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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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