Italy’s Top Five Best Fly Fishing Rivers

Between picturesque Tuscan hills, shady groves, and emerald streams, Italy is fast

becoming one of Europe’s top fly-fishing destinations. Italy has recently loosened its

regulations and many are starting to discover the hidden streams teeming with bass

and pike. Italian law for most areas allows fishing one hour before sunrise to one

hour after sunset; however, many of the self governed communi, or community

governments, have their own restrictions on bait and tactics. Fishing anywhere in

mainland Italy requires a license, without which, fines are set between 80 and 140

Euro. Licenses are available for pickup in regional post offices. Recently, Italy

released between 30,000 and 40,000 trout into the Tiber, giving a boost to tourism

and the local economies. Many are headed to Italy to fish and these are its top five

rivers.

Sieve River

Located just forty minutes from the center of Florence in the hills of Fiesole, the

Sieve, a tributary of the Arno, opened for fishing in 2006, with a stock of brown trout

feeding on big caddis hatches. The Sieve is particularly popular from early-April to

late-October and one of Italy’s best summer streams. While the Arno is known as an

unfishable river due to pollution, the easily wade-able Sieve is picturesque and

easily accessible from Fiesole’s city center.

Tevere River

Just outside the town of Sansepolcro in the province of Arezzo, the Tevere, which

runs from the Apennines to Rome, is teeming with Apennine Brown Trout and

European Graying. Access to the river sends visitors to smaller hamlet towns of the

Chianti region. With near year-round access from May to December, fishermen

enjoy easy wading across shallow, pebbled riverbeds as they cast dry flies and some

terrestrials. As one of Italy’s most classic fishing rivers, it is catch-and-release only,

but the size of the trout, up to twenty centimeters in some areas, make the Tevere a

true sportsman’s river.

Nera River

In the neighboring province of Umbria near the town of Spoleto, the Nera River is a

rushing stream with a selection of heavier catches. Perfect for those who want to

escape Tuscany for the day, the waters here are clearer and the brown trout easier

to spot, even if the uneven bottom and faster water make wading a little trickier.

May is the prime season as the trout rise to feed on hatching mayflies, sometimes

reaches sizes up to six or seven pounds.

Lima River

The Lima is the go-to river for Tuscan fly-fisherman with a large population of

brown trout. Especially popular for the early morning and early evening hatches, the

clear waters of the Lima hits the high season in the summer, with a particular

penchant for dry flies, and nymphing the rest of the year. Expect larger fish ranging

from 6 to 14 inches.

Scoltenna River

Icy waters rush down from the snowmelt of a nearby ski resort during the summer

as the crystal-clear Scoltenna, on the border of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, bear

large Alpine Trout between deep pockets. This rock-strewn river is perfect for

intermediate to advanced fisherman as the large boulders and deep holes make

wading particularly difficult. Bring large dry flies and cast for large silvery-green

fish.

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