The summer is coming to end here in Norway and the fall season started with a bang. We went for a weekends fishing trip to a lake in Østfold. The lake was very nice and so was the weather. The conditions were fantastic and we managed to trick a few fish to our flies. Not as many as we´d liked, but it was good enough for a healthy breakfast.
Konstanse went for mushrooms and quickly filled her basket.
Sunday morning was picture perfect so we used this opportunity to take a few pics of the new love – the Lawson Hammock. We heard from many that they are afraid to fall out of a hammock or even have experienced this with standard hammocks, we (as in me and myself) decided that Konstanse should try to turn the hammock upside down.
See for yourself what happened. Here´s a short video clip on how to roll back and even sleep on your side.
You find the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock and the LightSaver by PowerFilmSolar in our shop.
69 — I travelled around in the 69 zone, not quite 71, but still quite far north.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – The 69th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 69 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane, in the Arctic. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America, and passes through some of the southern seas of the Arctic Ocean.
The nature here is amazing. It is so beautiful that I forgot to fish sometimes. Just being there and feeling the air, seeing ocean and the mountains. It really moves me. Pictures do not do it justice but give a little idea. I have attached a few pixelated impressions. I hope the beauty come across.
I wrote already a bit about the practical part of the travel preparation – the packing of a motorcycle in particular. I did not go into the details of some of the gadgets I have with me. One gadget is a very interesting one though, and it sparked a lot of interest. A very compact solar panel with a battery included.
It´s called lightsaver and made by US based PowerFilm solar. They offer 2 versions. The standard LightSaver has 1 USB output and a multi-color LED that indicates percent of battery charge. Loaded with 18Ah of power, the LightSaver Max comes in at a mere 1,5 lb in weight. The Max takes the basic functionality of the LightSaver, but increases the battery capacity and adds a high power output for higher draw electronics, such as laptops.
I have used the standard version now for several weeks and it is working perfect. Very robust and super easy to use. The technology is simply fascinating. Place the “thing” under the sun and you have electricity. Simple as that. I wished there were many many more products like that.
Back to 69 – during the travel I also “met” the Greenpeace ship “Arctic Sunrise” which is on a mission to stop the oil drilling in the arctic. Brave and very dedicated people at Greenpeace.
Drilling for more oil – What a crazy, backward, ancient and outdated idea. The planet is warming up, and there is no doubt that burning fossil fuels plays a big role in that.
The other day I sat by the beach, and both me and the lightsaver were collecting energy. I imagined the oil platform which is actually not too far away. While looking at the beautiful nature I felt a tug around my heart. It scares me to think about how greed destroys it all.
So the lightsaver is not only a gadget – It´s a statement. It reminds everybody how easy it actually could be. I want to a world plastered with this type of technology. No roof or other suitable surface should be without. The small gadget shows how easy it could be if we just insist on this type of technology instead of the ancient way.
3:30 am … my left shoulder hurts caused by that big rock which crawled under the tent all by itself during the night. When I chose my campspot I did not notice it. I scanned the area I was to put the tent visually and with my feet. Heck, I even crawled around and smelled the earth. Nothing but as smooth and soft underground for my tent.
The next day was miserable because I was tired, sore and grumpy. Fishing sucked of course with such a start.
Cool soft spot. Brilliant sleep. However – it rained. Heavy. Good I had this super modern “let-no-water-in” tent because the soft spot I found was in a bit of ditch, which now looks like a swimming pool with a small tent in he middle ..
Have you been there? I am sure you have and like me, sort of gave up tenting … tent camping is now a last resort for me.
But than came the change — hammocking. Lawson style …
Through Paul Arden I was introduced to Wes at Lawson Hammock. He was so kind get me one of their Blue Ridge Camping Hammocks and I’ve been using it this summer. None of the above has happened and I am convinced that this tent hung between trees is a small revolution. It works much better than a traditional tent. At least for those who only need shelter for small tours and sleeping.
