demons and lagopus

demons and lagopus

t.z. | Thursday, 30 July 2015

Last summer I concentrated on the Børgefjell and Lierne area in the southern part of northern Norway.

I have been fishing there for a while and finally had a chance to spend several weeks. Living and fishing up there feels like «a hundred years ago».

One can feel real freedom in this part of the world. Eat, sleep fish … and some. I got totally soaked in and even more addicted.

To get from Majavatn area to Lierne & Skålestrømmen one has to follow a 150km long, partly very small one lane road through the mountains. It is an amazing scenery along the way. The weather was superb and I really enjoyed the trip. I arrived at my campground quite late and set up my Lavvo.

The Lavvo is a type of traditional tent used very often in Norway. Even though it is quite big, it is pitched in just a few minutes. After I had done that and fixed my camp, I reached for my rod.

My rod – or should I rather say «my one and only rod» at had at that time. It was a 7,6ft bamboo rod for a 5wt line made by Norwegian rod builder Vidar Steimler. …. Well, I could not find it. it had magically disappeared.

I was crushed. It dawned on me that I must have left it on the other side of the mountains. I had not other choice than to drive back 3 hours, while constantly scanning the side of the road for the rod. Just as I arrived by the boat-ramp where I previously had packed the car, I jumped out l searched every square meter of the area … nothing.

I then walked several kilometres each side of the highway. Nothing.

Frustrated, crushed and devastated I gave up around 4am and found myself a place to crash.  The daylight woke me up by around 7 again. I was tired and had almost given up hope but decided to give it another shot … and bingo. The impossible … the rod was lying right by the highway, just a few inches where countless big trucks had rushed by the last 16 hours since it was lying there. A small wonder. I put the rod on my dashboard so I could see it and drove back over the mountains to my campsite in Lierne.

The trip back was wonderful. Bright sunlight and blue sky with ascenery to match. I was more like flying back than driving. While looking at my treasure on the dashboard I could not believe my luck.

Not all were that lucky that day. The Lagopus (it´s a wild bird of the chicken family - brown in summer and white in winter) crossing the road was not having agood day at all. It should be her last. She made a short and fatal acquaintance with the front grill of my car, a red Renault Kangoo formerly servicing in the Norwegian Postal service.

The french vehicle was definitely stronger than the bird of the grouse subfamily. The chicken just exploded, in a way. I first thought I had driven through a pillow. Feathers snowing down slowly in a way too peaceful a manner. I finally stopped about 30 meters later and got out of the car to investigate the scene. I really want to spare you the bloody and brutal details, but can´t stop mentioning that I ended up with loads of tying material and a super nice dinner.

My car had performed a butchers job the french makers would have surely been proud of of. The bird was sort of unharmed, but cut straight off it´s feet and the chest skin blown off. Really handy. The breats fillets just needed to be taken out and the feather saved in a bag.

But that was not all. The small, one lane road had quite a "deja vue" moment to it. I didn't quite realize it, but this road was the one I chose a as shortcut when immigrating into Norway in 2009. When this dawned on me (during the first trip of the three) I had quite a few thoughts. All my demons tunred up. Angry ex-GF's, bad things which happened in the last years ... tons of crap started to pile up inside my little red car and around me. I almost stopped breathing.

That road crosses a mountain and shortcuts through a small, very dark tunnel. That part feels almost like a cave. As that would not have been enough - it also features doors on each end. You can imagine that, as tired I was, I found all that quite bizarre. After a while I understood the meaning of this tunnel. It was there for me to leave my demons behind.

So I left my demons there. Whenever they show up in my head, send the devils, demons and witches into that tunnel and lock the door. It works.

The summer continued for 6 more weeks with a lot of things happening and even more fish caught. I have included a few pictures which speak for themselves.

Do not hesitate to get in touch should you need tips or want to join me on one of my adventures. I promise to not put things on the roof of my car again. And no worries, apart from a very nedry fishing addiction I am clinically sain. 


Some impressions from last summer

reel seat and Ephemera Vulgata


hattenogstanga35fishing happens at night in summer (pic taken around midnight)

hattenogstanga33fishing happens at night in summer (pic taken around midnight)
fishing happens at night in summer (pic taken around midnight)

night colors

picture by Al Pyke

Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies.

Thomas is the author of "Fly Tying - Modern Classics for Trout and Grayling which is availbale on iTunes -

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