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The guy with the knife

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Ronan's report


Tomorrow is the big day of the week!

First of all, let me tell you a little bit about winter in Northern Sweden. In October things start getting bad, the line freezes in you guides and the hatches are long gone. In November snow starts falling and temperature falls below -10 Celsius. The cold keeps flowing in and sort of settles around -20. The occasional day it hits -30 and the girls stop wearing skirts.

December and January, those are the suicide months and the once that survive live to see the sun again in mid April. This is the climate where I live now and I moved a half a day’s car drive south down the gold coast three years ago. I miss the fishing up north; it really was something else… but well, now let’s get to the point.

We have been arranging indoor casting practise here for close to three years now. Last time we met I stopped and had a good look around. I was chocked about the quality of the casters! I turned my head to the right and I saw two guys stretch a full standard line each with the same ease you’d pick your nose. One of the guys is sharing hints on casting to the others while carrying 20 meters of line. Oh, they are not talking about casting, they seem to be talking about how to skim the cream of your own business.

To the left of me I see a guy hovering a piece of fluff over a taped square on the hall floor. Finally he lays the fluff down bang in the centre of the square; the target is 14 meters away from him and 40 cm in diameter. I shout out to him, shook my head and he just smiles back at me.

I look further down the hall and I see a close friend roll casting tight loops of the slippery hall floor. He is called “The guy with the knife”, and he is a Finn to be reckoned with.

I am a very lucky guy to have the privilege to be practising with some of the best casters in this country. I swear it took me more than 15 years of mad practise to cast as well as the guys that have been attending our sessions for less than 6 months.

When did this happen? Or is it just me that never stopped and had a look around before? Fucking hell, they are good! But don’t tell them, they would only relax and think they are good enough. And I need them to improve for me to get better. So don’t say a word guys.

This whole thing with indoor practice was initiated by the late chairman of the fishing club here, Ivan Olovsson. I got in touch with him as I was moving to Piteå and he set the whole thing up for me initially. He gave the most of his retired life to the club and Ivan is one of the guys that I owe lots but never can repay.

Would you imagine there are lots of fly fishermen living nearby that never attended our sessions? A friend of mine where thinking it might be a threshold thing, so we started to give lessons to newcomers. Every one that attended twice got a full introduction and the next session they got kind of a customised lesson. Well, let me tell you, one of the two guys that actually showed up more than twice are now a major menace on our shootouts.

Would you believe that we actually have trouble paying for the hall each year? We get charged around 300 euros per year for 4 hours weekly and we divide that equally among the participants. Last year I paid 30 euros for 20 sessions in the hall. I was able to keep practising all winter long and we had so much fun together. The last time "The guy with the knife" brought his shirt and I am going to camo it for him.

So, tomorrow is the big day together with the guys. The big day of the week. Next year this will not be an open event, we will have to finance it privately.

Stefan


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