A year with so many opportunities for me and it doesn't seem to stop for coming years either since exiting plans are taking form for 2018 and 2019 already! But let's press pause for a while and summarise what happened. During the past year I have published 26 posts on the blog so it receives a good attention from me but very irregular. That can be traced to that things are happening. Life itself is irregular and so have this platform to be when it is run by myself. Sometimes there is a lot of work and no time to take care of the blog. A near death experience involving a racing caravan could just as easily changed faith so that it wouldn't have been any more blog posts ever. More on that further down where I will share what was the most memorable from this past year, it has been moments that were tough, moments I was scared and moments that I really enjoy looking back on.
Top picture: Matthias Brötzner
I had a vision that I did write down on paper before this year started and I also mentioned it in my 2016 in rewind post a year ago.
It was very interesting for me to go back and look at the text. In 2015 I decided to do a strange thing and only do trout fishing for a hole year. It was very useful now since i have an better understanding in where and how to catch trout even on those days with scorching sun and no wind for example, where most others are fishing perch or something instead.
For 2016 I did not exclude trout fishing any bit but did a lot of other fishing too. I'm very glad for how my planes turned out because I said to myself that I shall use every day as good as I possibly can and experience as much as I can. Use each month, day and hour as good as I possibly can. I am very happy for my investment in winter fishing for sea trout (article cold winter fly fishing 1, 2, 3) the Iceland trip in May, the Salmon trip in June, the pike trip in Oktober, the long weeks of investment to catch a big lake trout and that I where on both our Lapland destinations this year.
I have several goals for 2018 too, one is to further develop my own style of fly tying (fly tying related section on the blog). Another thing is to try harder to catch a big perch on fly and one of the more specific goals I have for next year I come back to further down.
Toughest moment 2017: The casting demo on the sport fishing fair Photo: Jonas Nordigårds
I had the possibility on the Swedish sport fishing fair to do a casting demo so I took the chance. At that moment it was not a comfortable situation for me going out there on the casting stage with a microphone and start a show. The demo didn't go as well as I hoped and what I learned quickly on the very first demo show was that it was very difficult for me just to talk straight out into the air and not to a specific group or a person. Everyone is in a motion during a fair and it was more like talking to veins of pulsating mass in the walking lanes surrounding the casting area rather than people standing there. I was told later that there actually where many that stopped and watched. But in that situation, I didn't see them. My purpose on the casting floor was to ask for someone from the audience to come forward and then teach them how to fly cast. It was really difficult when as nervous as I was to have someone else out there on the stage that I am being responsible for. I will never do that again before better practicing. The final day I skipped that and things turned out better. I'm happy that I did it even though the performance wasn't great. To win second place at the casting tournament at the fair is what I will remember because it feels like I reclaimed my confidence a lot quicker thanks to it. It now stands in my collection at my office place.
Scariest moment 2017: The racing caravan story Photo: Victor Jacobsson
This story with the racing caravan was something that I had planned to not ever tell out in public but now it felt right to do it. As a guide you are out in nature a lot, you have probably seen more rare moments in nature than most other people and with some distance now to the occasion I can smile about it and say that it was probably the weirdest moment in my eight years of working as a fishing guide. That day I had two clients with me this sunny day in the middle of the summer in Ammarnäs. With me, I also had my guide college Victor Jacobsson. Not because it was needed for a normal group but since we had never done a guiding together and because of the older dad in the group was very old and weak. He had some problems walking so we fished places that are near the road so it was as convenient as possible for him. As typical as faith would have it we sat only 10 meters from the road when the intense seconds started.
I remember we had a grayling rising in front of us when a fast driving car passes behind our backs. I stand up just because I hear a strange sound and see that a caravan fell of the towbar coming at full speed towards us. The old dad was sitting on a rock with his feet in the water. He is relaxed and enjoying looking the opposite way at his adult sun dry fly fishing a bit further downstream. The caravan makes aggressive turns back and forward on the road and about to hit us. I stand bent down with my arm in the old man's armpit ready to try throw him away if it would hit him. In one of the turns, one wheel comes down in the deep ditch on the side of the road. That little tilt made the caravan to change the direction away from us and crash down into the woods just next to us and stops with a loud hit into the only large fir-tree that stood there. A strange moment I will never forget. When someone asks me why I have to travel so far out into the wilderness to fish in the most remote area imaginable far from humanity I can now answer them that I can get killed by a caravan otherwise.
Last minute note: When my brother read this text and saw the picture, he told me he had seen a YouTube clip with this caravan. Check out this clip from the crazy happening
Most enjoyed 2017: Belly boat with friends Photo: Viljami Huhtala
This is no specific moment, rather something that I have done a lot during this season and that is to go out with some good friends and fish from a belly boat. Simple as that! It is a teamwork even though you are entirely controlling what you want to do yourself. It has been so fun both in Finland archipelago (picture), Gotland and in Ammarnäs. To be paddling around with three or four friends and have a good fishing together is an unforgettable experience. We will now start to offer this kind of opportunity in Ammarnäs and have belly boats for the predator week experience we have put together for season 2018. One of my longest articles of the year was about belly boat fishing, you can read it here.
Challenge for 2018: The meter hunt begins!
I have caught many really nice fish this year. I am so happy each time I catch a fish, but I have realized one thing about myself. That the moments that really sticks to me and that keeps coming back into my memory are those encounters with big fish biting on streamer on a straight line. You know those that can pull your entire arm of your body when they bite. (Article the terrible day that turned into 75 cm Sea Trout on fly) They are more present in my memory than a beautiful grayling or trout doing a head and tail for my mayfly imitation on the surface. I like fly fishing no matter what kind of fish there is. The only thing I will do differently is that I'm going to use more days next year to try catch that really big fish on a streamer. And now to my specific challenge that I set for myself. I want to catch three different species of fish all measuring over one meter. Well, pike will be one that probably won't be a big struggle but what next? Sea Trout? Lake trout? We will see. I have no secret plan for how I will manage it but I will try accomplishing it.
If you like the content on the blog I would be very happy to see if you shared in social media. Just to help me get more people to find the content. It has been fun doing every one of these posts and the pile of new and fun topics is building up. I say with no doubt that I will continue this in 2018 as well!