Alberto Calzolari’s Blog for fly fishing

Where trout are still trout and men are still men

Where trout are still trout and men are still men

In every fly fisherman’s life there are things easier to be remembered compared to others, and for reasons difficult to be explained.

My best remembrances are tied to simple catches and places which aren’t really distant or exotics.

My first trout were small and wild. I caught them in the little rivers or the Appennini mountains in the area between Emilia and Tuscany regions. There, I forged my fly fishing technique.

I learnt how to cast in those small waters, bent on my knees, crawling from a little hole and the next riffle. Short casts, precise, close to the nearby tree branches. A sort of hunting more than real fishing.

My first flies were born on these waters, wild and crude, like those trout.

I loved to be there early at dawn, you wore your boots while all around, in the deepest darkness, the creatures of the forest kept moving, busy in their stuff.

Those places that did not forgive you the lack of balance, the soft legs and short breath.

You had to work hard for those trout. The second cast was at times already too much for those spooky fishes.

That was a real school, a difficult school but with things to learn that you weren’t going to forget forever.

The Appennini mountains are, for us, the land of little rivers, like Americans call their Catskill mountains. Part of our fly fishing roots are right there. These are the places to try a cast of three wet flies or to bounce a dry fly on the small pocket water.

Nowadays I have less chances to fish these waters, for many reasons and last but not least because I am getting lazy. Even my fly boxes does not contain anymore many flies for these rivers as I am now normally tying small and really tiny bugs.

But nevertheless these are the places that keep my sweetest memories.

There is one river, in particular, which has a special meaning to me. The upper part of the Reno river. Upstream of Molino del Pallone, where Emilia and Tuscany regions blend waters and airs, land and smells. My father used to work in this small village when he was a child and his tales interweave with the memories of my fishing days in those little waters protected by emerald green hills all around.

I have always loved that river. Going upstream in search of trout always gave me the impression of getting away from civilization, as if the brain could forget that on the other side of the hill that civilization would be back ruling invariably.

Just for few hours those waters were my Alaska, my Patagonia, my Montana territories.

These waters deserve to be celebrated. Since few years a bunch of friend use to meet right on the banks of the Alto Reno to share together their love for bamboo rods and for the tradition of fly fishing. This has become the so called Alto Reno Bamboo Gathering.

This year, in the wake of the success of past editions, we decided to organize a two full days of meeting and to extend the invitation not only to the members of the MayFly Club but to everybody with the same passion. Therefore, on October 3rd and 4th, we will meet in a tiny village called Lagacci, right on the Reno river in the heart of the Appennini, to celebrate the magic of classic fly fishing and of these enchanted places. Among small medieval villages, magic woods and clear waters we will enjoy together the pleasure of bamboo rods, classic tackles, flies and fly tying, tales of men and of trouts.

We will simply make a small journey to rediscover our roots and the angling traditions.

A journey in a time where trout were still trout and men were still men.














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