After fabulous fishing in the northernmost parts of Scandinavia our minds were relaxed and our senses focused. The days by calm streams and lakes in the North were filled by fishing for rising fish and sight fishing. Real slow fishing I would say; no rushing around, no fast movements that could spook the shy Northern fish. Waders were hardly used: visiting the fishes territory would almost be a crime towards nature. The expensive means of pleasure: cigarettes, snuff and liqueurs were generously sacrificed to nature in hope of getting a better catch in return. We were truly one with nature, and in this state of mind we traveled through Norway, Sweden and Finland all the way to the deep forests and lakes of Central Finland.
Our wise zen master of fishing, Håvard, sensed that something was different already when we parked our car by the modern house used to accomodate fishermen. “What – are we living here with two saunas, refridgerator, internet and a digital television? What about the suffering, what about living hand in hand with nature?”
Håvard and Fredrik, our skilled Norhern-syle indians, were about to be introduced to “Koski-style”, the Finnish way of fly fishing (koski=rapids).
The Koski-style fishing in the rapids in Central Finland suits us Finns quite well. If the mirror-like streams and lakes of the north are like a soothing jazz ballad, these Finnish rapids are more of a hard rock experience (Finns are true rock-lovers). The people of Finland need their own privacy, talking too much is considered a weakness and the fewer words you use the better. Fishing these “koskis” is perfect for the Finnish fishermen: the rough river kills all human voices and communicarion becomes impossible. Wading is needed on the broad rivers, and being totally surrounded by water gives a special sense of freedom. After fishing it’s time for a really cold beer (that lubricates the communication skills) and of course a very hot sauna.
It took some time to get Håvard and Fredrik away from the easy-flowing parts of the rivers, that hold mostly pike and perch (which actually made Fredrik go crazy). They could not believe that behind the rocks and in the white waters there are trophy-size trout hiding. Slowly the cast lengths were shortened from +30 meters to only one or two. Dry flies were replaced by deep going nymphs and enormous streamers. After some trial and error Håvard and Fredrik were wading waist-deep in the rapids trying to catch the big Finnish trout. Cigarettes were smoked, and this time mother earth was left without her daily whisky.
Sure, we did catch some trout. Really nice ones indeed, and we were really hooked on the pleasures of the Koski-Style. But never should the power of the nature be underestimated! Be humble, because otherwise the consequenses can be serious:
The banks of Huopanankoski are still echoing Fredrik’s cry since he lost the biggest trout of his life. This “train” was unstoppable and left Fredrik with a trauma that keeps waking him up at nights, sweatty and squeezing the pillow as a fly rod. Poor Freddy.
Some days later it was Håvard’s turn. The hedonistic lifestyle had given him false self confidence and his otherwise so humble approach was blown away. The trout that took Håvard’s fly was a real heavy-weight Finnish fighter (let’s call him Pekka). The battle between Håvard and Pekka did not leave much for speculation. Pekka did not give our Norwegian friend much of a chance, and after scaring him to death and making a fool out of him, Pekka disappeared back in the deep waters of the Finnish koskis. And then it was time to move on, with a deep scar in the soul…