Fly fishing in Italy
When you think of Italy you’re probably thinking more about wine, sports cars, pasta, the pope and loads of cultural history than salt water fly fishing but that doesn’t mean that the Mediterranean doesn’t have it’s fair share of opportunities when it comes to our salty finned friends. Italy’s vast coastline and numerous island destinations make it the best opportunity to take advantage of the Mediterranean’s fly fishing opportunities. The main species available on the fly are European sea bass, leerfish, bluefish, Mediterranean barracuda, amberjack, dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), mackerel and various types of tuna. While most of the opportunities in Italy will be from a boat in deeper water, there are some areas and species that are available to cast to from shore. Sardinia offers some of the best shore fishing (we’re not generally talking sand flats here but more frequently rocky coastline) opportunities for sea bass, bluefish and leerfish.
Leerfish are the real diamond in the rough here. A member of the jack family that hunt the shallow water in small packs in the summer months in search of mullet and bluefish, leerfish are truly an undervalued brute of a gamefish and can make for a memorable outing.
Although the Mediterranean is quite a large fishery, fly fishing has not yet developed the way that it has in other parts of the world and it can be a bit tricky to find an experienced guide or even a contact who can help you out in a specific area. When planning a trip, contact the locals (from your hotel) and pick their brains for any information you can get, in addition be prepared to do some exploring on your own. The resources are few and far between so make sure you bring your own gear including flies as your chances of finding it on location are remote.
|Species & Tactics|
Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) (aka Dorado, Dolphin, Lampuga, Lampuki, Lapuki, Maveriko) If you're interested in catching super-strong, beautiful, not-too-choosy, leaping fish, here ya go. These are the saltwater equivalents of bluegills, except they jump, and they get big. Like as big as your aging retriever. The common English name "dolphin" causes much confusion and lots of hand-wringing. Let's be clear: this fish is not related to the marine mammal also known as dolphin (family Delphinidae).
Barracuda may be the most underrated saltwater species to catch on a fly. After hooking one, imagine this scenario: the fish is on the end of the line thrashing and running, suddenly the line goes slack. You think the fish is off but he's not because you stand in amazement as you watch a 5 foot barracuda leap 15 feet into the air like a missile being launched from below the surface of the ocean.
General Information If not already fishing for tuna on the fly, we'll just ask....Why not? This is a serious Saltwater fly fisherman's target. It's big, hits your fly at 40 mph (75 kph) and is found in just about every fishing destination you could possibly think of. Tuna are incredibly beautiful and powerful predators that come is many many different flavors too: Bluefin, Blackfin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, Longtail, Dogtooth
|What To Bring|
Offshore fishing for usually involves a 12-15 weight.
Here you won’t have chances at billfish but will have plenty of chances at mahi mahi, barracuda and tuna mainly so we recommmend a 12 weight for this trip.
Again because we are all about control of the fish and landing the fish quickly which decreases mortality and injury after release.
The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people.
To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features:
1. Very few or no moving parts
2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up
3. Sealed drag which will not corrode
4. It will not fail under any circumstance
Flies for tuna should include small minnow patterns like surf candy, eat me and small sardine patterns