A Life in Wild Waters – Interview with Christian

Christian is one of our fishing guides and is also a rafting instructor in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Thanks to his great knowledge of the territory, he leads you to unexplored places and completely immersed in nature, sailing with a raft or holding a fishing rod. Below he tells us about his passions!

How long have you been a Certified Professional Guide A.I.GU.P.P.?
I have been a guide since February 2019, after having attended the course I had access to following the evaluation of my fishing curriculum. The course does not teach you how to fish, but all the safety rules at the commercial level, how to behave according to the customers, to read the maps, etc. So, in the end, we get a qualification that certifies that the guide knows the territory in which he operates.

How did this passion of yours come about?
The passion was born many years ago making the first releases with friends to pass the time and also thanks to the fact that I have always had relatives who went fishing. This discipline has always fascinated me and fascinated me because in the life of the fisherman there is an evolution: in the first step you only want to catch fish, no matter what or how, in the second step you want to catch so many fish, in the third step you want to fish only big fish and at the fourth step instead you want to catch a certain fish, with a specific bait and in a specific river. I am currently in the third and fourth steps, but most fishermen stop at the second.

What is AIGUPP?
The AIGUPP is the “Italian Association of Professional Fishing Guides” and is the only association recognized by the Ministry of Infrastructure which gives a quality certificate as a guide at the national level.

In which fishing technique are you specialized?
I specialize in the technique of spinning and spin fly and I use artificial lures in iron, metal, wood and artificial silicone that simulate fish, worms, and vibrations in the water. Most of the fish follow the vibration and in particular in the spinning the fish usually attacks to defend the territory, rather than for real hunger. Obviously, I use lures with a single hook without barb to hurt the fish as little as possible and guarantee an adequate release.

What are you trying to convey to those who come to do this activity with you?
To those who come with me to fishing, I try to convey the beauty of the area and I want to give them the unique opportunity to catch wild fish, born and raised in the territory. I believe that fishing is something more than capture for its own sake and, as Thoreau said, “many people go fishing all their lives without knowing that they are not the fish they are looking for”. In fact, a fisherman looks for nature and peace with himself, even if he is with friends, seeks silence, observes the dipper that passes over the water, all little things that make him feel good.

What is the best memory related to fishing?
I have many beautiful memories, but surely one is the capture of Hucho Hucho, also called Danube salmon, known as the Balkan ghost. It is a fish that is at the apex of the Danube food chain, it lives only in this river basin and in some Siberia rivers and it is only fished in winter and only in times of light change, or at dawn or dusk. This particular fish has a territory of a couple of kilometers and in this radius can live only one specimen that can stay even a week without going out in hunting, so it is very rare to find one and it takes perseverance and concentration. I managed to capture it the last morning of fishing before leaving and it was a huge satisfaction because I had achieved my goal: to capture that fish in that particular water course!

You are also a rafting instructor … how many years have you been doing this activity?
I have been a rafting instructor for about two years. Previously I had made a couple of releases in Slovenia and Valle d’Aosta in white waters and as soon as there was an opportunity to do the course in Friuli Venezia Giulia, I jumped at it.

Where did this passion of yours come from?
More than anything else I have a great passion for rivers and streams and in general for wild waters and so I like all the sports activities related to it.

What places have you crossed in dinghies and what is the place that has remained in your heart the most?
The descent that has remained in my heart the most is the one I did in the Dora Baltea in Valle d’Aosta. The route is very exciting thanks to the thaw of the glacier that creates very fast rapids and makes sure there is a lot of water in the summer and in fact I went there just to do this activity. It was a challenging and at the same time fun journey.

What advice would you give to those who want to become a rafting instructor?
The advice I would give to a future rafting instructor is that he must have a real passion for the river and be comfortable in a certain environment and in nature. Then it is important that you feel emotions and that you have fun while doing the activity because otherwise, it becomes almost a burden. The instructor must try to convey the fun and uniqueness of the experience to the people and let the river life from another point of view.

 

Thank you, Christian, for your time! See you for a dive in the wildest nature!