June 6, 2013
I’ve been fishing my butt off for a week. Yesterday I walked miles. When Vladi suggested a day of cruising into Italy instead of fishing so he could rest his foot, I was all over the idea. I pictured a great meal and some killer red wine at some outside restaurant. At around 10 AM we crossed the border from Slovenia to Italy. Wouldn’t you know there was a great looking river there!
The sun was making a rare appearance. We pulled off the road to glance into this gorgeous stream. Sure enough, in about three seconds I spotted about five hefty European chubs. Then, sleeping on bottom in the middle of the run was a huge trout. To me it looked like it could be a marble trout.
That was it. As all smart fishermen do, we brought our stuff despite being a non fishing day. We wheeled downstream to the nearest town and tracked down some Italian fishing licenses. These licenses would be the most difficult to get of our lives. We literally had to fill out some paperwork at a fishing shop. Then find somewhere to photo copy this with our passports. Then we found the post office where they did some paperwork and gave us a stamp of approval. Then it was back to the fishing shop where they did paperwork for our paperwork. The process took two hours. Luckily the mini adventure was kind of fun thanks to the fact that everyone was incredibly nice and helpful. By the way each license cost 25 Euros.
We didn’t run immediately to where we saw the fish near the border. We’d driven about thirty miles into Italy along the river the entire way. We began where we were. A place as pretty as they come. The water was crystal clear with turquoise blue pools at the base of every riffle. It was easy wading and there were a few bugs around.
Because of the clarity and small size of this river Vladi and I split up. I gave Vladi the water where we parked because of his foot. I ventured downstream a half hour. I spent the next two hours working my way back to the car. The water was incredible looking but I didn’t catch a thing. Vladi however, landed two small brown trout fishing dries blind.
Vladi’s report pushed me two hours upstream. I blind fished my way along but again nothing. As I was combing the dry fly spots I couldn’t help but notice some chubs and a type of barbel in the slack waters. I’ve caught barbel before in Spain and they were great fun so I changed my tactics and nymphed up a barbel for my first fish in Italy.
We had two hours of daylight left by the time the rain slowed. This time we went near the border where we saw the possible marble trout earlier today. Again Vladi fished near the car while I ventured upstream. I plucked away at a few logical little brown trout spots with a dry but nothing. I was getting kind of bummed when suddenly I found a pod of risers.
I needed one of these fish. Rather than hastily casting I observed for ten minutes. All I could see were the lips of the fish breaking the surface. I couldn’t see the actual. I thought they might be chubs. However, during the next half hour I landed two scrappy 17” marble trout on a parachute Adams and a third that I sight nymphed. What a great unexpected day of fly fishing in Italy!