ROUND 2 ENTRY 13 Thomas Zullich

2017. August. Late summer. Finally a good day after all the rain and cold … felt like the fist day of proper trout fishing. I was lucky that Per invited me to stay a few days at his hut. The good man even managed to order proper weather … 


But what a f…´d up days these was. I was fishing all day on Sunday. Damn sun gave me a sunburn. The fishes were giving me hell. Rising everywhere. I could not have minute for myself and take pictures. Even when these trout rose right by the boat. Fuckers. What is wrong with these guys? Feeding on struggling insects is sign of a very cynical state of mind. I mean, these yellow mayflies were living as nymphs in the mud for a good year or even more and now finally they have a chance to get some …. and what do these trout do? they wait until the six legged friend struggles out of his exoskeleton to than unfold the wings and become airborne. Beautiful – just beautiful. But, this beauty is just ignored by the fish. They just splash and splatter about eating these miniature masterpieces of nature.


So I think it´s my damn duty to fling fluff at the finned stupids and trick them into connecting themselves to the end of my leader. But they have wised up. Somehow they know exactly how far I can cast and rise juuuuust outside that range. But hey – not this time. I bought my HT4 and a new line. Ha. I even worked on my tracking and managed to do a bit of a 170 of sorts from the boat. What a surprise. They exploded in shock when they felt the tug. The tug is the drug guys I whispered silently and smiled to myself.


Rollback to the late 90´s …. the history of a life changer. It all started with a way too fast car and a police chase I got into. I drove on the famous German Autobahn. There are actually stretches with speed limits. Anyway – overtaking a truck just after that black car which just shot by put me in front of a very quickly approaching silver BMW. I put the foot down to not have the beamer bump into me. However, this argument did not fly with the undercover police guys in the silver machine from Bavaria – no, they were just happy they caught two cars – the black one and me. However, I managed to use the time without a license for a South Africa vacation. A good buddy and me travelled around the SA coast and we ended up in Knysna. The guys we had a few too many with wanted to go fishing the next morning. Hmm, that sounded fun. The first fish I ever caught in my life was a blowfish. Not on the fly, but still. 


Through some trials with coarse gear I learned quickly that some sorts of fishing involve a lot of sitting around and waiting and some more waiting. This type of carpfishing involved also immense amounts of gear. I hate carrying stuff, so I wondered what this picture of a boy with a basket and a fishing pole was about. I learned that this was fly fishing. Good concept me thought. Not much gear and one can catch trout. One has to learn to cast though. So my carp fishing friend and me booked a course – which honestly was just a bit better than shit.


Even though virus had gotten me it followed a fruitless year of trying and buying the idiotic gear the instructor dude advised. I didn’t know and there weren’t any other around to tell me better. But than I ran into two people who changed the game. Bernie and Paul. Bernie (R.I.P) was an older gentleman fishing the river Kyll. He took me under his wing. It was rough but very good school. I wish he could see me fish now … but I guess he does from “above” and is proud. 


Pretty much the same time I went to a fly fishing show in Holland. There was a guy in flip flops and old jeans casting by a pool and performed things some other more official looking blokes asked him to do. His whole easy going attitude was very much to my liking. His casting was mesmerising. Everything looked very relaxed and easy. So after he was finished with his exam I went to him and said. “Hey, what you do looks like something I could do too. Please show me.” I learned that this man was Paul. He was very open and friendly. Once one has seen how Paul casts and experienced his approach to explaining things one knows that this kid has done his homework. We agreed that I should visit him in England.


A few weeks later I hopped on a Ryanair machine to London Stansted where Paul picked me up in his mother’s car. (The car did not break down … I wonder what happened) I spent a day at his place by a little kanal. I still remember pretty much everything from that day – including the pike we did not catch. May sound weird, but I really fell in love with this side of fly fishing. The Sexyloops way. Paul and I became friends. He changed my life. Period.


Based on Paul’s advise I then bought a Sage XP 9ft 5wt. What a change. The fish I kept and keep catching are proof that I got better and better. With help from all the fab folks at Sexyloops my tying improved also very quickly. I soaked up a lot of information from day one. Allowance to fish in Germany is connected to a rather difficult test. One has to learn a lot of stuff. I liked that. When one starts fishing so late in life, like I did, one wants to learn things the right way, or better said I appreciate the learning in fishing. Volunteering for the scientist responsible for the reintroduction of the salmon – Dr. Jörg Schneider – whom I helped with monitoring and sampling rivers and creeks, gave me access to first hand prime information. Jörg was very helpful and he also sent me to several courses and classes. Electrofishing was one. Very interesting. Wading creeks and small rivers and electro fishing / monitoring and counting fish can easily be called a university of fish lies. 


