Anyone who has a decent knowledge of fishing knows that Italy is fly. No pun intended. Its proximity to the Alps makes this place an ideal place for clear waters thriving with fish species.
Anglers from all over the globe frequent this hotspot for fly fishing. Italy has been on my bucket list for quite some time, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally landed my feet in this beautiful country.
Fly Fishing in Italy
Before I hauled my fishing gear to the gorgeous water bodies, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the spectacular architecture that the city is known for. It can truly inspire the coldest of hearts to become romantic and spin a line or two of poetry.
Well, enough of the sentiments. Let’s get started with the adventures of fly fishing in Italy, shall we?
PS – I also love carp fishing in Italy – Make sure to check out the best spots!
License and regulations for fly fishing in Italy
Getting your license and familiarizing yourself with the regulations is not limited to Italy. You will have to undergo this procedure in any country where you go fishing.
In Italy, the license that you need will depend on whether you are interested in recreational or professional fishing. If you are not familiar, the competitive fishing scene in this part of the world is a thriving industry.
Want to know more about the competitive sport of fishing in Italy? Visit the website of the Italian Fishing Federation or FIPSAS for more information.
You need to apply for Category A fishing permit for professional fishing. But if you are interested in recreational fishing, you need a Category B permit for fishing. However, in some places, Category B is issued exclusively for the residents of the country. You will need to apply for Category D permits in this case.
How and where to apply for fishing permits?
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a fly fishing license online. You will have to apply for fishing permits at the offices of the fishing and hunting department of the respective provincial administration office or the Amministrazione Provinciale.
You need to fill up a form and submit it with two passport-sized photographs. You will also need to use a tax stamp, also called the marca da bollo, along with the completed form. The stamp is widely available with tobacconists in the area.
Regulations for fly fishing in Italy
The regulations for fly fishing in Italy are comparatively relaxed. But of course, it pays to be respectful about the regulations as well as the fishing community in general.
The rules and regulations for fly fishing in Italy are:
- A valid license is not required for sea fishing. However, complying with the fishing season as well as the minimum size of the catch is required.
- For any type of freshwater fishing, a valid license is mandatory. If you are caught fishing without a license, you will be fined.
- Applicants for fly fishing permits in Italy must be over the age of 18.
- Fishers who are between the ages of 14 and above can also be given a permit. However, they need to be under the supervision of an adult with a valid license.
- Fishers from foreign countries need a tax identification number before applying for a fishing permit. Learn more about this and how to apply here.
- If you don’t follow the regulations of specific areas, go fishing during the prohibited season or land a catch below the minimum size, you will be fined. In some cases, your fly fishing license can get revoked.
- If some area is designated a fishing reserve, you need to make a specific request to fish in that area. The concerned authority may be the state, a city, or a province.
If you do not want to be concerned with the paperwork for applying for a fishing permit, you can hire a local guide. He or she will take care of all the paper works for you.
Best seasons for fly fishing in Italy
Italy is blessed with fantastic seasons. You can literally go fishing during any season. This of course will depend on the type of fishing that you are interested in.
- The best season for fly fishing in freshwaters is from March through late September. Trouts are most active during the spring and fall season in the waters of Italy.
In some areas, you can even go fly fishing up to December. This, however, will depend on the temperatures of the waters in the area. The best source of information is the local guides in this case.
- The best season for fly fishing in the salt waters of Italy is from July to early November. In some areas, you may even get lucky through December. But this will depend on the temperature of the waters.
During these months, the level of water goes down. You can even have access to places that you usually would not during the spring season.
Best places for fly fishing in Italy
Fly fishing itinerary in Italy would not be complete without making a trip to this fantastic river. The river is so diverse with everything from standing waters, flowing waters to some areas undergoing the freeze-thaw cycle.
The river is populated with varieties of trout, including marble trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, and grayling, among others. The variation in the environment and the river bed makes this one of Italy’s most beautiful fishing spots.
Learn more about what the river has to offer in this link.
This is another fishing spot that is frequented by locals and tourists alike. The Chiese River has its origin to a glacier in the Alps. And the fish population in the river is as diverse as most water bodies in Italy. You can expect to catch a lot of graylings, brown trout, and chars, among others.
Apart from the fishing experience, you will also love the picturesque alpine scenery as well as the natural park that surrounds the river. If all of these do not appeal to you, the crystal clear waters of the river will capture your heart.
To fish in this stunning location, apply for permits here.
Val di Fiemme
If you are dying to catch a large fish, this is the river you should visit. The river has some of the largest fishes in all the water bodies. If you are lucky and patient, you might catch the marmoratus trout, which is a much sought after fish. If you catch one of these, your credentials in the fishing world will be established.
The river is home to a lot of trout species, but char and other fishes also thrive in it. The fishing spot is also close to a popular ski resort, so you can even try your hands on flying down the snowy slope. In the evening, you can relax with a cup of the finest wine.
Learn more about this great fly fishing spot here
The river’s location to the city of Florence and the excellent population of trout makes this place a great fishing spot. It is frequented by veteran fishermen as well as families looking to have fun.
Some of the largest trout live in this river. The largest catches have been about 60 cm in length, which was impressive. Like most water bodies in the country, the Sieve is also surrounded by a lot of nature, which makes it a great picnic spot as well.
Learn more about the river here.
Way before I set my foot in Italy, I had heard that this river was a dedicated place for fly fishing. So I knew that I had to make a trip to the Tiber to get hands-on experience.
A unique thing about this river is that the graylings spawn naturally. So you can bet that their population is massive. But of course, brown trout are also found in abundance. This is also one of those rivers that have a lot of human activity, and I encountered some of the friendliest fishes.
Learn more about this fantastic river here.
Another hotspot for fly fishing in Italy is the Sangro River. It is a favorite of the local as well as foreign fishermen. You will understand how important fly fishing is in the area when you realize that there is a Fly Fishing Museum in the area. This river has an environment that is ideal for amateur fishermen, as well as those who have serious skills with the rod.
Learn more about this river here.
As you might have concluded by now, fly fishing is a serious business in Italy. It is an activity that is not limited to fishing enthusiasts alone. You will come across families with children learning to land their first catch.
But considering its majestic water bodies and the large population of fishes, it is no wonder that almost everyone in Italy loves fly fishing. If you have any love for this fantastic sport, you will make haste for a fishing trip to this city.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!