Brenta river: barbels on the flyIntro
In recent months I have already published an article dedicated to nymph fishing for barbels (see direct link by clicking here), where we talk specifically about techniques, equipment, approaches, spots and flies. But in this article, not to repeat myself, I would like to dedicate a particular space to fly fishing for this fantastic fish, in the Brenta river. A story of a day of fishing without too many technicalities, of which, in fact, you can read in the dedicated article.
After about 4 months from our last fishing day together, in a cold, crystalline and stingy winter Adige, we plan to meet again to fish with my friend Marco.
After chats and various calls in the previous days, we decide to go to Brenta as he lacks the large spaces and fishing in so much water, I'm fine! Just unplug and be fishing! We organize ourselves on the timetable, and being June, if we want to make the sunrise... we have to wake up at 03:30!
So we decide to meet in Vicenza North for 5:30, coffee, second breakfast and go to Bassano del Grappa direction.
We arrive, and we realize that the alarm clock had to be set at 2:30, it is 6 and there is already a crazy light!
Oh well, I had already named it with big streamer for trout and so I did: TC 9' #10 rod, line Sinking 3, stripping basket and off to cast 20cm Streamer! But, if not for a small rainbow, nothing for 3 hours, and even moving to medium, and then small streamers, it was not the time for that technique, but never mind, we had the whole day ahead.
Meanwhile Marco, with the big grayling in his head, decidedly starts with nymph. And after a couple of hours of nothing for him too, we distance ourselves and a phone call arrives, it's him: "here! I lost it! He broke me, he was a big grayling!" And that was the first and only grayling of the whole day.
As the sun rose more and more, and the temperature with it, a beautiful day of tug of war was waiting for us.
We decide to go back to the car to do my rod change and go from the streamer rod, to the nymphing rod targeted to make the barbels, I have been waiting for 3 years to return to the Brenta to do this fishing! MX 9'8"#5 rod, nymphs, weights, and power we go back to the river.
While Marco approaches a spot that has always given him graylings, I finally see the first barbels with the right light, and so moving slowly, as soon as I get to the right distance I put a nymph Nymph - Jig Brown Black Orange, in a spot without too much depth without having to weigh down the tippet, at the 3rd pass fish on! After so long that I didn't have a barbel in my rod, the feeling was really nice! Ritual photo and release. Well, now we are aiming for some larger specimens trying to make a selection during the search.
In this case, due to the shape of the river, the bottom, and the depth at which the fish are stationed, it is possible to fish with the same nymph mount that I use for trout so: competition line just outside the tip of the rod, 50cm about 0.30 nylon, 40cm about 0.25 nylon, yellow/orange bicolor which acts as a strike indicator (indicator of the passage to make you understand where you are with the leader and at what depth you are working), after which buttonhole made with perfect loop inside which a tippet ring is placed, to which the 0.18 tippet (in nylon or fluorocarbon) is attached to which I am going to attach the nymph.
After this short technical parenthesis to make you understand how I was fishing, let's go back to the story.
Marco still has in his head that grayling that leaps out of the water and goes away, so he says "I'm going back there" and goes back to his hot spot. After a while I reach him, I approach him and without shouting too much he says to me "Matteo take a barbel at every cast" and here my adrenaline rises to a thousand! Not even time to see how he is fishing that fish on again, let's say that with a rod for line #2 is not exactly the best, but he also enjoyed them! In this case, he was fishing with a sinker on the end to send the nymph down. So, leave me the place, I too place a sinker upstream of the nymph, and immediately take a couple of fish too! A couple of fish per head with some shots and go for free!
After that, a flash: I am a little further upstream of a spot where I had all those barbels 3 years ago with my Anglers friends! Wait I try to come back to see, I said to myself, and I was right! Same spot, almost same period, same population of barbels! I try to target the bigger ones, and I get 5 strikes, a couple of which are on the nets, but I am in the middle of the water and with Marco far away (still looking for that grayling!), And so no pictures at the biggest of the day, but that's okay! After I practically "emptied" the pool, I felt satisfied by the targeted exit to the barbels, and with the 3 hours early in the morning to cast the line #10, I was quite boiled, just enough to go and eat something.
In the afternoon we decide to try the new bamboo rod self-built by Marco to fish with dry flies, between some very difficult chubs and brown trouts, but that's another story;)
Going back to fishing the "local" barbels or the common barbel (or Padano) of the Brenta, was truly a beautiful emotion.
The flies that I have used are always those of the barbel nymphs selection that you can find here:
In addition to which I have tried with great success the Nymph - Jig Brown Black Orange, and obtained several catches also with the super tested Worm Orange Bead. While my adventure partner made them practically all or almost all with M.N. Special Grayling, a nymph not specific to the barbel but still tied on a Jig hook, therefore perfect for that approach. Just as I remembered, fishing for barbel nymphs, once you have learned a few tricks, is simpler than you can think or read between these lines!
Below I leave you with the most beautiful photos of that day.
For info, guide service and details are available via email at email@example.com
Thanks for reading and see you soon :)