more urban approach.
The river full of memories
My memories that I share with my brother, go back to the eighties. The people mentioned the river only when talking about illegal crossings and smugglers, the border guards and a 100 meters long border zone, in which the locals were not allowed to enter.
His early memories date back to the first fish he had seen in the river, he caught and returned to their kingdom.
Mura River is a pearl of the Danube river system
“It is because of the limited movement along the river, mystification of its unpredictability, and stories of illegal crossings and border guards, Mura remained intact”, he tells me when we ascend the cliff, from which it is nice to see the silver surface of the evening river Mura. “And today we know that the river is a pearl of the Danube river system, which is in its rapids hiding 65 species of fish – ranking first among European rivers by the number of different species of fish.
To such biodiversity contributes the fact that water is freely flowing right here from us. Specifically from Ceršak and then across many countries all the way to the Black Sea. This is a 1100 km free waterways of the river Mura, which first pours into the Drava river, and then across Danube flows into the Black Sea.”
Photo exhibition at Castle Cmurek in Trate
In the nearby “Museum of Madness”, situated on the cliff above the Mura, in the castle Cmurek in Trate, they put on display an exhibition of photographs of all the fish. I cannot stop wondering about the images of the population, about which I never thought before, how beautiful and different they are. I am most excited about the “astronomer”, fish from the bottom of the Mura that looks towards the stars, towards the infinite universe.
Unique fishing experience in all seasons
Brother continues his narrative of the excellent conditions for fishing. “Mura offers to the fishing enthusiasts a unique experience in all seasons. In winter, the most attractive hunt is for burbot fish (Lat.: Lota Lota) and Danube salmon (Lat.: Huco Huco), which can reach a considerable size in Mura. In the early spring time we can head to the river with a fly rod and dry fly after the chubs of the exceptional size.
Of course, also after the trouts of all kinds, among them particularly worth mentioning is the presence of a grayling. Among the more traditional types of fishing such as bottom fishing, it is particularly interesting to note that due to the presence of such a large number of species, it is impossible to predict the type of a catch. A special challenge is also percomorpha. Thus, in the Mura river every type of fisherman can find his own place and its own type of fish.”
This district is cyprinid in character and is home to cyprinid fish species. Mostly common nase, barbel, vimba vimba fish, chub, common dace, common bream, pike, zander, catfish, roach, Danube roach and burbot.
A river for the mature fishing enthusiasts
Boris is also a fishing guardat the “Angling club Sladki Vrh“. He ends his thought with the following sentence: “Mura is a river for mature fishing enthusiasts who want and are able to find peace within themselves and can cope with nature as it once was.”
For me, the curiosity pulls me forward. Therefore, I invite him to head deeper into the woods, where nature along the Mura river is intact. Where there are many opportunities to observe birds, amphibians, insects and other animals. And further among the archaeological remains of the ancient inhabitants who lived along the river and with the river. To which the modern inhabitants are adapting again. But this is already a theme for the new story.
Information for Mura fishermen
Long migrations, the exceptional diversity of the channel, features of the Alpine river, slowly flowing water, standing areas in the backwaters, riverbed form of the stone, sand and gravel areas, the number of species contributes a high oxygen content, water purity, and, of course, the presence of organisms further down the food scale.
Additional information for nature lovers
By the river Mura there is one of the most beautiful bicycle trails, which takes you to the spring of Mura in Austria, crosses Slovenia in Trate and continues to Croatia.
We recommend a stop in the nearby town of Upper Konjišče where the fishing family has arranged a park there. The remains of an oak, which fell into the Mura river 1350 years ago, can be seen there. Fishermen are offering freshly baked fish, which can be enjoyed between the ponds and in the company of domesticated swans.