Mountain Fishing Equipment presents you, for the first time in english, the “Tocco” technique
- fishing trouts in small streams –
by Fabrizio Rustichelli
Mountains are abundant in small streams and rivers, and naturally they contain large population of trouts. The small rivers, can host brown trouts up to an altitude around 1800 meters (around the end vegetation line). During the descent to the flat land, they form waterfalls, small pools and rapids. This mountain environment faced the fishermen with a challenge: how to catch fish in a river with fast flowing water, waterfalls, small pools, lush vegetation, tight spaces that makes movement very difficult? The answer was the “Tocco” technique.
This fishing technique is very effective, helps the fisherman to create a deep bond with Nature.
If you try it, you will find yourself surrounded by natural beauty, in a gorgeous water environment. You will understand more about fish and learn to respect them. In the small mountain’s rivers the Catch and Release is more important than anywhere else, and 100% of the fish should be released. The waterfall system and the small amount of water flowing, don’t allow the fish to move around the river from one pool to the other. So if you take out the fish , that pool will stay empty for a very, very long time, and an empty pool, is a very sad thing. New fish can be brought there again just by a flashflood. Mountain rivers are beautiful and rich environments, it is a duty and responsibility of the fishermen to keep them like that, caring about the fish to be numerous and healthy. Is a great feeling after you released a fish. Every time that I release a fish I bless him, with this hope in my mind: ”Go and multiply!!”
Concept of Tocco fishing
When you have found a spot in the river where you think that there is a fish, you need to move the tip of your fishing rod over that spot, and lead the bait - usually a worm – in front of the nose of the fish. If the fisherman was able to do all the operations correctly, without spooking the fish and presenting the bait in natural way, the fish will bite in most of the cases. It is a very efficient technique. Let’s see how to do it correctly.
Assembling the line
at the end of the line, there is a hook, size 6-7-8, black or bronze color, with paddle.
15 cm from the hook there are the sinkers. The sinkers are small led balls, 5 or 6 will be enough for fast flowing streams, and they must be placed on the line every 1,5 cm. In order to give a natural movement to the bait, the weight of the sinkers must be distributed on more space.
3)The visual indicator: it is a piece of red thick wool placed by the fisherman 40-50 cm above the sinkers. It will allow the fisherman to see where its bait is going, and how deep is the water. According to the pool’s depth, the piece of wool can be moved up or down the line.
There is no floater in this fishing technique, the bite of the fish is only perceived with the tip of the fishing rod and through the fishing line.
4)Line: the water is clear, so a nylon monofilament 0,18-0,20 will be enough.
1) Adjustable length telescopic rod. The ideal size is 5 or 6 meters for a small-medium mountain stream. Action from 5 to 20 grams. This is what makes the difference with any other fishing technique. The fisherman will have to adjust the rod according to the area where he is fishing. In order to present the bait always in the best position to the fish, you need to place the tip of the rod in the right spot: in the same pool can be two good areas, one 5 meters from you or just 2 meters away and you need to adjust exactly for both the positions.
2) Realer – you don’t need a big realer since there is almost no casting action. Someone uses realers for fly, I prefer to use a small realer for Spinning with 0,20 line in the spool.
3) Waders-rubber boots. You are always in the water, walking and fishing from one side to the other of the river. Make sure that the soles have a good grip on slimy rocks.
4) Fishing vest
5) Polarized sunglasses
6) Good legs to walk and climb
During the fishing action, the fisherman will hold the fishing rod with one hand and the line with the other. For example, I am right handed, so I hold the rod with the right hand, and feel the line with my left hand. Actually just holding the line between 2 or 3 fingers is enough. When the fish takes the bait, the fingers holding the line will feel it through the line: from this comes the definition of the“Tocco” technique, since “Tocco” in Italian means touch, referred to the feeling on your fingers of the fish taking your bait. You will walk following the river and stop in the areas where there can be fish (pools, slow currents, behind stones)
You can move UPstream (you walk in the opposite direction of the water) or DOWNstream (you walk in the same direction of the water), for very small creeks upstream direction is preferable. Walking upstream makes also more difficult for the fish to see you. (if the fish will see you, they will just swim away under some rock and you can’t catch them anymore)
You will adjust the rod’s tip right above the place where you think that there is the fish, and place the bait right there. The visual indicator will let you know where the current is taking your bait. Move the rod in the same direction of the indicator , repeat the passage in the hot spot 2 or 3 times. If there is no bite, there will not be: the area is checked and you can check somewhere else.
When you feel the fish “Tocco”, lower the tip of the rod and wait some seconds (usually 3 or 4) before pulling the rod. Don’t instinctively strike at the first Tocco, or you will lose most of the fish. Experience will make you learn quickly.
With the Tocco technique, you can cover many Kilometers of river every time you go fishing, checking just the hot spots. The most experienced fishermen on the contrary, know how to get fish out also of spots where others don’t fish, but that’s another story.
The main difficulty, for a beginner, will be to not tangling the line in the trees above the stream. Keep your rod short when you are walking, look for obstacles watching the tip of your rod.
Advantages of this technique compared to fly and spinning
1) You can place your bait where it would be impossible with fly or spinning rods, and you can hold the bait at the desired spot and depth for as long as you like. For example you can let the line under the branches of a tree, or behind an obstacle in the middle of the pool, or right under the waterfall where the water is deeper.
2) This technique can be used for any fish in any stream, is easy and effective.
3) If you don’t have live baits you can use a streamer for fly fishing and it will work anyway.
4) The excitement for the catch is enriched by the tactile sensation of the Tocco before the strike.
5) Is more effective then fly and spinning.
Mountain Fishing Equipment - Italian design fishing rods.