Lawson’s Blue Ridge Camping Hammock also keeps the bugs away and lifts me up above all the rocks, roots and other nasty things disturbing my sleep.
I am convinced – actually so much that I decided to import and sell it. Just so you know ….
So what do you need …
a Lawson Hammock (rainfly and netting is included)
2pcs 6mm thick rope, 8m each – you don´t need any shakles and fancy hammock hanging “stuff” – you can of course, but better to save that money
tent plugs/stakes & tent ropes in case you want to use the Lawson like a conventional tent. This gear can also be used to stop the hammock from swinging. Useful in very windy conditions.
Fastening the hammock is very simple. As you have two rope ends you can simply tie the hammock with an overhand knot. Make sure the knot sits uniform on side of the knot of the hammock´s attachment point. No shackles and other “stuff” needed. This makes the hammock´s hang very adjustable.
Than it´s time to fix the bugnet which is included with the hammock. It´s kept upright by tentpoles.
Attaching the rain cover
There are several attachment point on the rain cover. A hook at each end, two clips at each end and velcro points which fit to their mates on the bottom of the hammock and two bungee cord loops each end.
Inside the Lawson Blue Ridge
The hung tent does not feel closed-in or tippy at all. It´s roomy and ariflow is very good. There are pockets for small stuff as well as a point each end to attach a lamp or similar. Along the “bottom” there are a number of velcro attachment spots for a insulation mattress cover.
it´s a tent too
using the Lawson in a traditional tent arrangement is very simple. Just fix the attachment point to the ground with tentplugs.
Germany is known for lederhosen, beer, the metric system, football (only Americans call it soccer which is the wrong term), fast roads and a car industry second to none.
But it’s not all beer & technology in Europe’s biggest economy. Germans are and always have been philosophers too. Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kant, Nitzsche and Marx – just to name a few.
funny enough I met these guys shortly after I had left Ralf´s factory.
They were heading to a bear fest and there were hundreds of them.
Here you go … Lederhosen are in fashion
Looking closer at where the hi-tech is coming one finds out that a big part of hi-tech companies are based in the south. These regions are rural areas with fields, forest and small villages. The south Germans are known to be problem solvers. Add the tradition of strong thinkers and a good portion of work ethics you have the soil on which Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche grow.
On the way back from my recent motorcycle and fishing trip through the the southern alps I had a chance to drop by Ralph Vosseler and have a close look at his Reel production.
After a picturesque ride through the Black Forrest I arrived in the little village Talheim. Even though a Saturday I found the man himself at his little factory.
Ralph Vosseler is no exception to above described breed of craftsmen one finds in south Germany. I’d even go as far to call him a classic example of this culture. The father of 4 is a down to earth devoted fisherman and a proud craftsman. He lives an breathes precision in a very positive and charming way. Charming, because he strongly feels that good products should be priced fair and the cost to the end user not inflated by huge marketing and distribution channel cost.
Ralph said that the market for fly fishing products is changing rapidly. A large portion of purchases are made online. In top of this the customer wants unique and high quality products. He recons that customised reel and his ability to deliver fast give him an edge. Direct sales to end users and selected dealers make high end technology affordable, Vosseler ads. A high end boutique product is a good description.
Vosseler Pro-Flyfishing offers a spectrum of different reels – from purist style clicker types to find full blown saltwater models. Besides meticulous precision and smooth drag (sans the click reels) the reels come I many different colours. The housings are all made from high grade aitcraft grade aluminium and cut from massive blocks on high precision CNC machines. The finishes are all anodised.
I was a little nervous of meeting a total technocrat and therefore more than astonished (and quite relieved) when I saw 50 year young Vosseler opening the door himself. He offered me a coffee right away. It actually felt a bit like coming home. We than talked for at least 3hours. About motorcycles, fishing and of course his business. However, the business talk was only a small part. Ralph really lidd up when talking fishing. I’m sure I’ll be back some day fishing with him.
