Although the hire car did appear to have four wheels it was a debatable point as to whether we were making full use of them. Carl seemed to think that we were and on the straighter sections of the road we were generally forced to agree with him. However given a slight deviation in the road's direction, we would definitely take issue on the point, and I didn't agree with his contention that driving with only two wheels touching the ground was saving the tyres from unnecessary wear either (although admittedly during those all to frequent moments when we were actually airborne, rubber was saved).
Viking Lars said he knew of a good spot, one where we would not only catch sea-tout and many of them, but also "ze beeg ones". Three and four pounders and if we were to survive the drive (hint to Carl) we would experience the finest that saltwater flyfishing has to offer. We were heading to one of his favourite places.
Carl put his foot down.
Our destination was the island of Fyn, a spot called Wedellsborg. Tucked amongst the florid grasses of time; a place unraped by man. Nature, having been ravaged by the depths of winter, timidly accepting the first gentle breaths of spring, slowly revealing her immense and wondrous beauty, showing all those who care to look, the potential for a truer and happier existence; an innocent virgin blossoming in-between the rocks of unimagination and a sea of disbelief.
Carl handbrake turned into the narrow road, cleverly parking the car in a hedge in the process.
The bright side
I don't know about you, but when I encounter somewhere new I am always filled with renewed optimism. It's a good reason to cover fresh water with every cast and roam the world with free spirit and a light heart. That I still get this feeling in my saltwater flyfishing is true testimony to the naivety of the human mind.
We trundled and sploshed our way through some smelly mud, waving our rods cheerily to a local farmer dude, before appearing at Viking Lars' "special place". All four of us were smiling, although whether it was from the thought of catching beeg sea trouts or simply that we had once again tempted fate and survived Carl's driving, I can't say. Possibly there was a bit of both in there and I for one certainly felt a little weak at the knees.
The place looked perfect and if I had to describe the sort of water where I would expect large and hungry seatrout then this would be it. White sand extended from the shoreline out about ten yards until it reached dark green weed beds. The water was clear as gin, not that we had any for comparative purposes of course; flyfishermen don't drink gin (they drink red wine, beer and whisky. And in that order).
Lars said: "Ze beeg sea-trout vill be cruising ze weed bed edges and zo dat is where I vill cast"
Intense saltwater flyfishing activity
So we spread ourselves out and started enthusiastically fishing the edge of the weed bed. I tried various things from casting across the weed bed and pulling the shrimp pattern to the edge and then stopping (as if the shrimp was happily swimming along and then suddenly realised the danger it now faced). I tried wading out and casting along the weed bed and retrieving alongside it (stupid shrimp) and finally I tried plopping the shrimp down on to the weed edge (shrimp from heaven).
After about an hour of this intense fishing activity (it may have been longer; it's difficult to tell sometimes) Chris and I had stopped fishing and did flycasting stuff that only instructors understand. Carl was still fishing intensely and Viking Lars was fast asleep in some tall grass.
Lars woke up so that we could show him the quintruple snake roll and so that he could make some urgent phone calls to find out where the fish were being caught. Maps were consulted and accompanied by the squeal of burning rubber we took off for another part of the island where we could fish with our optimism revitalised.
The other side
Something interesting happened here: at one point I decided that I should write my weekly newsletter and let the others get on with the intensive flyfishing that is saltwater fly. Of course I decided to slate the saltwater flyfishing experience, which I duly did, as well as catching up on some lost sleep.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the formidable sight of Viking Lars running down the beach. I watched. I could imagine how it must have been all those years ago when the Vikings were dominating Europe. Substitute a large axe for the fishing rod he was wielding, put an upside down saucepan on his head, ask him to make a blood curdling yelling noise and he would strike terror into the heart of any man. He arrived.
Lars (breathlessly): "Fish being caught mass of activity Viking slaughter and you are missing it"
Me: "How many fish have been caught Lars?"
And there you have it.