October 7, 2012 5 pm
My pants are still wet, i have just taken the rods, the waders and the other stuff from the car and find myself sat in front the laptop to write a new post for the blog. The fishing season is over and it is a kind of compulsion that push me to write soon the memories of this season just closed.
I spent the whole week end on the river, fishing the Sangro from saturday morning until sunday; then soon after lunch, i drove back to home. I couldn’t miss the closing week end of the trout fishing season here in Abruzzo and these 2 days were really great. The river showed itself in all its healthy and beauty. The warm weather has been a guarantee of good hatches (small stoneflies, nice caddis and different kinds of ephemera flew above the water surface the whole day) and trouts are preparing for the re-production period, so of course, they need to feed theirself as much as they can.
Everything has been great but from tomorrow the long waiting time, that will bring me until the next season, will begin . As i do every year i like to think about the days spent on the rivers from the last past february until now, try to make a kind of balance of the season.
Like an old music tape if i push the rewind function i can see thousands of images crossing quickly my mind until that last sunday of february when this season has began.
I push the Play button and now everything run clear on my mind.
March goes usually slowly for a dry fly guy. Most of the time i got home a bit frustrated by the high level of water due to the snow melting. In fact at the beginning of february we got a lot of snow and March has been almost not fshable. Only some little catches due to cold temperature of the waters and to the almost total absence of hatches on the river. Fortunatly April came and with it the first warm day of the season. As usual during the warmest hours of the day some nice trout started to break the water surface enjoying the small hatches of the first bugs of the season.
Especially on the sangro river the Leuctra hatches are very nice despite they are not what push trouts to feed on top freneticallly. With them the first Baetis start to hatch from the rocks on the banks reaching soon the water surface. The frustraction and melancony of the beginning of the season are now just a memory that left place to the first joys and adrenaline of the season. The magic of those huge circles on calm water or those quick squirts along the little currents is what tell to a dry fly fisherman that the season officially started.
Most of the catches in this period of the year have been made hunting with big caddis pattern (usually skating them against the current or also on flat waters), but when the trouts were rising, small emergers or parachute dun did their job. I got passionate to parachute patterns basically because the classic way to spin the hackles around the hook eye gave me problems on thin tips i’m used to tie to my leader (6x or 5x); in fact often they made what i called bad wigs on the tipped. Parachute tecnique has been the solution to join patterns able to have a good floating and at the same time they didn’t cause problems on my tips.
It was last week of April and i was sitting on the river bank waiting for some rise. Suddendly my eyes has been caught by a big bug that flew fast in fron of me. I couldn’t believe it. Too early to be what i thought i was…it was still april….but then another one of those big bugs passed in front of my eyes…”Yes baby…finally you came”….I I got up me from the bank as if my body had been stricken from a discharge of adrenalina…the Perla was there. The arriving of the Perla Marginata means on the Sangro river one of the best fly fishing period of the year. The rocks are full of big dead bodies from which they landed to make the trouts crazy. Usually the Perla hacthes happen during the first 3 weeks of may, but sometimes they start before and this year they made me the gift to appear earlier than usual. From the last week of April until the third week of May fishing the Sangro has been fantastic. The weather was good, the water levels perfect and of course the big winged queens were there to delight the trout stomachs and the fly fishermen days who started to understand how big and strong were the Bows and the Brownies living on the stream.
To leave drifting those big Stoneflies or skating them on the river, gave always a great fun. Big lips broken the water surface to grab those nice deceives. “Wow what a fun!!! “ After 3 weeks of pure fun i left the river to attend two nice events. In fact in that period i attended the Dutch Fly Fair in Dronten (The Netherlands) and soon after that the Italian Bamboo Rodmakers Gathering in Sansepolcro (Tuscany).
I couldn’t wait to be back on the sangro to enjoy the last hatches of the Perla Marginata, but with great disappointment when i got back at home i realized soon that those wonderful bugs were not more there.
The river was back to its normal life and June was good too but nothing to compae whit the great fun that May gave to me. June has been nice for some good Coup du soir, fishing with small spinners and emergers. From this period i remember a great day spent fishing the Volturno river. Especially what impressed me have been the wonderful hacthes of big Mayflies and Caddis. Maybe regarding the hatches the Volturno can be considered one of the river in the Center of Italy.
This year we didn’t get rain at all so the river start to suffer the low level and the very high temperatures made the resto f the job. So from the end of June until the end of August the fishing was really hard and to catch some trout a lot of work had be done. I descovered in this rough conditions the great effectiveness of the terrestrial and especially the Caterpillar gave to me great satisfaction. Casting this pattern very closet o the banks or under the shadow of willows it has been a guarantee of good catches.
Finally September arrived and with it some rain appare again. The end of the season has been nice and delighted by beautiful days spent with some friends coming from USA (Cathy and Jay) and from Luxembourg (Maryse and Claude). We had really great time during the first week of September fishing with good results the Sangro and the Voltruno.
And then, the end. The circle has been closed with the last week end of the season. As i said at the beginning the last week end has been great. Wonderful hatches and rising trouts gave to me the last gifts of the season. It’s time now for the long winter that I’ll spend mostly building new Bamboo Rods getting ready for the Somerset Fly Fishing Show in January 2013 and then the Dream Trip. Once again i’ll have the fortune to fish those unbelievable places that are a real dream for all the Fly Fishermen: Patagonia i’ll see you soon.