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Pesca Alla Valsesiana

by Andrea
(Valsesia, Italy)

Valsesian style fly

Valsesian style fly

My name is Andrea and I live in Valsesia in northern Italy. In my valley (and only here in Italy!) we fish with a technique similar to tenkara but with stiffer rods and lines of horsehair in our tradition as described by Yvon Chouinard. It is curious to us in Valsesia to discover that a technique that we have used for centuries is so similar to a technique developed simultaneously in Japan and we are delighted to discover you Americans are so passionate about this technique.

I wrote to tell you if you try to use the horsehair line tied as described by Yvon Chouinard with a stiffer rod like the ones we use here it will be fine and your flies will fall exactly where your eye wants to send them! The difference between our technique and tenkara is that we fish with four flies at one time tied in a row and these flies are similar but not identical to the Japanese flies. The enclosed photo is an example of a Valsesian style fly.

Even here in Italy this style of fishing is practiced by really very few even in the valley where it was born Valsesia (the origins of this traditional fishing date back many centuries ago and it is difficult to know exactly when the first fisherman used a feather to catch a fish in the Sesia) Maybe in the future I'll put some video online so you can see our valley and our fly fishing, I'm sure you will be affected as was Chouinard.

As I wrote we fished three or four flies of different colors (blue, yellow, red, green or brown) at the same time, linked one to the other about 30 cm longer use rods more long and stiffer but the Japanese style is very similar. See this.

One of the reasons why Valsesiana fly-fishing is not known is the fact that fishermen have always treasured the little secrets related to this style, for example, this method of fishing in my family has been handed down from father to son, and I think I would not know many "tricks" if my father had not passed them to me.

Comments for Pesca Alla Valsesiana

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May 07, 2010
Wow. Thanks for sharing the info on pesca alla Valsesiana
by: TenkaraBum

Thank you very much for your comments. I have tried a line like Yvon Chouinard described, and on the stiffest tenkara rods available in the US it does cast very nicely. For the softer tenkara rods, a lighter horsehair line is my favorite. They really do cast well.

I've never tried to fish with four flies at once, but I will!

Jan 27, 2013
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the information you provided on this page and elsewhere on your website ( Much appreciated.

Apr 12, 2015
A place that is worth the trip
by: Federico

I am an Italian, living in Canada. Anglers who are planning a trip to Italy should stop in Valsesia and contact Andrea. Nice streams, lot of fish, nice people, good food and better wines (note: Valsesia is in Piedmont....)
Have fun!

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