The Angling Report

March 2007 Pag. 13/14

Volume 20, Number 3

Outfiter Critiques
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Subscriber Jefferson Miller has wonderful things to say about a fishing guide he found during a trip to Italythis past fall.

He writes:

I spent the second half of October on vacation with my wife in Italy. On this trip, I discovered an excellent fly fishing opportunity and a wonderful fishing companion and guide.  Luca Castellani guides anglers on the upper reaches of the Tevere River (Tiber to you and me) and he knows his stuff. This is a recently established tailwater fishery with angling for browns and grayling. There is a lot of insect activity and hatches were happening basically all day. I caught upwards of 20 browns and a few small grayling. The trout we caught weren’t huge, but we didn’t catch any “dinks, either. The fishing was very technical and almost entirely with dries. Luca is totally dialed in to the bugs on the water and to these very selective fish. We fished a variety of small (16, 18) stonefly patterns, changing often and effectively. An 18-foot leader ending in an 8X tippet made things interesting. It’s safe to say that without Luca’s knowledge, I’d have caught maybe a couple of fish. Luca is really fun to fish with. He speaks very good English and really enjoys putting the angler on fish. A good cast or presentation is met with a hearty “Perfecto!” This stretch of river gets a lot of pressure from the members of a nearby angler’s club. Even on a Thursday, there were a lot of people on the water. Luca is obviously regarded as the guru here and he seemed to always be able to find an open stretch of river. A good day of fishing is wonderful wherever one fishes. Fishing in Tuscany, though, is really special. It’s pretty unique to look up and see a castle in the distance, to know that you’re fishing within a few kilometers of Michelangelo’s birthplace or see a fisherman emerge from a taxi he’s taken from Bologna, three hours distant. Luca and his partners fish the Tevere from May 1 through November 30. Prime time is July 15 through September 30. They also fish the Upper Nera in late spring as well as several other streams. Their main deal, though, is the Tevere. He and his partner don’t bill the fishing they offer as a destination in itself, but as an opportunity for a “vacation within a vacation.” After a week and a half of hard touring in Italy, I found it to be a very welcome break and pretty darned good fishing. I had my own rod and reel, but Luca supplied the waders and flies. He can supply all the gear you need if you’re traveling light. The water he fishes is about 90 minutes South of Florence and approximately 2 1/2 hours North of Rome. There are all sorts of accommodations near the river. Luca’s wife is an acclaimed tour guide and he’s associated with an organization called Western European Travel, so arranging tours and activities for non-fishing companions is easily accomplished.

In addition to being an excellent guide and companion, Luca is something of a bargain. He charges 200 Euro for a day of fishing, about $250 American.

He can be reached at