Fly Fishing Art by Adriano Manocchia

The fly fishing art by Adriano Manocchia will soon have you feeling the breeze and mist of the water.

He is a very gifted artist with a true love of fly fishing.


Article by Adriano Manocchia

My passions for fly-fishing and for painting were practically born at the same time. After many years as a photojournalist in the early 1980s I became fascinated with the art world and made a significant career change. My first paintings were wildlife scenes, a subject that brought me closer to nature and a far stretch for a born and raised city boy. It also allowed my path to cross with that of an avid outdoorsman who became a great friend and initiated me in the art of fly-fishing. I soon discovered that I much preferred portraying the waters that I was learning to fish in my artwork. There is something about being on a river, lake or ocean that really excites me. Painting water has become my passion. And naturally as a passionate fly-fisher adding an angler to a scene makes it even more interesting.

Today I paint waterscapes that have come from encounters with nature, trying not to make the paintings seem ideal. The light in my fly fishing art work has a photographic but painterly quality to it. There is little doubt that I am a visual person. And it is that incessant search for the visually stimulating that makes this voyage exciting. When I’m painting water, I paint in layers, allowing each coating of color to dry before adding the next. It is not unusual for my water to have three or more layers of color, which helps me get that look and feeling of depth and transparency.

Most gratifying are the comments that fellow fly fishermen make while studying my angling scenes. They imagine themselves on that stream feeling the breeze and the cooling mist coming out of the water while wading the river. To me, that’s the greatest reward because I know I’ve expressed something I’ve felt and was able to transmit to another fisherman. I’m convinced that in order to become a great sporting artist having an artistic talent is not enough. You have to invest many hours casting to trout on streams around the world, learning from those experiences in order to awaken those same emotions in the collectors.

When I’m in my studio during the long winter months, away from the waters that so fascinate me, memories of those days spent on the rivers come flooding back. Sometimes, in the evenings, after a day spent in front of my easel painting, I start positioning some of my antique fishing tackle collected over the years to recreate in my mind a scene that might belong to a bygone era in the angling world. 

It is nostalgia, which permeates my still life paintings. I try to evoke what the sporting life would have been like years ago: The camaraderie, the mystique, and the passion that was part of the world of fishing decades ago. I hope to transport the viewer into this world that I love so much. The patina on an old brass reel, a creased photo, the weathered feel of an old bamboo creel, a well used pipe or an old leather book that has been read and re-read with tales about the sporting life are all elements of a story which each collector can interpret and shape in his or her own way.

This consuming study of waters and my still life compositions, became favorites with the collectors of my fly fishing art, and are the main subjects of my new book Water, Sky & Time. This hardcover book offers a 30-year retrospective of my most notable paintings as well as a glimpse into my creative process. My passion for angling and the outdoors has led me to paint scenes from the Catskills to Colorado and far off British Columbia to the Bahamas.

I think that creativity is the most important aspect in the development of an artist. I’m mostly self-taught and not afraid to take in challenges as they present themselves to me. I think that the worst thing that can happen to an artist is to become stagnant and stop growing. It is easy to become complaisant, especially after reaching some success. As a mentor who has been guiding me since the start of my artistic career has advised, I’m determined to continue on this improvement process until I draw my very last brush stroke so that my work will one day reflect this hard and often frustrating road to perfection.


All images are copyrighted and used by permission


Season's Almost Here

A Trip Up North

The Perfect Day

Chasing The King

See more art by Adriano Manocchia here.




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