Scouting is one of the most important components of a guide’s activities and already visited spots should be re-visited from time to time. The hottest summer days are the best for a trip to river Mignone where I already had had some great experiences.
The Mignone runs within a reasonable car distance from Viterbo and can be reached with some half an hour walk through a savage nature. Lucky enough, waders are seldom necessary in summer (suggested in spring and autumn) due to the low water level and this makes the trip not too hard.
This river is a typical cyprinids water: it is too hot for salmonids but this doesn’t reduce the challenge with extremely shy chub which are best fished using a special casting technique.
Rod length is not that important: it can range from a 7″ toothpick to a long 9 or 10″ pole because casting is not a difficult matter due to the plenty of space and lack of trees and bushes along the water.
The leader should not be very short, with a 0,18mm diam. tip. This because we’re going to use a rather bulky fly (terrestrial, hopper and the like, #6-8 hook) which has to be cast – violently – on the “TAIL” of the spotted chub which normally patrol the large and deep pools typical of this part of the river. The take is normally immediate (if you have been able enough to be unseen by the fish) brutal and strong.
This part of the river is somehow magic. You find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere and meet colorful birds (herons, hawks, kingfishers…), savage horses and local long-horned cows (known as “Maremmane”).
The river structure goes from very fast but short riffles to deep, calm pools housing chub, barbel and carp.
Two things should not be forgotten when you decide for this kind of trips: plenty of water and a hat (sun milk is also recommended if you have a soft skin).
One last thing: fly fishing this kind of water is not easy contrary to what most people think. Chub are not easier than trout and any useless movement (false casts, for example) should be avoided to reduce the possibility to spook the fish from a long distance. And a spooked chub means an empty pool… !!!