Pesca alla Valsesiana

Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby CM_Stewart » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:09 pm

I'm pretty sure the casting technique is quite a bit different. My understanding is that the rods are fiberglass and as you say, longer than tenkara rods. They would have to be heavier and almost certainly too heavy to cast one handed. I have a 13' fiberglass telescopic crappie rod and it is no comparison to my 13' Ayu. It is definitely a two handed rod. Also, the lines they used are so much heavier than tenkara lines. That would also make it harder to cast one handed.

I have read one account of the casting, and it sounds very similar to the way David Webster described the casting style he used with his wooden loop rod, which was between 13 and 14 feet long. His cast was not at all the short, quick cast you can see Dr. Ishigaki perform in the videos. Instead, the rod was moved in what he called a "horseshoe" shape, which sounds like it was elliptical rather than straight back and forth. Of course, Webster also fished a cast of 9 flies at a time, so if he got any tangles or a tailing loop, he'd be out of action for a long time trying to sort it all out! The Valsesian anglers only used 4 or 5 flies at a time, I think. Still, they didn't want any tangles.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby LMarshall » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:20 pm

Chris,

So maybe with the heavy line and wide casting movement it might resemble something a little more like a spey cast? I'm basically envisioning a cast with very low line speed and wide loop enabled by the use of a heavier line.

It might be worth trying out with one of the more flexible allfishingbuy.com rods. At least it'll be cheap and good for bait fishing if it doesn't work out for pesca a la Valsesiana.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:25 pm

My understanding from communications with people in Italy and a couple of people that have been fishing in Italy, Valsesiana anglers these days and for a while now, have been using Japanese tenkara rods for their fishing. I'd imagine they evolved in similar ways, but the fishing tackle manufacturing in Italy all but disappeared before carbon rods started being developed, whereas in Japan it evolved. Italy has been our big international market recently and I know of some Italian anglers who fish Japanese tenkara rods.

I have not heard of them using telescopic poles. One of the main factors for this, I believe, is the lack of a handle, which would mean no comfort for a day's worth of fly casting.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby LMarshall » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:18 pm

Daniel @ TenkaraUSA wrote:My understanding from communications with people in Italy and a couple of people that have been fishing in Italy, Valsesiana anglers these days and for a while now, have been using Japanese tenkara rods for their fishing. I'd imagine they evolved in similar ways, but the fishing tackle manufacturing in Italy all but disappeared before carbon rods started being developed, whereas in Japan it evolved. Italy has been our big international market recently and I know of some Italian anglers who fish Japanese tenkara rods.

I have not heard of them using telescopic poles. One of the main factors for this, I believe, is the lack of a handle, which would mean no comfort for a day's worth of fly casting.


Interesting stuff, do you have any idea how and when the Valsesiana anglers found out about tenkara rods? I can see how with modernization and the world wars a folk craft like Pesca a la Valsesiana tackle making could die out pretty easily, but if people are still practicing it I'd be surprised if there weren't a few people keeping the tradition alive.

Looks like the new Amago rod might do the trick pretty well though!
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:05 am

There are some online forums in Italy that are discussing tenkara. The number of tenkara/valsesiana customers/anglers in Italy growing surprisingly fast. TenkaraUSA-Italia should be coming up :)
For what I hear there are literally a handful of people who do it the traditional way and still make their own lines. I guess I'll have to research.

Anyone from Italy wants to talk about it?
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby bennegord » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:15 pm

Hi i'm Andrea from Italy.
In the PDF posted by Softouch 333 there is a 5 m. telescopic rod but this is not what the author of the article talks about.Here i try to translate and resume some informations about the rod,line and cast(I hope my english is understandable)--:""A Valsesiana rod is made of 3 segments.The first(190 cm.)is the true body of the rod and have a cork handle.The second segment(90 cm.)works as a link between the body and the tip.It's impressive to see how the tip(100 cm.)is thin and flexible.Total length:380 cm..This rod feels almost weightless and this is due to the fact that the superior half of the rod is virtually made of one single tip.the inferior half is made of a special,very light,yellowish with greyish marble-like spots bamboo.The aim of a so-conceived rod is to cast a line that repeats,in reverse,the proportion and balance of the rod.It follows that if you put the line parallel to the rod,the tip is flanked by a thick,visible horsehair line,while the bamboo body is flanked by the nylon tippet with valsesiana flies.the line is sometimes 30-40cm.longer than the rod.the tippet is generally not longer than 70-80 cm. and takes no more than 5 flies..The hand holds the rod at a distance from the bottom equal to the length of the forearm.the rod must be maneuvered so that the elbow,at each"whipping",goes to bump and halt the cork bottom.This halt allows the shoot,the distension of the line.It's not a real "whipping"but a smooth rhythmic motion,almost an oscillation of the rod.the rod does not ever trace a sweeping arc motion.""
So the original rod is jointed,not telescopic.
The cast seems very similar to tenkara cast,except for the "abrupt" stop made with the elbow.
The line as i see in the picture is tapered:the number of twisted horsehair gradually decreases.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby CM_Stewart » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:08 pm