After a few years fishing here and there (US, NZ, GB, Austria, Germany & Scandinavia) I moved to Sweden and then Norway. I wanted to be where the fish are. Sure, there are fish in Germany too, but you’ll be up for quite a surprise should you light a fire by the river there …


All that time I fished the XP. I got a 7wt as well. However, I wanted to try other stuff too so had a bit of detour on gear and even got a bamboo rod. Very nice too. 


So I fished away in search for trout and happiness. … after several hundred days, hours, minutes, trout, grayling and other fish, smiles, laughter and tears on September 21. 2014 exactly at 14:33 something pretty serious happened. I met this girl. (Yeah “sigh” folks – but hey – It was like a lightening strike) Konstanse became my girl, buddy, friend and fishing partner. She was very much into fishing but has not been fly fishing. We´ll fix that I said. So she needed a proper tool … that was clear. So the choice was easy – trusting Paul’s advise I ordered a HT4. Serial number 7. The rod arrived on time for x-mas. Oh boy so happy she was. Me too —- and I became jealous. So when that pain became too much I ordered another HT4 for myself. HT4 serial number 9.


I went through a few phases with my new rod and even strayed aside but kept coming back to her. My number 9. She reminds me of my eX —erm… my XP – just in a better way.


What a life I have. Falling through life like a kid chucking fluff at cynical fish in the most beautiful nature one can imagine. This is what the moose looking at the dude in the boat must have thought too. She looked at me for a good while and than continued feeding by the lakeside. The beavers swimming by weren’t stressed either. However, some fish were. 


Funny though that Paul made a 4 weight instead of a 5, but what he says is so very true. 4 is the new 5.  Maybe I should get a HT6 as well, or would that be too much good for me? 
Better not ask Paul ….
* I have to thank many people – please excuse should I have forgotten someone – I am thankful for every flyfisher I have met and meet. Paul Arden, Bernie Hoffman, Mike Connor. Jürgen Theisen, Andreas Lestander, Stefan Siikavaara, Lars Chr. Bentsen, Ralph Vosseler, Rasmus Hansen, Ole Bjerke, Grunde Løvoll and many many many more ….


** I learned that teaching is the best way to learn myself so I teach fly-tying and share the little I know about fishing … you can find my texts & vids on as well as my own little website – – a google search will reveal some results too i guess as I have contributed here and there 
*** following some images related to flyfishing and friends…

How a Hot Torpedo could enrich my life

ROUND 2 ENTRY No12 – Konstanse Larsen

I grew up by the sea, a Norwegian fjord, close to Tromsø. Fish came from the ocean, and was caught in the deep fjord – or even better, far outside of Senja where we could see nothing but water and sky.

This was really all the fishing I knew until a few years ago, when this stranger – a German, also known as TZ, suddenly came into my life. We met in early Fall, and he showed me these tiny feather things he made, and claimed he could catch fish with… Mhm, right! Funny these Germans…

Christmas came, and You will never guess what Santa brought for me; A brand new Hot Torpedo! “Geeze, what am I going to do with this?” she asked herself, while smiling gratefully…

Well, now that I had a rod I might as well learn how to use it. So in Kolding, during the Danish flyfishing festival 2015, TZ made sure that I could be taught by the best instructors possible (Yes, I am hoping to earn extra points from one of the judges with this statement).

When summer finally arrived in Norway I was ready to give this a try. Can’t say I caught much, but I tagged along with TZ, flung my flies in the water, or nearby bushes, and enjoyed the view at least.

We visited quite a few rivers and lakes before I finally had that moment, when “oh, this is nice” turned into a “Wow, this is cool!” moment. I was in my bellyboat, really tired after paddling around all day, and on my way back to land when suddenly a hungry trout attacked my fly. I could not believe that I finally had encountered a fish that would 1: take the fly, and 2: stay on the hook! After a little fight I could claim victory; my very first, all on my own, trout on a dry fly! Wow!

And from here the story continues with more lakes and rivers, more fish and more friends. I have been so lucky to hook up with this funny German with his tiny flies. With him by my side, and my Hot Torpedo in hand, I have seen so many beautiful places and have gathered so many good memories that I just can’t count them. It doesn’t even seem to be ending any time soon either, we still have places to go and fishes to see…