P.S. I could not resist and bought a few goodies too … 😉 I can´t wait to put them in action.
more about the reels on http://www.vosseler.com
The summer fishing season is in full swing up here in the “arctics”. My fly box is full and the trips planned and prepared ……. not – never enough preparation really, but what the heck.I hope you had fun the last fall, winter and spring. I hope you had a chance to fill your flyboxes. Driving abouts. It´s a long haul always here in the north. The map one normally sees is pretty distorted and the distances seem much shorter … far from it. I am still in Norway, but about 2100km away from Oslo, where I live. Crazy. If I had driven 2100km south from Oslo I´d ended up in Africa.
So I don´t know what Paul is raving about. These distances are almost normal for Scandinavia. 🙂 My GPS looks somthing like this.
Why do I love trout-fishing? I think it is because of where these creatures live. Wild trout tend to live in very beautiful places. I actually emigrated from Germany to Norway … following the trout in a way. It´s stunningly beautiful here where I fish. I let the pictures speak for themselves. The shots are from this morning when we came back from fishing.
I am on my way further north. I am torn between joining Paul at the Varzina river and driving up to Finnmark. I think the latter will be the case. I have some time on my hand and a car which works. I think I should use that chance.
last “night” around 3 in the morning … Northern Norway – straight from the iphone, no editing
Norwegen und Schweden werden immer beliebter als Reiseziel für Fliegenfischer aus dem südlicher gelegen Europa. Die Anreise ist in kurzer Zeit machbar und einmal in Schweden angekommen reist es ich deutliche entspannter als auf den überfüllten Strassen der Heimatländer wie z. B. Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien und Spanien.Das Angeln, insbesondere das Fliegenfischen ist ähnlich entspannt. Fast überall gibt es befischbare Gewässer. Wer zudem gut zu Fuss ist une eine kleine Wanderung nicht scheut hat die Chance auf fast «unberührte» Natur zu stossen. Wer zudem das Fischen mit der «Trockenen» liebt kommt hier voll auf seine Kosten. 95% meiner Fischerei in Norwegen und Schweden ist auf Trockenfliegen und Schwimmschnur basiert.
Eine 8 bis 9ft rute in Klasse 4 bis 6 ist wohl die gängigste Wahl. Zielfisch in Norwegen sind vorwiegend Forelle (ørret) und Saibling (røye). Wobei es auch wirklich genügend Möglichkeit gibt auf grosse Äschen (harr) und auch Renken (sik) zu fischen. Eine Renke auf Trockenfliege klingt sicherlich exotisch für einen Angler aus der Alpenregion, ist «hier oben bei uns» aber gar nicht ungewöhnlich.
Neben Flüssen und Bächen sollte man die Seen, insbesondere die kleineren – nicht vernachlässigen. Es gibt fast an allen guten Gewässern Boote zu leihen. Auch hier ist die Fischerei mit der Trockenfliege ein gute Wahl.
Hier meine Fliegenboxen. Wie man sieht ist Rehhaar und natürliche und gedeckte Farben stark vertreten. Als Dubbing verwende ich entweder Seehundfell (lässt sich wunderbar färben) oder Hase.
Flyfishing for Trout & Grayling in Norway – Norway as well as Sweden are increasingly popular destinations for Flyfishers coming from the more southern parts of Europe. Travelling is not to complicated and far, and once arrived in Sweden driving is much more relaxed than on the crowded roads of for example Germany, France, Italy or Spain.
Fishing, specially fishing with the fly is likewise relaxed. One finds good Walters pretty much everywhere. The ones not shy of walking a bit into the mountains will find solitude and seeemingly untouched nature. The dry fly lovers are very lucky here too. 95% of my fishing in Norway and Sweden is done with a dry fly and floating lines.
A 8 to 9ft rod for a 4 to 6wt line is the most Como choice. Target fish in Norwegian freshwater are trout( ørret) and arctic char (røye). Not to forget the chance to fish for big grayling (harr) and whitefish (sik). To catch whitefish in dry-fly sound pretty exotic for an angler used to fish in mainland Europe and the Alps, but is absolutely common in «up here».