Andrea,

Thank you for the translation! That does sound a lot more like tenkara than I had thought. 380 cm is certainly the same length (12' 6"), and the cane butt section and very flexible tip sounds like a similar action (5:5?). The rods must have been stiffer than modern tenkara rods, because a line starting with 20 hairs is much heavier than any of the furled or level lines we use now.

The casting technique sounds very interesting. It also sounds like it would be a very effective way to cast a rod that is a bit heavier and a bit stiffer than what we are used to. The part of the rod below where you hold it would act as a counterbalance so the rod wouldn't be too "tip heavy," and casting in a way that the end hits the elbow would provide a very effective hard stop to the cast - whipping the line forward. I'm definitely going to try that as soon as the streams get down to fishable levels.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby Valsesia » Wed May 05, 2010 12:16 pm

hello guys,
My name is Andrea and I am writing from Valsesia the valley on the border of Switzerland which is named the style of fishing that you describe in this forum. I love fishing with this tecnique that I learned from my father when I was still very young, for us in this country generally it is a tradition and the little secrets of this way to fish are transmitted from father to son(my son is now starting to learn to build the flies and has only six years!)
This is one of the reasons so I do not think there is much about it on the internet, if you think until a few years ago also tenkara was unknown outside of Japan.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that half a world away fishing with a technique similar to ours Valsesiana, is fantastic and now that you in the U.S. use this style makes me very happy.
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby Valsesia » Wed May 05, 2010 1:25 pm

yet I forgot to describe the differences between the tenkara and fishing that we do in Valsesia, first we use more stiffest and long rods from 3.9 to 5 meters depending on whether we fish in a large stretch of the river or perhaps a small tributary of the Sesia (it's certainly one of the most valued rivers in Europe for its beauty and the clarity of its waters).
Before the first rods were made of bamboo, then in fiberglass and now in carbon and also we imports from China.
Then we use three or four wet flies of different colors (blue red green yellow or brown in general) tied about 30 cm apart and although there are lines of various synthetic materials but anything exceeds the lines of horsehair that is twisted our hand in a manner similar to those of first Japanese tenkara. (I hope that you undestand my terrible english!)
Normally the line exceeds the length of the rod even two or three meters all depends on the skill of the fisherman and where he wants to get.
The flies we use are very simple and quite similar to those for tenkara certainly like for Japanese also for us are the same for centuries, you think no one knows exactly when born the fishing Valsesiana but there are documents that regulate fishing dating to 1478!
Visit this site of the no profit society that manages the waters of the Sesia http://www.valsesiapesca.it/valsesiapesca.asp
It's late and tomorrow I work a lot, but before to greet you I want to tell you that, this technique in valsesia so ancient and fascinating if performed perfectly is not considered fishing but an art .
Soon and good fishing from Valsesia
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Re: Pesca alla Valsesiana

Postby Wupperfischer » Thu May 06, 2010 12:35 am

Hi Andrea,

many thanks for your description of the valsesian way of flyfishing.
Can you tell us how you fix the line on your rod tip? Do you use the lilian which is attached at the tenkara rods ore do you use another method?

It is quite difficult to get more information. The problem is that all sources I found are in italien language. From Giorgio Cavatorti I got the information about the film “La storia pesca a mosca italiana”, a wonderful film in which is show how to furl a horsehairline by hand or how to tie the flies. Furthermore I have got the book from Renzo Dionigi “La pesca alla valsesiana. Tracce di storia della pesca nella tradizione scritta...”.

I am very interested in the way how you fish in Valsesia. My plan is to visit your region and to fish the original rivers. Can you tell what is the best time to visit Valsesia?

Best regards from Germany
Ronald
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