I was born in Rome on October 22nd of 1981. Rome, the city where I am still living and studying, is the Italian capital and it is famous around the world for its history and its monuments and every year is visited by millions of tourists.

The most important rivers of the area are the Tevere and its major tributary the Aniene. But to reach some good spots for trout fishing one has to drive some distance. The closest stretch of water populated by trouts is the upper part of the Aniene, which is about 50 km from where I live. With a little bit more driving we can reach an interesting area around the city of Rieti that with its 5 major trout waters has seen me growing as a fisherman and was place of unforgettable adventures.

I have got my first early age approach with fishing on the small lakes in the suburbs of Rome. It was right on the banks of one of these ponds, during a night of carp fishing with my father, that I met the De Santis brothers and I started my fly fishing experience guided by their teaching. I was 12 years old at that time.


I have always been attracted by water and by the creatures living in it. As a child I was in love with swimming and  often I went on the ponds around the area of Viterbo where I was swimming and fishing for a while. My father always had a love with fishing and he brought me with him on every possible occasion. The results, very poor in the beginning, where constantly improving under the guide of more experienced fishermen that were frequenting the same places. Although they were using many different techniques, all of them were agreeing that the most beautiful and elegant way of catching a fish was with the artificial fly. A fisherman one day gave me some flies that he bought some years back just for the sake of having them but never used them. Fly fishing was described to me as an extremely difficult technique but very satisfying.
At that time my aunt was living nearby a big fishing store which never had any article for fly fishing. On its door was hanging a plate which said that in a near place they were giving free lessons of fly fishing.
Together with my father we walked to that place and we met a craftsman  who was building rods and lines. There I bought my first rod and immediately I started to tie flies. I was so caught by this innovative technique that I was almost dreaming with eyes open. In my dreams I was always casting to huge rising trouts. Fly fishing soon became my favourite hobby and my father was driving even long distances to bring me to the rivers. Only today I can understand that fly fishing was my school of life and the method chosen by my father to educate me.

When I was 12 I met the De Santis brothers. I was completely fascinated by these two persons and I immediately understand that I had two living fishing encyclopaedias right in front of me. Not only they knew every possible existing fishing styles but they even modified and invented something new for each of them.  As I said before, I met them for the first time during a night of carp fishing on a small lake. They were catching a lot of fishes and I tried to approach them to have some chat. They immediately showed friendly and available to talk. When they knew about my interest for fly fishing they told me they were using that technique since 30 years. Just few days later I was visiting their home and they agreed to give me lessons of casting, fly tying and fishing technique. I was getting lessons every Thursday and we were fishing on Saturday and Sunday.
During my first lesson Valter told me: “ … the passion for fly fishing will drive and condition your choices and your life style..”
Today I fully understand the meaning of those words and I can admit I am happy they are fully true.

Once finished the second grade school and the college I went to the University in Tor Vergata to attend Engineering. I recently graduated and I am now attending to specialization course. In the past five years I have practiced a special kind of Korean martial art called Tang Su Do which means “the way of the Chinese hand”. Despite the many commitments I always find time to tie my loved flies and to fish with my mentors, even if not so often as I would wish.

I caught my first fish with the fly when I was 13. It was a small chub which I succeeded to hook after an entire day of trials. Chubs were important for practicing the timing of hooking and the presentation being very spooky and quick in spitting the fly.
The first trout came on the Velino river. Before, the river was for me just a mass of water without form, the rocks and the flows were silent and  lifeless. After that first trout I started to “feel” the river and its life, I was perceiving the subtle words of the water and finally today I can appreciate its laws and rhythms and I can try to reveal its secrets.
That trout gifted me with a great emotion and kindled in me the desire to catch soon another one. That desire is still living in me today and I guess it will always be.

Valter and Ennio, the De Santis brothers, respectively 78 and 76 years old, have been fishing for over 50 years. They are friendly called with a unique nickname, Facocchi, which comes from their original job. They were specialised in crafting wood and especially those carts or coaches pulled by horses and which still nowadays carry tourists along the roads of Rome. In Italian language these coaches are called “Cocchi”

The De Santi brothers are really inseparable, they have lived together an entire life and are deeply united by their love for fly fishing. They are very discreet persons and they love fishing alone in those river stretches free from rigid rules. For me it’s a pure pleasure listening  to their fishing tales, when they tell me about those old days when rivers where not polluted yet and when trouts where still wild.  They were teaching me all their secrets and their vision of fly fishing toward the continuous search for evolution. Valter and Ennio have actually invented their own and personal way of fishing because they started in a age when not much people where practicing fly fishing in the centre of Italy. They had to do everything by themselves discovering and mastering the techniques one by one.  

