B. Clarke – J. Goddard  

(A&C Black London – 1984 // Ugo Mursia Milano – 1989)


My roots as a fly angler go back to the mid of 1970s. That period is somehow considered as the “dark era” of Fly fishing in Italy.  Few fellows to spare the trips with, little or no knowledge of the essentials of flyangling, little or no background.  The most fortunate were able to go abroad and fed their brains and souls with foreign rivers and experiences but too few were able to read and understand flyangling English literature. 

I decided to offer my language knowledge to the members of the FLY ANGLING CLUB in Milan, one of the biggest in that period in Italy: my first “job” was the translation of dressings whose components were so obscure to many anglers. 

After a few years, I decided to enter the business and was lucky enough to meet a publishing co. who accepted my proposal. My first official translation was from French (Poissons et pecheurs) but I was also attracted by English and American authors. 

“The Trout and the Fly”, by Clarke & Goddard, is one of the first jobs from English and many others followed. It was a “hard job, but had to be done” , I would say. 

A hard job, because a translation is not the simple transposition of a text into another language. You must fully understand the text and the authors’ feeling and knowledge and it is neither easy nor quick. 

But all these efforts helped me increase my own experience and knowledge. For a serious guide, culture is not an extra but a must, because guides should not limit their job to taking anglers where fish are.


J.P. Pequegnot (Flammarion Paris 1985 // Sperling & Kupfer Milano 1990)


While arranging tackle for tomorrow’s trip with friends, I came across the books of my “green years”. Most, of course, are about flyfishing but this one, among the many, stroke my attention and soul. 

It was the very first book (in French) I started my career with as a translator. It was 1985 and I had been flyfishing for some 8 years. 

The man on the front cover is (was, helas!) Carlo Rancati, the president of FlyAngling Club in Milan whom importance in my life as a flyangler was immense. I owe him all what I know today and will never stop thanking his foresight in pushing me along this way. 

The original work (L’art de la peche a la mouche seche, 390 pages) is much bigger than the final Italian version (174), I did my utmost to convince the italian publishers not to cut more than the half of the French version but invain. 

I was at my beginning and my “contractual strength” was not that strong. It was a pity, because the “skipped” pages were interesting, too. Nevertheless, the book, the very first one about flyfishing translated from another language into Italian, had a good success. 

It was printed in b/w (color printing was extremely expensive at the time) and went out of print after not much time. Unfortunately, the Italian publisher did not want to print it again but gave me the opportunity to translate a few more titles. 

Those, were dark years for Italian flyfishing literature and most of the very few Italian writers started a cold war against a young man daring to spread the pros and against of angling from the other side of the Italian borders. I took 1 month off and started a long holiday trip crossing the Alps and visiting all the rivers mentioned in French books. 

I visited the Ain, the Loire, the Sioule, the Rhone, the Andelle, the Doubs, the Allier, the Loue, the Touques,,, a deep full immersion in flyfishing history, breathing the same air and landscapes of Ritz, de Boisset, Massas, Devaux, Burnand and many other ancestors who made French flyfishing so huge and important. I also met M. Pequegnot, the author of the book I had the honor to translate and recall the pleasant hours we spent together discussing about flyfishing technique and etiquette. 

Helas!, My staying in the area was too short for a comprehensive understanding and learning. After “L’Art” I had the pleasure to deal with other books, mostly in English and the efforts increased my knowledge and respect for those who have been so clever to spread flyfishing culture,

D. Swisher and Ch. Richards 

(Nyck Lyons Books – 1971 // U. Mursia Italy 1991)


Interest for this book was huge in Italy and I have been asked many times for an “oral” translation of some pages or extracts of full chapters. 

When the publisher accepted to introduce the Italian version into the local market, success was granted: interest for entomology was (and still is) very high in that period and innovative solutions for new patterns matching the real insect were extremely appreciated. 

Richards and Swished proved to be very keen anglers and story tellers and the translation gave me a lot of satisfaction, in addition to the difficulties to understand some “shades” in their technical language, details to which I was not used yet. 

P. Fling – D. Puterbaugh  (Sterling Publishing USA -1985 // Ottaviano 1987/F.Melita – 1990)

The “Fly Fisherman’s Primer” was published twice into Italian by two different publishers (1987 and 1990), this proving the interest for fly fishing books in Italy. 

It is a manual, and local anglers were asking for “on site instructions”. It was much appreciated and today, with the title now no longer available on the official market, I often receive requests for copies which, hélas, I don t have nor can supply. 

Taff Price

(Ward Lock London 1986 // C. Lorenzini Udine 1986)


Italian flyanglers are probably more interested in fly patterns than in fishing/casting. 

That’s why the appearance of this book on the local market was very much appreciated. 

The appreciation was not only for the descriptions and the dressings of each fly: each pattern is drawn by hand (it is not a photo of the subject) and this made the book even more interesting and sought after. 


G. Cederberg (AB Nordbok, Gothenburg 1990 // U. Mursia Milano 1990)

A full, detailed and deep description of flyfishing first published in Sweden (1990) and other languages. The Italian version arrived here in the same year and immediately stroke the attention of Italian flyanglers thanks to its all inclusive description of our hobby in terms of history, casting, flytying and so on. 


Post Author: Osvaldo Velo

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