River Forzo (Italy) 


While trekking in the national park of Gran Paradiso we came across a beautiful alpine stream.

Above 1200 m. of altitude snow was still plentiful. Down in the gorge the emerald river was forming dream pools.

The fishing is interdicted in the park, but the beauty of river deserved a closer look to the pools. And, yes, there are trout !

Once back home, looking in the internet I find out that, at the border to the national park, there is a zone of about two kilometers where it is possible to fish with the purchase of a daily permit. And here we are, we stop the car in the area used for parking and in matter of minutes we approach the stream.

The fishing zone has been extended since 2019. It is no fly fishing only area, but it is open to coarse anglers too. It is managed as put and take, but the charming surroundings make us "forgive" the circumstances.

We walked downstream to the lower border of the fishing area and started fishing from there.

It is April and the water is still cold, we are at about 900 meters a.s.l. The first fish is small char in perfect condition, a typical inhabitant of these altitudes.

Moving upstream we catch some larger brown trout. Their condition is not perfect, broken and atrophied fins reveal they are stocked fish.

In the early season it may happen to see chamois and alpine ibex, but not today. Or perhaps we were too focused on screening the water.

We fished with weighed nymphs and streamer. This latter caught bigger fish. With the nymph some smaller indigenous trout with perfect fins were also caught, showing that the native trout are still abundant.

The Forzo has its source at 2700 m. above sea level and runs for about 12 km. through the narrow valley before flowing into the river Soana.

It is a typical torrent, in the early season an attractor dry fly can cause the trout to rise, but sinking flies are a better off solution.

Most of the trout that we caught were stocked fish, the daily bag is four fish and quantity seems to prevail over quality. A bit of a pity for a pristine area like this, but this is the way the world goes these days.

Licenses can be purchased in the nearby village of Ronco, at the bar, tourist office and local shops for 18 € a day (info 2019).

A nice place for the lovers of mountain fishing, clean banks, pristine water and gorgeous views.