chasing trout on the mountain is sport in every aspect

In the young days, when only trout and grayling were taunting our best dreams, we used to divide waters into two categories: those where the trout are found in the easiest accessible places, and those others where the trout are in the farthest and most difficult. As well we counted two categories of trout: those that feed well-detectable and in plain sight (typically stocked fish), and those that are invisible; they stay put, ready to come out in a blink when a possible prey shows up. They won't forgive any mistake that may reveal your presence. Today, the world has more gray tones, yet the latter cases in each aforementioned categories remain my favorites.

Close to the European Alps, this equates to moving the quest toward higher altitudes. When the way is not the goal, the way matters: the harder the way, the more worthwhile the journey. I fell for these forgotten and less considered waters, either being too small to be treated as worthy of hosting fish, or too hard to walk to; pretty much a mix of both two.

It took less than two hours to hike to reach this little gem over 1000 m. above sea level, and, at first glance, I assumed that the stream was perhaps too small to accommodate a decent population of trout. Never would speculation have turned out to be so wrong!

After mounting a generic gold bead nymph, to say it with a hyperbole, not just every pool and riffle hosted a trout, but fish were under each stone! Brown trout, with different tones of color; some almost blackish, some with a the lighter tone and tiger stripes.

The choice of the fly does not pose much of an issue as trout are not that selective here; however, today I have a remarkable lesser fish loss rate during the fight while using black imitations. Like if trout took that particular color with more confidence.

This type of fishing has the peculiarity of awakening a wild spirit of exploration. It draws on ancestral motivations that remain transcendent, but which create an addiction to always wanting to see what's next. Each new pool represents a new chance for hope. A feeling that feeds on the conviction to find more and more beauty as one keeps going. The symphony in the succession of new pools and riffles is both visual and auditory. Like climbing a stairway to Heaven, the tune will come to you at last.

The size of the fish is an ancillary aspect; it is the act of fly-fishing, in its pure essence. Nonetheless, while fishing a narrow pool and the nymph's drift was about to end, from behind a large, half-submerged granite boulder, a big shadow flashed out from the depth and startled me. Alarmed by my presence, the trout turned in the blink of an eye, leaving me with a slack line and a skipped heartbeat.

After changing a couple of flies, it became clear that the giant (a 35/40 cm is a giant in this environment) disappeared into its den. Never mind, in the next pool the next wonder is already waiting!