Inspired by our friends at the excellent Norwegian fishing blog Utras.net, I decided to sum up the Jazz & Fly Fishing year 2010, as seen by yours truly. As it turns out, we did a lot more stuff than I remembered in 2010, but here´s some of it at least:
For me, the first big J&FF thing that happened in 2010 was that I got my self a brand new videocamera.
Time is strange. Some things that happened long ago seem like they took place yesterday. And for some reason, it feels like a long time has passed since I made my first ever J&FF video – and it´s been like 9 months! Maybe the reason is that we´ve worked so much with videos since then? Or maybe it is because this video is so weird? Watching this makes me feel like I´m looking at an ancient forefather.
Anyway, here it is:
See? Strange stuff, to say the least.
In late March, we recorded our debut album at Studio Epidemin in Gothenburg. The album, Slow Walking Water, is due for release in mid February, and we´re finishing the mastering as we speak. I had the camera rolling most of the time, and made two films from our session. They´re both pretty bad, especially the first one, but anyway, here is the second one (Fredriks´s improvised song in the end of the video is worth checking out):
The next thing that happened was that I tried to go fishing up north way too early and filmed the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Joona had gotten himself a new camera: the infamous GoPro HD. He used it to make a couple of really nice short films about seatrout fishing in the Gothenburg area.
I think this one is the better of the two (Click here to see the other one):
Spring was really moving along, and after Fredrik had shown us how to sing a really low note, it was time for some Urban Fly Fishing in Oslo:
This film drew lots of attention in Norway, and a few days after it was published on this blog, Norwegian fly fishing legends Lars Nilssen and Lars Lenth contacted me. They were starting up a new blog of their own called larsoglars.no, and wanted to do a film from Frognerparken together to kick off their blog TV-series. They had a really funny script, and the trout in Frognerparken delivered the goods again. The video became a big hit and was published in the general media and everything. Great success. Infact we had so much fun that we decided to keep working together, and in May and June we made a series of videos about urban fly fishing in Oslo (You´ll find all of them here).
Some pics from the larsoglars sessions:
In late May, I headed up north to catch the first midge hatches in the Upper Itchen on film, and got the chance to hook up with Erlend from utras.net at the same time. While up north, I also did a highly controversial documentary where we exposed one of Norway´s darkest secrets to the general public: the top secret Weapons Testing Zones (Big thanks to Roger Bråthen for shooting, directing and editing that masterpiece).
Ransarån in Northern Sweden has become one of my favourite places to go fishing in the early season. Since my first trip eight years ago, I´ve come back every spring. There is something special about the valley Kultsjödalen: the gin-clear water and the sight fishing for the big arctic char and brown trout in the midnight sun is like a drug, and I need a new fix every year. This year, Tapani and I joined forces with my friend Terje Storsten, another Ransarån-junky (and doublebass player), and as usual, we spent some cold and wonderful days staring into the water until our eyes rolled out of their sockets. Tapani and I both brought videocameras. I made a crappy film with a beautiful arctic char in it, and Tapani made a great film with no arctic char in it:
After Ransarån, Tapani and I went straight to Finland where we met with Joona and Fredrik for the first real J&FF tour of the season. And what a tour it was! We played concerts in Jyväskylä and Helsinki, and finally managed to shed some light on the mysterious Finnish word “lainen”. We also had a brief encounter with a charming Finnish girl called Karja, before we set off for Eco Rapids in the Kainuu region of Northern Finland:
(Click here to see episode 2)
We were unusually productive on this tour, and there are still several previously unseen videos from this tour coming up on the blog in 2011. Some seriously strange stuff will follow!
In early July, we traveled up north for a glorious, long fishing trip. Several remarkable things happened: Our producer, Petzi, finally got his revenge, and Tapani chose to hook himself in the nose with a large streamer fly. For some unknown reason, Fredrik was cursed on this trip. But most importantly, we had one whole day of pure trout fishing magic:
For the second part of this trip, we had to change our plans a little bit. Due to some unforeseen events (and sloppy planning), we found ourselves having too little time to visit the remote wilderness river we were planning to hike to. Instead we went for some serious sight fishing in a beautiful and very secret lake:
(The second part of our sight fishing adventures hasn´t been published yet. Stay tuned!)
