Fly Fishing in Ticino offers good wine, fascinating riverscapes, and wild trout. But you have to earn it.
A mere 200 vertical meters below the road, the clear water with a greenish hue gushed out of the canyon. The water emptied into one of the most beautiful pools I have ever seen. The tiny path downwards was officially closed, and a sign stated that you proceed at your own risk. This beauty of a pool was a risk worth taking and I swiftly climbed over the barrier boards blocking the way. The path descended quickly to a stone bridge. Crossing the arc of the old footbridge, I looked down into the roaring chute the river has cut into the granite over millennials. Leaving the stone arc behind, I followed the trail, which gradually got steeper. Entire uprooted trees blocked the way. The path dropped dangerously steep towards the chute that is an additional 20 meters fall. A wrong step was certain death.
Fly Fishing in Ticino – License
First things first, licenses can be purchased at local fishing stores or tourism boards. You can only pay in cash, and I suggest getting yours at a fishing store. For obvious reasons, they know more about the local waters in terms of fishing. For general information on the fishery in Ticino visit the official homepage.
Keep in mind that fishing below 1200 m above sea level is allowed from 1 April to the first Sunday in October. Above 1200 m above sea level, you can fish from the third Saturday in June to the first Sunday in October.
Rivers and Creeks – Map
The Kanton Ticino offers manifold waters near and far throughout the valleys. Here is a useful map for fly fishing in Ticino.
As pointed out in the introduction, access to certain remote rivers is dodgy and at times even life threatening. Make sure that you let other people know where you are. Venture into the woods together with someone and deal with risk cautiously. Moreover, it’s a good time to become a member of the REGA, so that they can track you by phone or even buy a GPS tracker.
Elusive Fish Species
Once upon a time, I participated in a history excursion, during which we visited historical sights of the First World War. Among the countries we travelled to was Slovenia – a place famous for their marble trout. This fish species is not only present in Slovenia, but also in Austria, Italy and in Switzerland. In contrast to the former places, Switzerland struggles to protect this genetically threatened population. Recently, there was a scientific paper published about the various species in the Kanton Ticino and how stocking trout is not helpful to sustain the various trout population at all.
Summary about Fly Fishing in Ticino
So far, I have been fishing in ten out of twenty-six provinces of Switzerland. Ticino felt as if I was a foreign visitor abroad, although I stayed within the boundaries of Switzerland. It was good to be travelling again and exploring new places. Even the hills look different to what I was used to in Switzerland. There was a lot more vegetation covering entire mountains, due to the low altitude of the peaks. Moreover, the presence of palm trees and abundance of ferns, give a Mediterranean or even Kiwi touch to the fishing experience.