Among the many things, they also taught me to tie their unique and peculiar flies which turned out to be reason of discussion between fishermen in Italy and abroad. I personally committed myself in the diffusion of this tying system taking part to several shows and meetings and even creating a web site dedicated to this two brothers and their flies. (www.moschefacocchi.it)  

The system used to assemble these flies is certainly longer and more difficult compared with the traditional systems but, once the fly is finished, keeping in the hands these masterpieces gives the tier an high pleasure. If we grab them by the hook and we start shaking them we may have the impression they are almost to fly away. On the water it’s amazing to see them free floating, so light and real and ready to be grabbed by a fish.  

Every kind of water and environment has its own beauty and peculiar difficulties. I like to test my skills on different situation and I choose different rivers or lakes according to the season trying to enjoy them in their best moments.
For instance, when the trout season starts I use to fish the rivers around Rieti which are mainly Chalk-streams and quite rivers. Moving on with the season I prefer faster moving streams like the Volturno or Nera which are very good during May and June with massive hatches and big catches.
My favourite fishing places are the mountain freestone rivers. Their characteristics are ideal to strongly test every fisherman skills, both in casting ability and fly choice. Trouts living here are very spooky compared with the cousins living in slow moving and bigger waters. Highest care in the approach is necessary. Even a broken branch or a noise movement can jeopardize the result. The fly must float correctly and follow all the surface currents and most of the time a second cast could be too much in these environments. In these water I prefer slack line techniques with a minimum of false casting and paying attention to the minimize the back casts. Here, in these silent places I can really appreciate the essence of the fly fishing.


I really like to go fishing with my father but due to health problems this is not always feasible. Also Valter and Ennio because of their age are not able to follow me so often anymore on my fishing expeditions. Many times I fish with my good friend Luciano or with other friends whenever they invite me to fish somewhere around Italy. But generally I have no problem to fish alone with no time limits and maximum freedom to try new places.

From the beginning of my experience I have mostly used flies mounted with the Facocchi system. I have created about 30 different dressings which I use depending on the periods and places. With this system I can create parachutes, sedges, terrestrials and may flies of every dimension.

This innovative tying system was invented by the Facocchi brothers many years back but remained secret and unknown to the fishermen for many reasons. The most obvious is the fact that at those times they did not have the communication system of today. Furthermore fly fishing was not still popular. Not to forget the unpretentiousness of the inventors of these flies.
The idea of this fly was born from the need to find something new to deceive highly selective fishes. Even if they still considered the old dressing quite valuable they thought it was necessary to find some new concept. They thought it would have been useless to spend energies to modify the existing flies because just few improvements were not sufficient. Their great experience brought them to consider all the problems of the normal flies during the drift along the flow.
The old dressing were too rigid and they did not adapt to the currents.
Through a lot of experimenting they tried to create a fly that could stand the currents remaining in a stable and correct posture even in fast waters but still keeping a natural behaviour.
They reached this difficult task tying a fly with woven nylon threads where the hook was connected to the fly by mean of a simple loop passing through the ring. In this fly the hook is found right below the circle of the hackles. The hook is free to move and act in the water just like a boat keel and the fly is free to follow the surface movements on the water.
The many good feature of the nylon convinced the Facocchi brothers that it was the best materials to tie flies to be light and durable. The nylon was transparent, waterproof, shiny, strong and available in different colours.
To tie these flies they created a special wood frame which is studied to twist the nylon threads in the right way without weakening it and to keep the hook aligned below the hackles. There are different weaving methods to create the various bodies and they differ according to the number of threads and the knots used.
In the web site that I have dedicated to these flies it is explained the technique and the history in different languages and several dressings are shown. My hope is that the two friends could be known around the world and that they will be correctly recognized as the original creators of this system.

Personally I dedicate a big part of my time to spread this system at several shows but also with the intent to divulgate the fly fishing technique which I think will became even in Italy the most used system to fish for trout and graylings. I have three young nephews and I always try to pass on them my love  for this fishing style. My experience is available to anybody requiring a suggestion or an explanation. I often write for a local magazine and I am invited to fly fishing clubs for tying lessons. I feel that I will always keep tying flies, it is something I cannot give up. I feel the call for new challenges and the need to experiment ideas and to create solutions for our loved sport.