When I returned from my experience with the Italian School of Fly Fishing I met up with Stefano for another adventure.
It was a 3am wakeup as the trip was a four hour drive plus a one hour hike. We were going to a new Alpine lake today, the dammed end of this lake is in Switzerland and the other half of the lake is in Italy. We, under our licence can only fish in the Italian section.
To get there we have to, we drive over a mountain pass into Switzerland and then back round into Italy. It's really the only way to get there. We set off and had a great chat about the casting school, my experience and what I got out of it. As usual we had a nice brioche and a cappuccino for breakfast in a bar before we set off.
He was curious about what I had learned and excited to see the casting in action. The drive went by quickly. Over the mountains, into Switzerland and back round into Italy. We had to go through a tight one way tunnel that looked like it had been blasted into shape with dynamite. The only way in or out of this Val di Lei valley. Well at least the only way out by car.
The lake was huge and so to the dam. We parked up and set out towards the other end of the Alpine lake. The hike took about an hour, we were casting and walking as we went (spinning rods).
The reason for the spinning rods was because we could cover a lot more water and not waste our walk towards the fly fishing spots. I did get a nice rainbow on a fat Toby on the way up wich was cool. I kept the fish and kept walking up to the dry fly spots.
Once we got to the dry fly spot It was a chance to put my new casts into practice, hiding behind rocks, using the skills that Stefano had taught me and coupling it with my new cast. I could see I was on track and Stefano was pleased with my improvements.
I put my new fly on, a caddis, light brown deer hair, dark brown thorax, size 16. Fish spotted in the shallows cruising, cast soft, stay low, cast far infront where I think he will go, cast gentle and leave it.
Let the fish approach. A gentle set, not to scare the other fish. Fish on. Fight, release quickly, preserve her energy. Cast again, deeper pool, look for current, drift the fly from the source of the river into the mouth of the lake, let the fly drift over the deeper pool, thats where the bigger fish could be waiting for food to come down the river.
Plop, hard set. Big fish, reel screeches, let it run, keep rod tension, trout jumps, rainbow, drop the rod tip closer to water, keep contact with fish in the air, don't lose it on the head shakes. Keep the line tight. Fight it. Land it. Lovely!
We had a blast, a rare moment for me to catch 12 fish in one day. Both of us slamming fish all morning. As we reach 11am the bites slow. we decide to pitch a fire and have lunch, served with a bottle of wine, mocha coffee and a salami sandwich. We had caught a lot and had a wonderful day. I kept a lovely trout as per Stefano's philosophy and released the rest.
Stefano was impressed with how much I had improved and for the first time I felt synched up with him while fishing. It was a very cool feeling. I got home from the day and had something to cook. Nothing beets the flavour of an Alpine Trout. Nothing.