While now Im sitting in my couch, arm firmly wrapped in after shoulder surgery, I have time to think my salmon fishing career. As many of us maniacs, also I, started on a very young age. I still can remember my first touch to that fish that affected me permanently.
I was in River Teno with older guy from our family. He is a Teno-veteran over more than 50 years and one of the salmon anglers that I respect the most. He still do harling and fly fishing, even though he is 70 years old. Tough guy! Anyway, that time he did harling and we started our first run with three rods, all of them was rigged with traditional Teno flies, in one of the best pools in middle Teno. And it happened right away! Fish on and as I was a rod-guy I had a chance to play with the fish and reel it in. I was so happy when we got it in to the boat and she was laying in bottom of that beautiful wooden floor. It was totally fresh atlantic salmon around five kilos! I still could remember it like a yesterday even it happened 21 years ago, I was thirteen at the time. After that moment I was hooked.
Year after I got my very first salmon rod and reel. I had tied some flies during winter and was ready to go when season started. It was a hell of a job to learn to cast with long, double-handed, rod even though I had fished trout with fly for few years. That big rod had some balls and I loved to cast with it even I was really poor in it. I still love those 15 footers and only use them. I know, it would be maybe easier with shorter and lighter rods but I dont care, 15’s is my thing. Salmon fishing was really hard in those first years, and it still is, but I managed to land few fish. Not big ones but grilses and medium size salmons with my own flies and it was the starting shot to this madness.
Shortly after those very first years I started to fish some other rivers, mainly in Northern Norway and I was deeply in love to this sport. It felt so special to go fishing trips with older guys, hear them telling tales from the old times and so on. I loved the nature up there and everything involved! In one of those early years I realized that salmon fishing is so much more than catching the fish. The more years have passed since the feeling is strenghtened!
Nowadays, after a long winter that feels longer and longer every year, its so nice to sit on the bank of some great salmon river and only enjoy the summer and relax. Salmon fishing had come more than a hobby, its a passion, a lifestyle! On winter time I spend hundreds of hours in front of my fly tying table, watching old photos and dreaming about summer. When it finally comes and you meet good old friends at the opening of season its like dream come true! Dream that come true every year, its very special.
Over these years I have been so lucky and privileged to fish in some of the best Atlantic salmon rivers in the world. Every of them are great on their own way. One way its refreshing sit on the bank of Royal Dee at beginning of February in middle of snow storm and on the other hand there is some magic those July nights in long river boats in Northern Norway when sun is shining all night long. As much these, I love the excitiment of opening night in River Orkla. Not to mention that feeling of what it is when I sit my own terrace after sauna, beer in my hand and listen and watching when big salmons are coming up in to the Mighty Teno!
This lifestyle have gave me a lot of great friends from different countries and social classes, not forgetting those guys whom I started. Even though it takes a lot of my time and almost all of my money, I wouldnt chance it for anything. By the way, I still fish in The Great Teno, every summer and nowadays I have own little paradise up there. Hopefully that majestetic river will return its former glory with new rules at the near future! Fingers crossed!