Text & Photo: Martin Karlsson
Ten years ago I was 17 years old, and on my way to enlightment. The fly cast itself was on the top three list of the greatest aspects of flyfishing (and still is). Because of the search for a better cast I went to a demo and casting clinique with Guidelines own Leif Stavmo and I also met mystery man and the greatest salmon fly inventor Håkan Norling. This day relly came to mean alot for me and my fellow fishing friend Tomas and it later turned out it was not only casting-wise. We also met oldschool casting guru Gunnar Rask Nielsen which was cool. Around this time Guideline just grown past it’s infancy and was getting into the big scene. That sunny day in the northern part of Sweden came to be one I remember very well. None of us owned a single Guideline product, we was not even that familiar with the brand. To be honest we did not know to much of the three guys I just mentioned either. We got tremendous attention from the two of them, almost worried that I had to buy a rod. I remember I said to the local dealer that i thought that Håkan was a bit “different” like I couldn’t relly get an idea of him.The local shop owner explained “he is from Stockholm” the capital of Sweden as that would be the reason. I am not too sure if that was the most accurate answer. Today I know different, to quote English sales rep Lawrie Hickman “that’s just Håkan” when he explained he had his shirt outside of his pants instead of tucked inside and a casual approach not common to see.
“after a day of flyfishing for Queenfish and Cobia, we meet theese guys on our way back, ofcourse we stopped to “talk” about todays fishing. We did not speak malay, but they knew that we wanted to see the big fish. We had no fish to show, but we connected”
Lawrie claimed that is not exactly the “normal” outfit of a rep visiting U.K. Håkan “temple dog” Norling stayed true to his real self and kept being just as if he would have hanged out with friends. In theese days of hard competition that is very rare thing to see, That’s why he is probably one of the most trusted sales rep out there. He will tell what he thinks, not always what you wanted to hear, but the reward is truth. This day i learned that even if you are punk with dyed hair (Still got it) a casting champion like Leif a flytying inovator or even a hoodlum, flyfishing makes people connect. A decade has just passed, I have made thoose connection manny times since. Now from my own casting cliniques. I connected with a American guy who chased me down a dirt road when he saw me walking with two flyrods in Honduras. I was invited to him for rum and dinner, turned out he was a former guide. Flyfishing also makes you connect with people who has nothing to do with it. The curious kids on a beach somewhere on an island in central america, to the drunk German backpacker stumbeling a beach in Thailand. Get a flyrod or a spinning rod. Even a hook,line and sinker will reward you with new friends! I Learned that ten years ago, now I give you a shortcut to that knowledge without sending you an invoice. You will find a rod of somekind in your garage, your local dealer or from your grandpa. Every time i travel and I see a man or a woman fishing the docks or cleaning a fish, I can’t stop myself from approaching them, The language barrier does not stop us from connecting. Sign Languge works fine. I got taste samples, trip invitations etc…
I walked up to them just as curious as the kids on the secret Island i mentioned.
Wow, a blog post turned into a chapter, Got to go.