Travel - 5 Things To Consider When Fly Fishing In Trentino, Italy

We're back from Italy! It was a mixed trip, beautiful landscape but the fishing was...let's say challenging. Here are 5 tips, that will your trip more enjoyable.

1. Tourists

The Trentino is home of some of the worlds most renowned routes for climbing. The dolomites attract thousands of tourists every year. In between the mountains there flow beautiful rivers, holding beautiful brown trout, char and the holy marble trout.


Towns like Pinzolo up in the Sarca valley are super crowded in summer because of thousands of hikers.


The Val Nambrone lies way up in the mountains but if you go there on a sunny day, you won't believe how many people could have the same idea as you, driving up this crazy route. 


We fished two days in another valley with much less tourists. It was a good idea.

2. Roads

To get to the spots where there are less tourists, you oftentimes have to pick a super steep and nagged road.


Be prepared that, nevertheless how far you drive, there will be another fishermen at one of the rivers, less at the lakes. (They require a further hike, you cannot just park and fish).


Go out and explore stretches, that seem too small to fish on your map, we caught our biggest fish there ;-)

3. Fish

As we talk about mountain rivers and creeks, the fish are small yet old.

A fish with around 30 cm is a big one! Catching a bigger fish like one of the famous marble trout, you will need to fish deep and dirty with heavy nymphs or streamers as those fish do not tend to rise.


Unfortunately, it is allowed to fish with worms in most of the zones, and I can tell you, this has a huge impact on many of the creeks as far as we've experienced.

A small nymph will never get down as fast as a worm with some heavy lead right next to the big stone, where the marble trout is waiting under.

4. Tackle

Choosing the right tackle is difficult in the Trentino. When fishing the Sarca river, you have to fish deep behind the big rocks. There, you have the chance for the biggest fish in the whole valley.This means that you have to fish a 4 or 5 weight at least. Some even prefer to fish streamer on a 6 weight.

Fishing the small creeks that drain into the Sarca river require light equipment and long leaders, as the alpine brown trout are spooky as f*ck!

Bring several combos to be safe.

5. River zones

The Sarca river provides several zones, where you can only flyfish and sometimes even practice C&R, called the Reserve Zones. Further, there are zones, where you cannot fish at all.


You have to spend 15 € more of your money if you want to fish in one of the R-zones . But it is indeed a good idea to do that (we didn't).


Other zones experience high fishing pressure with worms and all that stuff...


The picture shows the map of the Sarca river area. 


Final thoughts and Advice

There was much to read about the Trentino and the great fishery in pristine waters.

The reserve stretches are a sign, that the local fishery association is doing a good job. Nevertheless we saw what fishermen with worms have caught and did not release. It must have a strong impact in the population of the brown and marble trout in the Sarca valley.


As mentioned we did not fish the reserve stretches, but we had a good fishing in the smallest of the mountain creeks existing, where only a handful of artificial flies land on the water.

Fishing the Sarca or smaller rivers especially like the Arno river, we were shocked, how strong the fishing pressure is and how little fish were in the river. It made us really sad and thoughtful about the regulations.


The landscape of the Dolomites gave us back that we did not find in our fishing. 

Our tip for you: Drive as far into the valley as you can and when you arrived, walk at least for half an hour ;-)


We got to know Paolo Ferrazza, a local guide, who told us much about the fishing in the Sarca valley.

He offers guidings, a really helpful tool for your fishing success. Paolo knows the stretches that hold the most and largest fish. (Link to their Facebook page)


Tight lines