Besides small creeks and larger rivers one should not forget the lakes. Pretty much all better ones hava boat to rent. And even here the fishing with dryly is very rewarding.
Here´s my fly-boxes. As you can see, I am pretty fond of deer hair and natural, not very bright colors. As dubbing I mostly choose seals fur (can be died in a ll sorts of colors) or hare´s fur.
So you caught a fish? What is next? What do you want to do with it? OK, I know – I am opening a can of worms here … but I wanted to share a few points of view on various matters. Water, fish, food .. you know all those things which matter to all of us.Fly Tying is making lures to hunt fish. I think every FlyFisher should tie his own. That is why I keep showing flies which are simple and effective. With a little practice 99% of you folks can tie them. (Paul is a 1%ter)
Making the right flies and the right decision when choosing a fly of fishing requires a deeper understanding of the nature around you and your fishing spots. In the case of a «trout hunter» this is predominantly insects. Water invertebrates are food for fish … and … here comes my main point – also indicators for water quality. Biologists search the water for them and categorize the water quality based on these «biological indicators»
So a conscious flyfisher should therefore than be able to tell something about the water quality. Water is one of the most valuable resources on our planet. Water is life.
Wild trout were a food resource. They still are, but too much lesser degree. Industry food has taken over. I´d say 95% we eat nowadays is farmed. Farms are not whet they used to be. Meat production has become an industry undertaking of enormous size. Farmed animals – cows, pigs, chicken and salmon for example are held in large numbers in very tight spaces. Thi unnatural habitat leads to deseases and must be heavily medicated. On top the breeds are specificly gained towards meat production. A “meat” chicken” simply does not survive more thna a few month. As an adult it dies of genetically caused obisety..
I can´t eat this stuff. My body simply does not want to have it – my tastebuds give me very definite warnings. My body forced me to become pretty much a vegan.
It all relates to taste. It is safe to conclude that the tastebuds in your mouth are there to protect you from poisonous items and rotten / bad food. This sense is so fine-tuned, it´s unbelievable. However, the industry food has fucked up this otherwise so fine-tuned sensors. So I think it s important to gain back the “sensors”. One way is to catch and eat a wild fish once in a while.
For my fishing this means that I have to choose the fishing destinations carefully. Ideally a waterway not heavily fished with good stock of wild fish, so taking out a small amount does not hurt the system. No worries, I do not kill the big ones. They go back for two reasons. Reproduction and keeping the gene pool heathy is one, having them as predators feeding on fry and other small fish is the other.
I can understand the desire to catch as many fish as possible, even though they are all returned, but that is not for me. Being by the water and actively observing what is going on is equally enjoyable for me as the very casting a fly and catching a fish.
«One should be able to fish without a rod.» I keep telling myself and my friends fishing with me. It opens the eyes – and is more relaxing than trying to get as many fish as possible. But that´s me. I am, very officially, an old, grumpy fart.
So back to C&R … releasing a fish for me is a part of «taking care» of the water. Selecting what is taken and what is set back to reproduce and being a predator.
So when releasing a fish, I try to make sure it is done as quick as possible. I strive towards handling the fish longer than necessary (a few seconds just to take the barbless hook out) and keep him on the water.
Personally, I have the feeling that there is enough pictures of fish held up in the air under a cap on the internet. Does one need to join this game? Doesn´t one look the same as everybody else? I think this is not something special any more. Cherish the moment for yourself or tie a waterproof video camera to you knee. (chill – I had mentioned that I`m an grumpy old fart)
Releasing 1,2 and 3 … thanks to Hein van Aar, Kvennan Flyfishing for the pictures.
Kvennan is a good sportsfishing destination for those who are into C&R. The high fishing pressure af 5000 fishing licenses per season prevents using these waters as a food ressource. I visited Hein and Bernd Ziesche there two weeks ago. I had bit of fishing. No fish taken there.
So next weekend I fish again in one of the less, if at all frequented spots which are distributed all over Scandinavia.