Written by By KÃ¼nstze Meyers, CNN
Brace yourself. This article is filled with remote fishing outposts and heart-pounding moments. Even for a fly-fishing fanatic like me, they can make a story that takes me back.
One evening, a group of us were flying over Lake Como, above a pastel-colored island filled with picnic tables and a gazebo. We gazed out at the shimmering waters, and it dawned on me that one of the possibilities I had during my weekend trips to Lake Como would finally be realized. After all, I’d been catching fish for years with my fly rod.
Lake Como’s Nufolo Run Inn is located on the Adriatic River. Credit: Killian Lewin/ASIS Luxury Management
I’d set my sights on Nufolo Bari, the only hotel on the small island with an outdoor dining area; other resorts have removed their boats when storms arrive, or shut down their facilities, meaning that it’s more difficult to get a table. But Nufolo, located on the Adriatic River, was open, and I knew that the freshly caught spaghetti alfredo in a pool table would fly.
So I scrambled into the cabin, pulled on my leather riding boots and waited for the guests at Nufolo Bari to return to their rooms. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As I watched more than a dozen guests in jeans and T-shirts grilling and drinking with friends, I was hopelessly out of my element. After several futile attempts to join them at the table, I settled on a short walk down the dock.
When I got there, only one guest in a button-down shirt and slacks was sitting at the pool. In the distance, I saw another passenger calmly walking toward the boat in an aqua dress shirt and jeans. Then the other guests appeared, descending the staircase to our dock.
My fellow travelers. Credit: Wexler/1739 Photography/Athens Review
After five minutes of waiting, I discovered the handsome man in the bright yellow shirt was my companion. The groups of Italians and Europeans, many of whom appeared to have business meetings scheduled, occupied the quiet restaurant tables across the way. There was a youth and his family, then a group of corporate guests, then a 20-something couple and their parents. Then one of the lucky guests, a 62-year-old American, spent almost two hours going back and forth from his car to the dock. Finally, I noticed that he was snacking on my order for pasta alfredo, and eating the cheesy bite along with the sabayon.
Nufolo Bari has several guest rooms that have beachfront balconies, and an infinity pool in the middle of Lake Como. Credit: Ugo Seguin/Sociologic Ventures
The man in the yellow shirt, Anthony, was the former tour guide at the marina. He’d arrived with his family, many of whom were already on board, as we were in the process of renting our boats.
Then another passenger brought me onto his boat — a white 8-year-old that looked like the son of Christ. He boarded with his parents, who were both dressed in jeans and T-shirts and left Anthony behind as he continued on his mission to sell lemons on the dock.
The adults later returned with Anthony, taking him by the hand, kissing him, and taking turns talking to him. They explained to him all the different types of boats in Lake Como, as well as the different cars parked in the main square. They explained all the tourists that came from all over the world and various countries.
When Anthony complained that he didn’t have a computer to play Clash of Clans, a passenger across the way broke into a broad smile. She explained to him that her son had learned that same game and had paid hundreds of dollars for the headset and the collector’s edition version. She was delighted to see her son making so much money.
I had a moment of realization that day, and it was about separation. I realized that Anthony had never had this much fun in his life. He smiled and said, “Oh wow.”