Flyfishing still challenges me

Flyfishing still challenges me

Mika Lappalainen | Friday, 19 November 2021

I am Satu Palosaari and my fly fishing story started in the summer of 2008 when I met Mika. We had been chatting with messages and calling for about a couple of weeks before the first meeting. He was living in another place 250 kilometers away, but had already been fishing in Kuusamo before. For our first date, he came to Kuusamo for a couple of days to fish and promised to take me along and teach me fly fishing as well.

My knowledge of fly fishing before that was really limited. I am the daughter of a professional fisherman, so I have been fishing with my father since I was a child. Dad fished with nets and gillnets, mainly vendace and whitefish which were then sold for further processing.  And for the very rare leisure time that there were really few farmers / fishing family, we went to the cottage by the lake and then we fished with a snare, it was the so-called recreational fishing.

So everything related to fly fishing was completely new and different for me when I went to learn it with Mika. The first time I set out to try casting, I casted a piece of wool yarn on the lawn. And I realized very soon that my snare fisherman skills were of no help in this sport, quite the contrary. There is no help in this sport either, at least in the beginning, because my patience and ability to concentrate are not very good.

 So during my first fishing trip, I was already once on the bank of a river, in a knot in a fly line, quite convinced that I would never touch a fly rod again. But as I sat on the bank of the river and the worst of anger erupted, I began to watch the river and its movement. And then I saw the fish rising, and for a little while to get to the same place again and again. This was completely new to me because I hadn’t seen the river through the eyes of a fly fisherman before. I still remember how a whole new world of thought opened up in my mind. If I can see where the fish repeatedly goes on the surface, then I know where the fly is worth casting. And I remembered Mika’s words about the grayling being a position fish, that it stays in place in the river, usually behind some rock. So as I figure out the knots in the line, I wonder how great it would be to be so good at casting a fly that it would land in just the right place. And how great it would be to know exactly what fly to use and how it would be worth swimming to catch the fish.

The catch of that first summer was non-existent, but it wasn’t important to me. Fly fishing had challenged me. Every time I flyfish is always new and different, it always learns new and there is always new to learn. When I’m on a fly fishing, the best thing for me is the intensity. When I stand by the water or in the water with a fly rod, I feel present at that moment. And there can be no such thing as the sorrows of the world, yesterday or tomorrow, just that moment.

Our life is generally very hectic and we also have very little free time. Needless to say, the leisure and vacations we have in mind are for fishing, either fly fishing in the summer or ice fishing in the winter. As I browsed through the fishing photos over the years, I remembered a tremendous amount of memories of meeting incredibly great people, amazing places I’ve gotten to know, and infinitely great places we’ve gotten to fish. All those people and places are now part of my memories just because I went on a date with a fly fisherman and got hooked on it.

Have a nice weekend

Satu with love from Finland