So fly fishing is awesome, yes. Traveling is interesting – you get to see new places and gain new experiences. And what is so fun to realize… at the end of the day fly fishing is not that different. From Japan to Iceland – fly anglers are not that different.
Here is a selection of 5 NOT so random fishing destinations around the world, that I’ve been so lucky to experience.
1 SOUTH AFRICA’S TINY TROUT
“The hot African sun is scorching my bare arms. I find it hard to imagine fly fishing being popular here considering how deserted, peaceful and quiet the river is. We are practically next door to a city of three million people, but the only simians I have seen the whole day, apart from us two, were a troop of baboons.
I fleetingly think of applying more sun screen, but the thought is forgotten when I feel the pull of a hooked fish on my line. These residents of the pellucid South African waterways are the most beautiful wild rainbow trout I have ever seen, not unlike unique jewelry.”
Sometimes you need to go fishing very far to realize what you have at your own backyard. Not that I hadn’t realized fishing wise what Finland or Scandinavia has to offer. But when I went to South Africa I realized, I want to write about fishing and I want to share the love for the art. And I want to inspire and encourage others to find fly fishing. Therefore, for me South Africa was a start of something new.
Example itinerary that I tested in South Africa Cape Town was just € 150 including guide, fishing license, transport and fishing equipment for the day on a remote rainbow trout river. Though, that was back in 2008, so things might have changed. To check more information click over to: www.flyfishcapetown.co.za
2 PEACE AND GRAYLINGS IN NORTHERN SWEDEN
“After a few hours of hiking in the wilderness and slogging through one particularly mucky swamp, we finally see the Rostuatno glimmering in front of us. The wide river twists and turns through the open arctic scenery. Few of the lads fairly run the rest of the way to the river bank. The immediate sounds of reels grinding and water splashing put an abrupt stop to my preparations, and I rush to the bank brandishing my rod ready to play with the graylings.”
Towards the end of the season, there is always one more trip to come. My top 1 expected and anticipated trip of the summer. Every year we take one week for hiking and fishing with the family. That trip is all about fishing, all about graylings, and all about nature and hiking. For me it’s the essence of why I love fly fishing.
One of the guaranteed destination is in Kiruna, Sweden. There are so many amazing hiking and fishing spots. Cars can be left on the Finnish side Keinovuopio, where you can cross the border on foot. What we usually do is about 1-3 days of hiking and then setting up a camp to get plenty of fishing.
If you want a tip where to find this awesome grayling-greatness, check out the Idea Booklet for the Enthusiastic Fly Fisherman. You can download it free from here: http://kajanaclub.com/flyfishing
3 ANGLING IN FINLAND
“Like a clockwork, exactly one hour before midnight, the insects swarm the rapid. The fish naturally follow the same schedule as their prey, and promptly come out from hiding to get their night time snack.
The darkening night at Akonkoski is ripe for angling. It is like having a rendezvous with the graylings, ides and trouts.”
Finland has plenty of fly fishing. One of my favorites (which I only discovered about a year ago, though it’s right in my neighborhood) is Kuhmo on the Eastern part of Finland. Last summer I had so much fun being part of the organizing team of KalaHässäkkä fishing event in Kuhmo.
And later the season Kuhmo Fly Fishing Adventures introduced plenty more fishing in the area. They have over 100 rapids in the area of Kuhmo, which is pretty amazing. We covered 6 over one weekend.
4 AMAGO AND HOT SPRINGS IN JAPAN
“ The pull of the line feels so light compared to what I am used to. But I’m an open-minded fisherwoman; no catch is too small for my net, as long as it isn’t small enough to slip right through the net!
The minnow dangling in my hook is called kawamutsu and it makes up for its small size by its beautiful coloring. The head and pelvic fins are yellow, each side is decorated by a blue horizontal stripe, and the eyes and dorsal fin sport red. I chuckle with pleasure, although assessing the expressions of my fellow fishers I conclude my catch is the local rough fish.
I have had a good day. Only one is missing. My infatuation with amago is not showing any signs of fading. My friends tell me about their intent to make a Fall fly fishing trip to the island of Shikoku, and invite me to join them. I say yes faster than I can blink my eyes.”
Finding fly fishing from Japan was not the easiest thing. I had an advantage, cause I studied there for half a year and had time to meet some locals who introduced me to some unbelievably beautiful fishing spots.
I found the contacts via fly fishing shop in Osaka: http://www.club-beginners.com/ As you can see from the link, there is an obvious language challenge though.
5 ICELAND CHANGES EVERYTHING
“As the day wears on the group scatters about the long stream. Finally, in the evening, a liberating text message from a fellow angler arrives:”Salmon!”
Back at our lodging I get the full story. I kick my shin for having been elsewhere at the critical moment, but luckily the hefty salmon did get photographed. The guide congratulates the angler of the day generously, and the details of the play are discussed until the wee hours.
You are bound to hear terrific tales about Iceland’s wild salmon rivers, imposing trouts and unbelievable catch counts. And your longing to experience the waters of the arctic island are likely to be stoked more by learning factual information and seeing pictures of anglers posing with their catch.
But there is something more about Iceland, that gives it a unique pull. It is hard to pinpoint, but part of the charm definitely comes from the wildly fluctuating weather, the unforgiving wind and the endless sky surrounding the spare earth.”
I’ve been twice in Iceland and found the different fishing spots with the help of a local guide from Fly Fishing in Iceland. Their website, where fly fishing enthusiast planning for an expedition to Iceland can find information, tips and services, is: www.fishinginiceland.com
The famous rivers in Iceland are expensive, but Iceland has many less known, interesting rivers filled with fine game fish. Because Iceland is a relatively small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the weather can turn cold and nasty even in the warmest Summer months.
All fishing sites in Iceland are private property, and thus a permit is always required. Any fishing gear brought along from other countries will have to be disinfected according to the local ordinances.
NOT SO RANDOM
If you open up the world map, I guess those might not be your average selections to go fishing.
Why these are not so random for me, is that they are the milestones of my early steps as a fly fishing journalist and later a fly fishing entrepreneur. These carved my fly fishing path, and are the back bone to what developed in to a hulahula fly fishing approach. And later resulted into my first published book: Hulahula Fly Fishing.
Mysterious are the fly fishing paths in the world. =D
PS. To read more fly fishing tales, click over to the Amazon Book Store, and check out the Hulahula Fly Fishing: http://amzn.com/B015CYKWBA