The Complete Fisherman

A homemade four and a half metre long rod, a carefully braided line made from the tail hair of a stallion, simple flies tied by hand, without the use of a binding stick - this is the so-called Pesca alla Valsesiana. This wonderful form of fly fishing has been practiced on the small mountain streams in the north of Italy at least since the 16th century.

Led by Arturo Pugno, a deserving statesman of this sport, the Pesca alla Valsesiana is still practised today by a few followers on the same waters, using the same materials and techniques as back then. It is the most basic and at the same time the most refined form of fly fishing, and it is only mastered by those fly fishermen whom Arturo Pugno calls "accomplished fly fishermen".

The new Patagonia film The Perfect Fisher gives us an introduction to this timeless technique of fly fishing, portraying one of its masters and showing the special places where the Pesca alla Valsesiana is practiced with the same devotion and reverence as hundreds of years ago.

"The Complete Fisherman" is a somewhat romantic portrait of a fisherman, a hymn to fishing, but which in the end turns out to be a depiction of sufficiency. The fisherman is a passionate observer, his skills are almost unlearnable in the film. He demonstrates a simple, very connected life with a river, as the people in this village had it in the 16th century. The film shows that with a simplification of life, more depth inside, more abilities and more connectedness can develop. Sufficiency not as renunciation, but as enrichment and new dimension.

Director(s): Stefano Volcan
Script: Nick Waggoner
Production: Yvon Chouinard, Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia films, Mauro Mazzo
Music: Giulia Volcan
Actors: Yvon Chouinard, Yvon Chouinard, Mauro Mazzo, Paolo Badino, Arturo Pugno
Year: 2020
Duration: 19 min
Our age recommendation: 14
Language (audio): Italian
Language (subtitles): German, French, English, Italian
Country of origin: Italy
Shooting Locations: Italy
Screening rights: Patagonia ()
  • This film can be watched for free at the top.


Main topic(s): Human Potential
Secondary topics: sufficiency water cycle wilderness
Mentions: Patagonia river out door fishing Pesca alla Valsesiana mindfullness
Topic Page(s): Human Potential

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