Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tenkara in Trentino

Ever since living in England I have been missing my mountains back in Colorado and fishing the small creeks and rivers that tumble down from way above the tree line down to the Front Range. The fishing in those rivers is mainly picking pockets and the fish are often, not always, hungry and willing.

This Summer, Vito "Tsurikichi" Rubino of Tsurikichi Tenkara, over a few pints after work in London, got talking  about fishing in the mountains. The subject then somehow came to my bucket list which includes Marble Trout, or Marmorata, and I mentioned that I was tried to plan a trip to Slovenia in the Spring but life as always got in the way and now I was looking at planning a trip in the Fall. Vito said, "You know, we have them in Italy. And some other great fishing for brown trout, brook trout and grayling". He immediately had my attention...

Fast forward a few month and come mid-September, we both were boarding Ryan Air to Bergamo to fish the mountains in northern Italy's region of Trentino. Vito put together a 4 day fishing trip for us fishing some of the most beautiful water I have ever seen (well, after Colorado and New Zealand of course).

Our first day, for some reason, we focused on the technically most difficult river as we both wanted to get the Marmorata off our list. The river was quite challenging - fairly swift water, big boulders, rocks and deep pools. While I instinctively knew what to do, it took me a while though to get into the zone while Vito started catching fish right off the beginning.

Both of caught a good number of brown trout but no Marmorata, although we strongly believed each fish that got off before landing was one... Finally though, Vito landed a beautiful specimen (he argues it was a pure Marmorate although some of our local friends thought it might be a hybrid brownXmarmorata). I didn't get as lucky as him but did manage to land a hybrid. Well, I take it that it's a sign that I need to go back for some more, hopefully soon!

Vito's Marmorata

my little hybrid marmorata X brown

Exhausted, we both enjoyed in the local pension a good local meal along with some beer and grappa.

The next day, we fished a beautiful stretch of river between two man made lakes, a place that very much reminded me of Colorado. The fish were eager and plentiful, so much that at some point we were just experimenting and playing around, seeing where we could pull a trout out of.

the marking of the local brown trout were just amazing

a nice surprise...

out of this ditch, I pulled out...

this one!

and out of this...

this one!

the little dark spot under the tree roots held...

this nice 10" brown trout!
But clearly, the highlight of this trip was fishing up in Val Di Fumo, the very top of the headwaters. The nature and landscape around us was nothing short of stunning and the fishing, as soon as it warmed up, was off the chart.

happy me!

our companions on the hike out

The final day, we had the morning to kill before catching our flight back to London, so we decided to fish close to our hotel, and we didn't regret it one bit! While not the most scenic, this section of river held the biggest fish of our trip.

and... the one that got away...
This was one of my most memorable trips and I am already thinking when I can make it back.