What fly-fishing guide Daniel Nordvall doesn’t know about the noble art of fly fishing, clear mountain lakes and flowing waters is hardly worth knowing. His goal now is to teach women to love fly fishing.

– The world of fly fishing is quite male dominated. It would be healthy to mix it up a bit. That’s why I offer women-only courses, Daniel explains.

Joining someone who has been fishing since adolescence gives the fishing experience more, sometimes unexpected, dimensions. A course with Daniel is more than casting techniques and fly tying. What he tells you as you mess about trying to make the perfect Klinkhammer – well, at least something that vaguely resembles a fly – gives a nuanced picture of fishing as a sport. Concepts such as sustainable fishing and shared responsibility give us new insight.

Practice makes perfect

If you’ve decided on the women-only basic course in the beautiful mountain village Årrenjarka you’re probably excited, you’ve read a lot about fly fishing and watched youtube clips of glassy mountain lakes and fast-flowing rapids. It doesn’t look that difficult. After just a few minutes practice on land you begin to understand that a) casting requires space, and b) a tangled line in the bushes behind you is most annoying – and time consuming.

Lawn practice makes sense. It’s a lot to take in, but for those used to multitasking success is only a matter of time. You pull the line loop by loop into your left hand, then you sweep the rod back and forth three, four times with your right hand as you gradually feed the line, metre by metre. The line is the weight that will take the tiny fly to the exact point where you hope and believe the trout is waiting. After a couple of minutes your brain has figured out what to do and the interaction between casting arm and left hand works well enough to provide a small endorphin kick. It tickles your stomach. The initial phase of falling in love has begun.

Nature and community

Daniel grew up in Gällivare and knows the forest and the mountains like his own back pocket. In the river and lake systems of the Lule River headwaters you find perch, pike, whitefish, grayling, arctic charr and trout. The water is often so clear that you can spot the fish in the deep. A red-bellied arctic charr glitters in the evening sun and your heart leaps. It’s a special feeling.
Around Kvikkjokk and further along the mountain range there are many cool mountain lakes where arctic charr and trout play games with fly fishermen in a stunningly beautiful environment. Nature is dramatic, contrasting calm waters and swift rapids.
– When I was younger, the fish itself was important. It’s still important, but these days being out in nature, watching the wildlife and experiencing the community and camaraderie is the greatest value, Daniel says.

Sámi culture as spice

The advantage of booking a course or hiring a fishing guide is that you can be sure to end up at the best fishing spots, which can be difficult if you go on your own without local knowledge. Apart from courses, Daniel also offers packages and fly-outs – fishing trips with helicopter transport to especially beautiful places offering good fishing.

The guided fishing trips take place on Sámi traditional land and the fishing experience is more nuanced because of Daniel’s forest-Sámi background. He will gladly tell you about Sámi culture.
– This takes place in Sápmi, and then it’s only natural to offer local food with Sámi elements and to talk about what life is like at present for our indigenous people. The very foundation of my interest in nature lies in the forest-Sámi culture on my mother’s side, so it makes sense to share it.

The art of reading water

There are many secrets to good fishing; the ability to read water is one of them. Daniel has complemented his experience with a 1.5-year fishing guide education in Övertorneå, the only course in Sweden specialising in fly fishing.
– Fly fishing allows you to become proficient in a lot of things: you can become a talented caster, an excellent fly tier, become skilled in reading water and an expert on insects as well as outdoor-clothing material. That’s what captivated me.

Standing in crystal-clear water that sparkles and moves rhythmically around your ankles as you methodically move your rod, while your mind rests and daily life fades away, creating long-lasting memories. This is what Daniel would like more of us to be able to discover.
– I hope that with me as a guide you’ll experience catching wild fish in pristine nature. I also hope you’ll learn a bit more about nature and culture – a guiding experience that’s personal, sustainable and meets your expectations. That’s how it should be.

Learn more

Visit nordvallfishing.com for more information.

… and then a bit of butter

Your very own Klinkhammer is placed on the surface. You watch it tensely. Prepared. Any time now a trout will pounce on your little tasty fly.
An hour or so afterwards you fry your fish over the embers of an open fire, with a pinch of salt and a bit of butter.
The phase of falling in love is over and now you know: you love fly fishing!

Come with us to the beautiful Kvikkjokk mountains. This two-day basic course teaches you equipment, casting techniques and how to tie flies. Of course it also includes a lot of fishing, and we fish for game fish such as arctic charr and trout. Two action-packed days filled with knowledge, nature experiences, time for own thoughts and socialising around the fire. The package includes transfer from Jokkmokk or Gällivare to Årrenjarka mountain resort where we stay in beautifully located cottages or hotel rooms. Local food is served in the restaurant, lunches and refreshments are included in the course fee. You are welcome to book the floating sauna and on-site dinner if you wish.

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