I’d like to tell you about a bona fide flyfishing lesson and my first meeting with Ferdinando, an expert angler ready to guide me to a sublime world of fishing. We had a truly memorable experience along the banks of the Sermenza mountain stream in Valsesia in September.

As soon as we arrived, Ferdinando explained how to use the tackle and introduced me to the fly-fisher’s philosophy, our goals, landing and casting styles and the differences between dry fly and nymph fishing.

Flyfishing by rivers, mountain streams and alpine lakes is for anglers seeking prestigious fish such as marble trout and brown trout.

Ferdinando attaches a lot of importance to releasing every fish caught. Several practical precautions enabled us to always apply this philosophy, causing no harm to our fish friends who are thus able to return to their natural environment.

Catch and release has now become a widespread custom and is often mandatory in many reserves throughout Europe; flyfishing has always championed this method. In this way the basic premise behind fishing has been overturned: from a predatory activity it’s become a reason to get the best from a particular environment without causing any damage.

During the day I spent with Ferdinando I asked him a very simple question: what appeals to you most about fishing?

“Two things: total immersion in the natural environment because anglers have a deep love for the great outdoors, and, secondly, an attempt to relate to fish, thinking and acting like one.

Fishing disengages me totally from everything; I go to the river, I try to catch a fish and at the end of the day I’m tired yet happy and relaxed.

Ferdinando is a careful observer of the environment and favours locations which have a high natural value such as alpine streams and which demand a high level of angling expertise.

The season, the temperature, wind, water levels and the time of day can all create conditions which may clash with one another. But after years of experience alongside rivers and streams, Ferdinando knows how to “read” these elements with great proficiency.

A day spent flyfishing with Ferdinando – in close contact with nature in spring, summer and autumn – is an amazing experience.

It’s perfect for anybody wishing to spend a day by the river and who is inspired by the essential criteria of ecology and sustainability.

Giovanni Bertone