A fisherman is never completely "normal". A flyfisher is not at all "normal" and for being a flyfisher-for-seatrout you have to be completely mad.
A normal man is not going out in the darkest af nights in rain, wind or cold. He has to be in his bed. That is normal.
But not so a flyfisher-for-seatrout. When the sun is disappearing it's coming: a certain feeling of restlessness and he has to move.
To the river of course where a few other black shadows, also full of hope, are disappearing in the dark. Will there be fish ?
There is always fish, they say, even big fish and very big fish, but... Af ter same struggling with mud and vegetation: the river, meandering through the friendly valley (with sometimes: unfriendly bulls...).
Pas på tyren...
The ritual may start now: lenghtening the line until it just not touches the other side; the fly is swimming over; gently stripping in the line and ready for the next cast.
And the next cast, and the next cast. An endless series of casts. Sometimes you will hear an enormous splash: a fish coming out of the water. When it's close to you you will see it and your hart will stop beating for a minute.
Mostly they have their middle fin in the air. We, humans, do that sometimes and in same circumstances with our middle finger...
Fish or no fish: it's a matter of life or dead for the fish but not necessarely for you. It's of course important to catch a fish but the most important is that you enjoy nature and that you have pleasure with what you are doing.
When your back feels like broken and your legs and arms are ruined it's time to return to the civilisation: your holiday home.
Mine is a very nice holiday home and it's bathing in lovely "fishy" atmosphere. There are very nice fishing things all over the place and.. mostly - not to say: always - , you can see very big fish in the freezer. Most of that fish is coming from the rod of the owner. The owner is a very special man. He is completely mad, what means: he is a very good flyfisher-for-seatrout and the only hope his guests have is to do only 10 % as good as he is doing and that would be very fine for us. Having a chat with him is never a problem. His Danish must be perfect (I suppose) but his English and German are OK too.
A chat-with-a-whiskey is even better. It takes more time but you will be rewarded with valuable information. It's entirely depending on you if you do something "fishy" with it.
Fortunately for him, his wife is normal what means: she doesn't fish. What's more for him: he can fish more than a normal wife would agree with; he can smoke his pipe inside and outside and, maybe, she appreciates his absence during very long periods in the night...
What's more for us: if you don't like to prepare your own stuff, she is a GREAT COOK and, more general, she is always in a good mood. In one sentence: she is very close to perfection.
Conversation is not always easy for me. Her Danish is perfect (I think) but my Danish is a disaster (I'm sure).
And the other guests ? They are all madmen but friendly and mostly not dangerous.
The only not mad person might be a not-fishing-wife. She will be awake in the day, while her husband or friend is sleeping and she will sleep in the night, while her husband or friend is fishing...
When such a couple arrives, 90 % of their car is filled up with fishing tackle, 10 % only is filled up with some clothes, half a library and some knitting wool in case the sunn is not shining, the wind is to cold or the rain to heavy. Fishermen's wifes have to survive their "holiday" and they have to be strong and selfsupporting.
If you think yours (and your wife's) mental strenght is good enough, you can join us in the madhouse. It's absolutely lovely!
Walter Toubhans, Belgium 28. january 2003.
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