How I became a flyfisherman

Why did I start to fish at all? My parent’s never fished with rods, my dad just used to fish with nets every now and then at our summer cottage.

It was my uncle who introduced me to fishing. He bought me my first spinning rod and told me what lures to use. I got hooked, and me and my brother Tapani spent countless summer days and nights in the rowing boat, casting for pike and perch and trolling for trout in the lake Päijänne in Central Finland.

I got so obsessed about fishing that I spent all my weekly money on lures, rods and accessories. At the same time a friend of mine started talking to me about fly fishing. I realized I might get hooked on that too, and that was a big risk to take. Another fortune to spend. So I decided to keep fishing with my UL-rod. Rubber jigs were new at that time, and the perch were crazy about them. I was as happy as I could be.

Some time passed by, and my fly fishing friend showed me how to tie flies. I started tying flies on jig hooks. Some sort of woolly buggers, only with a heavy lead head, perfect to cast with a UL-spinning rod. And they were even more effective than the rubber jigs. So I became a fly tier. Soon the jig hooks were replaced by fly hooks, and I started tying “real” flies. My uncle had a fly rod that I borrowed. I tried to learn to cast, I read books about fly casting, failed, tried again, failed, never caught a fish, but I kept going. After a while I started bringing the fly rod with me to the fishing trips. We went to fish for trout, and I was used to fishing with my UL rod and the heavy woolly buggers. Very effective in the fast rapids, but there was something special and exciting with the fly rod! I took turns: UL rod – fly rod – UL rod – fly rod. And then I caught my first “real” fish with the fly rod. It was possible! Somehow the casting, tying flies, feeling the fish on the long fly rod, learning about insects and all that – it just turned my world upside down. There was no coming back.

So here I am, having spent another fortune on my fly fishing and fly tying gear. My old spinning rods and lures are still there in the cottage, the hooks are getting rusty and the lines are old and rotten. I guess I should freshen them up, at least for the guests’ sake who want to take a cast or two.

Now a friend of mine is trying to get me to fish salmn with him. No way. I’ve already promised myself not to become a salmon fisherman. Because I’ve heard that can be addictive…

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