Neves lake: graylings and arctic chars!Intro
For some years several customers and friends had been talking to me about their fishing trips to Neves Lake (Stausee), who had told me about that stream that enters the lake, and there are the graylings to catch with the fly.
Well, it finally touched me too!
Story - Part 1
It is a day like many others when my friend Andrea calls me and says to me: "do you want to go for 60cm chars that hunt on shoals of graylings in an alpine lake?".
Let's start the conversation, let's check the weather, well: tomorrow is the only useful day then put 15 rainy days. After that we think, take advantage of the trip and bring at least one other fly angler with us! So in the evening I decided to call Jacopo, a young colleague of the guide groups both Trentino Fishing and A.i.gu.p.p., I explain the thing to him and say: "or tomorrow or tomorrow". Well, we are at the Egna-Ora exit at 7:00 in the morning. We go up, cross Jacopo as agreed, and via Brunico direction in Val Pusteria.
After about 3 total hours of travel, we arrive at Toni's shop (Anton, manager of the fishing reserve at Neves Lake so far that I am writing to you) to give us the permits and we are finally ready for the last part of the trip. From Brunico we take the Aurina valley, where the Aurino river of the same name flows (of which you can read my article by clicking here), then the valley of a tributary, the Rio Selva dei Molini, which comes out right from the Neves dam.
We arrive, we find ourselves in front of this huge lake which is formed precisely by a dam, therefore it is an artificial basin, in which the melting banks that feed it enter the sides and in the upper part. We are at 1800m above sea level, and if it was 20 degrees down in Verona, here we are at 9, a nice cool for mid-June!
The glacier and the surrounding mountains still full of snow are there looking at us, but we are ready: capilene, R2 and River Salt! It's raining and it's cold now!
We begin to prepare ourselves, and since we have never been both, we have decided to bring us different possibilities. I brought an 8'6"#4 rod to fish in dry fly, or to nymph with the strike in the case. And a 9' #10 streamer rod ready to cast streamers practically pike to undermine these mega char and marble that go hunting on 30cm graylings! Even stripping basket I found it fundamental for the spot, the banks of sharp stones and sand would fit too much in the line when there is to be thrown along!
Jacopo, on the other hand, descends with 3 rods: one as a nymph, one as a streamer with an intermediate line, and one as a streamer but with a sinking line.
My partner will be much more successful in terms of catches with these choices, I had a lot of fun fishing with a short rod while he made the right choice by bringing the nymph rod, and in the moments when they ate only under he really made a lot of catches!
But let's resume the story!
Story - Part 2
We go down to the lake, and in the meantime Toni shows us his Malga where we will go for lunch. We immediately head towards one of the "hot spots" or where the main river enters the lake. We decide to go streamer, which if there is an active predator under it, it should eat immediately. So, he mounts a small zonker streamer, while I, as per the advice of the good Andrea, mounts an artificial pike on the 30cm with a wiggle tail. But the most absolute nothing.
After several attempts, we understand that this is not the time, and so given the beautiful spot that was formed between the river level and the lake level for nymph fishing, we change rods. We fish with nymph, and Jacopo immediately fish on, I am there that I mount, and I see a rise of a grayling that rises well decided in the current. I don't think twice, I put away the box of the nymphs and take the box of the dries. I mount the Fly Ant (of the flies I will speak specifically at the end of the story), and the festival of the catches begins, Jacopo a turn yes and a no with nymph, is fish on. I catch several fish and always miss them as many, it's a moment of activity! At that moment we also see a giant char coming out on Jacopo's strike, so I run to take the streamer rod but nothing, he goes back to fishing and always nymphs him! Female arctic char, 65cm with nymph with 0.10 tip. I assure you that it was a real pleasure to see the fight, and help him in the fly net! You can see it in the photos at the end of the article.
Continuing between char and grayling, lunchtime arrives. Toni is also a cook, and so he introduces us:
Schlutzkrapfen (typical ravioli)
Mustard fillet with potatoes
Kaisershmarren (typical dessert)
To say that we were ready for bed rather than fishing, was an understatement! What a lunch! Who gets up more now, but there are fish and fish over there still waiting for us: we have seen them!
Let's go back to the lake, this time we change the river, and here it is time to understand how to best face the spot, and the successes begin, Jacopo as a streamer catch several small male chars, beautiful, all colorful! I manage to catch some graylings with the dry fly, although they were a bit difficult, and I take one of the biggest of the day. And then I see Jacopo's rod on the opposite bank that bends well and screams at me "finally! Another nice char!" And so he manages to bring another trophy to the landing net! An arctic char with fiery colors, also present in the photos. In the last light there were the most striking rises, but practically all in the center of the lake, if not one close enough to the shore that I rightly made a mistake, but I saw it! It was a marble! Not huge, but marbled! Oh well, I did a number of grayling on dry that was from the penultimate exit in Croatia that I did not do so many, I can still be super satisfied!
The sun goes down behind the mountains of the Gran Pilastro, and the day comes to an end as we come from 8 hours of cast, 3 by car and 3 more await us! We are practically on the Italy-Austria border, not really a spot around the corner!
In all this, a small parenthesis is missing on how he caught who is at home: the Toni. Despite the presence of a few hatches, if not some small stonefly, and the rises of the fish that were surely on chironomes, he unlike us, has chosen the perhaps most difficult route, that is, dry fishing in hunting throughout the day. But despite this, he caught several fish, including a 40cm marble trout!
As promised here is the in-depth analysis on the flies used at Neves Lake:
For the dry fly:
Fly Ant absolutely the most deadly, especially on #16 more than on #18. Then followed Emerger Cdc Foam Quill, and when the latter was not well seen for the reflections of light, Emerger Parachute Rooster Quill.
For the nymph:
Both large flies with 3.8-3.3 tungsten balls and smaller, dark fliess with Metallic Light Pink, Black, Silver balls. See the Nymph Black UV Light Pink as an example.
For the streamer:
Small streamers in zonker, synthetic fibers, or marabou, black, brown or in any case natural, also combined with fluorescent colored balls.
A crazy lake, which I highly recommend trying at least once, both for the quality and quantity of the fish, and even though there are many, the right approach makes the difference on the number of catches! In fact, when dry catches no longer arrived, I also tried drop, wet flies, changing several flies going from small perdigons to large terrestrials but few catches. Jacopo fishing with a high stick nymphing, has really hit the jolly, next time I will go up prepared with the 10' #2 and I will also fish high stick nymphing! To make you understand how much fish we are talking about, I insert among the photos that of the friend Kim who went up a few days after us and always nymph has also made a couple of graylings!
Below I leave you with some photos of this lake and its magnificent fish.
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Thanks for reading and see you soon :)