We all feel the call of nature - a rush to all animal qualities that pump through our veins. We cannot resist to fly like the birds, or to swim like the fish. Every year since the dawn of times, the sun melts the snow in the high mountains and the water rushes down to the sea. Every year the salmon senses this and swims upriver to spawn - every year the bear senses this and rushes to the streams to fish. We cannot resist to do like the bear.
The sound of water in the forests of Norway is everywhere. The geological stillness is gone - it's like the mountains have woken up from sleep and have a sudden uncontrollable wish to talk to each other. This year the skies were good and deposited a wealth of snow on the peaks. The most recent snow fell not longer than a month ago. And now, the actual summer finally got the memo the calendar summer has been trying to send - it is hot in the mountains, surprisingly, uncomfortably hot... The first wave of melting is upon us.
And then there's the meat. I often wonder what would the wild bear say if presented with what we call salmon these days. Yes, I understand we had to push the envelope because of sheer scale of consumerism - we humans eat millions of tonnes of salmon per year; if they were to be wild, or raised the wild-way-of-Salmons, our planet would have long been depleted of these wildly tasty animals. So we must go follow the (super)market's rules for quantity, and we must follow nature's rules for quality. Nature's rules also happen to be more entertaining.
So we don our boots and grab our rod, we check our reel and test pull our custom flies (made by Stig Brandal). All fundamentals and pluses tucked away on our vest... We walk the narrow paths walled by the explosion of plant life that all this water affords, following primal sounds that had been almost forgotten: the whisper of wind, the rustling of leaves, the pad of our walking over low grass, the ripple of the moving water as we walk along the riversides under the shadow of tall trees, the occasional whoosh followed by an almost silent burble when we find our rightful fishing spot. We have no claws or teeth so we have to trick the fish with our cunning. At this time of the year the salmon that will cross our path will have just left their last orgy of eating the juvenile herring that coat every nook and narrow of the fjords. Their fullness will make our fishing harder. We practice our casting, as to make the behavior of our fly irresistible. It is like hunting in reverse - instead of pushing the life away with a bullet, we pull the life away with a lure.
Then the animal comes, we tease it. It fights, we win. Thankful, we tend to the gift of its meat in the primary, primal form of cold smoking it. A tale well rehearsed over countless generations of nature-bound humans, a taste so superlative it defeats any attempt to describe it.
From the rivers of GRS's Norway,