Except for a few gigs, I spent the rest of the summer fishing up north, and did several expeditions into undiscovered country, checking out some exciting new spots. On one of these trips, I stumbled over a real gem: a series of beautiful, small lakes connected by a tiny creek, all of them filled with my favourite species, the arctic char – and big ones, too! Meanwhile, Tapani spent his time watching Finnish jazz musicians oil wrestling, and Joona was doing some serious research on how to make fish look bigger in pictures.
I also did an expedition to the mysterious “X”, an area so secret that not even the other guys in J&FF know where it is. The “X” is in fact so secret, it´s not even on the map. As usual, “X” did not disappoint, and my friends (their identities are of course also secret) and I caught several spectacular fish.
Come autumn, I went back to Oslo´s urban desert again. A few interesting things happened: we discovered the truth about Tapani´s lost monster trout from the Magical day, Joona finally found out why he had such a funny taste in his mouth that July morning, and eventually we started plotting and planning for 2011.
One October afternoon I got a call from Lars Nilssen, who had witnessed some pretty spectacular stuff in Frognerparken (where else?). The next day, I brought my camera and shot this little video of big, wild trout spawning in the heart of Oslo:
A couple of days later, Nilssen brought in expert underwater photographer Arnt Mollan to film the spawning, and we discovered a strange-looking trout spawning with the native brown trout. It turned out to be a rainbow trout, which caused a huge buzz among fish scientists. Rainbow trout and brown trout are related, but still different species, and no one had seen a rainbow trout spawn with a brown trout in Norway before. You see, rainbow trout are native to western North America, and spawn in spring, while brown trout are native to Europe and spawn in autumn. Again, the media was all over the story, and Nilssen made a series a of funny videos, bringing in trout scientist and hybrid expert Morten Kraabøl from NINA to analyze this unique phenomenon. You´ll can find the whole story and all the videos on Larsoglars.no.
On our long fishing trip in July, there were of course some periods when the fishing wasn´t really happening. Instead of just drinking whisky, we decided to try to develop a brand new way of fly casting. Inspired by the movie “A River Runs Through It”, directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt, we called it the New Shadow Cast™, and when Tapani published his Shadow Cast video in November, it was an immediate hit in fly fishing circles:
We were a bit puzzled by the huge success of the Shadow Cast video, but I guess it was about time that someone did some humoristic stuff about flycasting. Fly casting is a really serious buisness, but if you ask me, very few things are too serious to joke about, and fly casting is definitely not one of them. As with all successful parodies, some people didn´t get it, though.
Among the many reactions to Tap´s Shadow Cast video, a comment on the blog by someone called “JB” was especially interesting. The comment said something like “the beauty of it brings tears to my eyes”, and of course we all agreed. But it was Joona who pointed that the mystical JB might be none other that Jason Borger himself, the inventor of the original Shadow Cast, and Brad Pitt´s stunt double in “A River Runs Through It”. Tapani “Bergman” Toivanen waisted no time, contacted Jason (who of course turned out to be a really cool guy) and Jason did a very thorough analyzis of the new, improved J&FF Shadow Cast as a guestwriter on our blog (We´ll soon be lauching a competition on this blog where Jason will play an important role – another good reason to stay tuned).
The last thing worth mentioning that happened in 2010 was our participation in the European part of the RISE Fly Fishing Film Festival. I went to the Oslo show, and it was a hell of a lot of fun to team up with old and new fishing friends for lots of beer, laughs, and great fly fishing scenes on the big screen. Finally meeting Nick, the mastermind behind the festival and the director of several flyfishing films like The Source: Iceland and The Source: New Zealand, was especially nice. A really cool guy and a truly kindered spirit. Here´s our contribution to the festival:
Well, there you have it – J&FF´s 2010 seen through these blurry eyes. Catch ya later!