River Nera (Italy)
Umbria: located in the center of Italy it is one of the most beautiful regions of the peninsula.
The food is excellent, there are amazing scenery, charming middle-age villages perched on hills, lakes with pike and black bass and rivers with trout.
The view from Giardini San Bernardo in the village of Narni. The ancient village Latin name is Narnia. It is said to
have inspired C. S. Lewis in writing the book "The Chronicles of Narnia".
In the big picture a zoomed view of the river running in the valley below: the Nera.
The Marmore waterfalls. Here the Velino river (a chalkstream by the way) rushes, thundering from 165 meters above, into the river Nera. We will fish about 20 km upstream from here, in the Nera valley.
The no kill area is divided in sub-zones and it stretches for tens of kilometers. Barbless hooks are mandatory.
The river is in average 5 to 12 meters wide and in many places wadeable, but take care, the river can get suddenly deep and the current is strong.
The fish population consists entirely of brown trout.
We start fishing with large dry attractor flies, like chernobyl-ant and large mayflies. Even if there is no visible rise, often we have fish biting. Most of the trout do not get hooked, thus we scale down our patterns.
We search the water with our dry patterns. We explore each possible trout hideout: behind the submerged root, where the current is broken by an underwater rock, under the branches that stretch out from the bank. We try to read the water and at times we hook small brownies.
Soon the path beside along river take another direction and there is no direct way to access to the water. The only way to proceed upstream is by carefully wading.
We are now in a green tunnel of vegetation. As the dry fly is not producing the expected results, I switch to a bead head nymph.
The change of imitation returns impressive results. I literally hook one trout after the other as I slowly move upstream. Young strong brown trout.
Right during this climax of catches, the silence of the forest is broken by a bustle of leaves being stepped on and a crackling of broken branches. Caught by surprise I idle in the water trying to figure out what\'s going on. Suddenly a boar pops out of the tangled vegetation. He stands 10 meter from me and he has not seen me. He shakes his large head with fangs left and right, looking like a happy pig in a cartoon. Then, he jumps into the river, standing in the fresh water and enjoying the cooling effect. It is then that he detects me. As our eyes cross, I am sure that in this very instant we share the same feeling. A who-the-heck and fight-or-leave instinct flashes in our eyes. And in a second he's gone, running upstream in a splashing water wake.
I reckon that I must have walked for a couple of kilometers through the woods. So I turn my direction to the way back, to see what my mate is doing downstream. We had agreed to meet at the "cup-de-soir". With dusk approaching, duns start popping out the surface while clouds of mayflies fly over in their mating dances.
Trout are rising a bit everywhere now. We fish until dark and we catch many trout on dry fly, even if no monster fish showed up tonight it was a great day by the water!
MORE FLY FISHING CONTENTS