Fly fishing can be very complicated, with intricate knots, fly-tying patterns, expensive reels, bamboo rods that cost as much as a car, and waders and boots and nets and vests and what kind of trout likes a midge on a cold overcast day again?
Or, it can be as simple as a man with a cane, no reel, horsehair line, and self-tied flies used for any fish at any time. The way fishing has been done in Italy for centuries. Cold clear water rushes down from the Alps, trout make their home in its stone-bottomed pools and beneath cut banks, and crafty anglers coax them to take a fly.
Yvon Chouinard loves fishing in Italy, and this short film from Patagonia shows him meeting and fishing with Arturo Pugno, a kind of elder statesman of Italian fishing. Charming, knowledgable, wizard-like.
If you’re interested in this whole business of reel-less, simple fly fishing, check out, well, Simple Fly Fishing, a book from Patagonia that covers the basics of fishing with only a rod, a line, and a fly.