A medium sized chub of Mignone
A medium sized chub of Mignone

Chub fishing is not so common among flyanglers, who prefer trout and grayling to this cyprinid. But chub is a fantastic quarry in this magic landscape.

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.

The River

River Mignone runs within a reasonable driving distance from Viterbo.  According to the chosen spots, it may also require some half an hour walk through a savage nature. If you have a 4×4 car, you can reach more savage points.

One of the many hard roads leading to river Mignone
One of the many hard roads leading to river Mignone

During this period of the year, waders are seldom necessary (they are highly recommended in Spring and Autumn) due to the low water level and this makes the trip not too hard.

The water is rather warm which is not accepted by trout, absent from this river. The river structure goes from very fast but short riffles to deep, calm pools inhabited by chub, barbel and carp.

Equipment

Rod length ranges from 8″ to  9 or 10″. Casting is not a difficult. There is plenty of space and lack of trees and bushes along the water.

The leader should not fishing with a too thin tip. We are using rather bulky flies and we must avoid the “helicopter” effect. As a rule, a 0,18mm tip is ok. The fly should 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.

A blue beetle, one of the best flies for Mignone
A blue beetle, one of the best flies for river Mignone

The take is normally immediate (if you have been able enough to be unseen by the fish) brutal and strong.

There are moments during the day when thinner tips are necessary. In these cases (you may also encounter sedges and mayflies on the wings) accuracy and delicacy are very important and flies dimensions drop dramatically.

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”).

Mignone
Rivers of the Maremma runs through wonderful landscapes

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). The current is not very strong but a wading staff may be useful.

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 because a fleeing fish frighten all the others. 

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