Our very own Ultissimo dog takes us exploring around Lake Como and we go to many of the places that only the locals would know.
Many restaurants on Lake Como serve fish caught by the local fishermen who put out their nets at night. There are, remarkably, more than 20 species of fish in the lake and those found most often on your dinner plate are lavarello (a white fish), persico (perch) and trota (trout). Hugo took us to a place where we found out something surprising about the stocks of local trout.
There is a lovely walk in the Intelvi Valley just above Dizzasco. A pretty mountain stream tumbles down through small pools, increasing in size with little mountain-fed tributaries until it eventually enters the lake in Argegno.
A truck was parked at the furthest point it could reach before the open path became a small track winding between the trees. On the back of the truck was a huge white box. Four men jumped out and began one of the most unusual activities we have ever seen.
Several large metal containers, somewhat like milk churns, were placed on the ground and filled with water drawn from the box on the truck.
One of the men produced a large fishing net and scooped out a netful of lively rainbow trout – not small by any means, probably up to half a kilo each – and carefully emptied them into the silver containers. Two nets of fish went into each.
A lid was screwed onto the container, and each one was then hoisted onto a man’s back as a most unusual backpack!
And off they went to be slipped gently into the stream at this idyllic spot (a most beautiful home for someone happy to walk the best part of a kilometre from where they have to park).
We chatted to the men who were happy to tell us about the trout farm near Turin where the fish have been bred. They have 150 breeding pools and supply trout to stock rivers, lakes and streams across a broad swathe of northern Italy and also other European countries.
Fishing is permitted in the stream above Dizzasco, but only if you are under 18. Many youngsters seem to need a father or grandfather to ‘help’ them! The fishing should now be more productive and these fish will be ready to spawn in their new home and add considerably to the number of trout finding their way into the lake at Argegno and, ultimately, onto your plate!