River Tronto (Italy) 


Ascoli Piceno is a historical city in the center of Italy, in the Marche region. Founded by the ancient population named Picens, it was occupied by the Romans since the 3rd century before Christ.

Plenty of weapon, tools and relics from the ancient Picens population are exposed in the museums, yet what pops to the eye by walking through the city, is the Roman bridges and architecture, that testify the glorious time of the "Urbe" domination.

amid history and monuments a river runs through, the Tronto.

After climbing down a steep path we reach the river. The feeling is astonishing, there is no perception to be in the middle of a city. It is all green and lush. Only by lifting the head one can realize to be in a town. The buildings are lost up above, the urban noise canceled by the gurgling water and the rustling of the fronds.

The Tronto is a tail water. A dam far upstream keeps the water temperature low enough to make it an ideal habitat for the trout.

It is around 5 PM of a hot day in the mid of July, the trout are in full activity and one has only the choice on which rise to cast to. The presence of abundant water weeds seem to boost the presence of Baetis that are hatching in moderate quantity, but yet awaking the appetite of the fish. A few sedges are also in the air. Occasional splashy, loud rises show that fish is actively hunting them too.

Like every day, in a few minutes the dam will release some water and the level will increase of a few centimeters. In this phase all rises stop. Time to revamp the leader or change fly and, like magic, after 10 minutes the trout start rising again.

With a mid size sedge I catch a series of brown trout. There is a lot of rising fish and one has only the choice to what fish to stalk.

In the next emerald pool two larger shadows linger at the surface, amid a number of smaller trout, two large chub sip eagerly any tiny flies. After several attempts with small patterns I only collect refusals. Back to the sedge pattern and ..

..the large fish comes after it, follows it for a couple of meters, carefully studies it and then engulfs it with a gulp.

By carefully approaching the bank, at time we see really big trout.

The largest fish is very wary and a bit lazy with the summer heat and the smaller trout are far more competitive on the tiny mayflies. Attempts with dark furry streamers in the deeper pools do not bring the expected result. Except for one big trout that follows it, but then changes his mind at turns back into his hideout.

At dusk we head to flat pools. The hatch intesifies and trout rise allover. We catch plenty of mid to small trout. Even if today bigger ones hide, it is top dry fly fishing.

The flies I employed: little creamy mayfly (18), great during the hatch of tiny Baetis at dusk. Same for the Arpo (18) that kept on catching trout in the darkness, despite being worn and soaked. The deer hair sedge (14), it's been productive during the all afternoon.