The First Day of Practice

by | Jul 11, 2022 | fly fishing in Italy | 1 comment

ItalyWe got in so late last night it was weird waking up.  When I first opened my eyes I didn’t know where the heck I was.  Then came a deep snore from Pete in the bed next to me and it dawned on me, we are here in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy for a week of practice before participating in the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships July 19-24.


fly-fishingOur guide Stefano Sabbatelli had us up promptly for breakfast before 7:30.  It was an excellent buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, fruits and pastries.  The pastries were outstanding.  I’ll need to take it easy on these bad boys.  All this is topped off with a day inspiring European expresso.


Chiese-RiverWe drove about 1.5 hours for the Chiese River.  The Chiese will provide one of the 5 Sectors during the competition.  However, not exactly where we fished today.  The actual competition water is off limits and has been closed since July 5th.


flyfishing-EuropeAlong the way we stopped in a small town for fishing licenses. Licenses aren’t for states or regions here in Italy but rather specific bodies of water.  It would be difficult to get them on your own because it’s a stop by the village court house, post office and sometimes a local bar.  Toss in the language barrier and we wouldn’t be fishing.  Stefano lead the way.  Cost isn’t cheap either by the way.  Expect about $40 or more for days fishing no matter where you are in Europe.  Thanks to Jerry we can all do this!


Italy-fliesAs we geared up Stefano showed us his favorite flies.  Honestly, flies are about the same as everywhere we fish in Europe.  Some cool looking bead head nymphs, some small leechy looking streamers and CDC dry flies.  Stefano handed us all a handful and up the river we went.


flyfishing-ItalyThe Chiese is a pretty one.  Its crystal clear and small.  Each run starts with a pool against the rocks then it meanders down a straight flat into a shallow tail out.  This river consists of mostly brown trout however Stefano says expect the occasional marble trout and grayling.


Euro-nymphingI must say things started slow for us.  Let’s blame it on extreme hot weather.  The temperature was 86° and windy.  The trout were laying low in the deep holes and under the banks.  Once we knew where to look and put on the heavy nymphs, we managed to stick a few 10 to 12 inch browns.  I know to my fellow Americans tiny trout don’t sound like a big deal, but here they rarely exceed 18” and there’s a wildness about these browns that makes catching even the small ones very special.


brown-troutIf you read this blog you know I’m a dry fly man at heart so after I caught a few on nymphs I meandered upstream with my dry-dropper system.  In small European streams like this, for me it’s a 7.5’ 5X leader and I add on another 25” piece of 5X Flouro.  Where my knot tippet to leader is, my dry fly dropper hangs off and my nymph attaches to the point.  Today it worked great and I nailed a few more brightly colored little browns.


Team-FinlandAt 2 PM we scored a nice lunch at a place along the actual competition water.  Although we can’t fish it, we can peek.  We hiked down a bike trail and to a bridge to look off and lo and behold, Team Finland was doing the same – scoping things out early for the tournament.  We know most of them especially Petri and Kanerva who over the years we have become great friends.  Honestly, my favorite thing about competing in the Worlds is spending time with my European friends.



We went back out this afternoon but jetlag had its grip.  For me, not only was I tired and groggy, but my eyesight was awful.  I had a very tough time making fly changes.  Despite my readers, it was particularly difficult to thread my fly!


Regardless of jetlag we fished till 7 PM.  That’s a long first day but as I preach to other travelers, the best way to conquer jetlag is to indulge in a full day of hard play on day one.  We did it.  And although it was a struggle to stay awake all the way back to the hotel, we managed.  Not only that, we headed for the hotel bar and had a beer and a dinner that was fantastic.


That’s all for now.  Now it’s truly time for the big nap!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Howie

    Dont let those Europeans lull you with all that great food. It is there strategy!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!