Part Danish, part Swiss, our friend and regular Fishinguide guest Jonas is all angler.
I first met Jonas when he came for a honeymoon fishing trip to Scotland with his wife. We quickly found common ground in our angling enthusiasm. I asked him what had brought him to Scotland and he said “Scotland combines whisky and fishing, two of my favourite things!”
That day we had a hard time finding salmon as the river was low and quiet. Having said that Jonas did hook one salmon which came unstuck and we netted a nice sea trout.
Of his first experience he wrote on TripAdvisor:
My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Scotland. She is not really into fishing but none the less she joined and had a lovely time at the Scottish waters. Duncan is one of the most inspiring fishermen I have ever met! I learned so much in those few hours. I never before did Spey casting but after a few minutes of Duncan’s instructions my fly was zipping to the other side of the river bank. My wife was swinging the fly for the first time in her life and she too was learning from the 1000 varieties that Duncan managed to explain Spey casting to her and she did great! It is such a lovely memory! I never before met someone like Duncan who is so deeply in love with the beautiful finned creatures we tried to catch. I already booked my next trip to Scotland. Thanks again Duncan I can’t wait to go fishing in Scotland again!
In his emails over the winter Jonas told me he was keen to catch a salmon and also fancied a go for large trout. I recommended fishing in Argyll in mid-May and then coming on our Trophy Trout Trip to Orkney straight after. He took me at my word and booked up.
On day one of his salmon fly fishing at mid morning he hooked, played and landed a lovely springer, fresh off the tide, 11lb 8oz in weight. Later the same day he had another gleaming bar of silver which weighed in at 12lbs. It was a good start!
On day two Jonas caught another fresh run salmon, this one the biggest so far at 13lbs 8oz. By lunch time there were some rising trout, so Jonas switched his attention to trying to catch his first ever trout on a dry fly. He had 15 in an hour.
At this point I should say not everyone has these results!Before coming to the far north in hunt of trophy trout Jonas went over to the island of Islay to visit his favourite distillery, Kilchoman. There not only did he ‘whet his thrapple’ with the amber bead, but he also did some fishing. DJ from www.Islayoutdoors.com took Jonas out on a loch where they caught lots of trout and Jonas learnt the traditional ‘loch style’ wet fly fishing that us Scots love.
Jonas describes his love of Kilchoman being down to the fact they grown their own barley, take care of their environment and all in all it’s a natural process. It’s kept small scale so as not to have the impact of more industrialised producers and it’s a positive contributor to the local employment and overall allure of the island.
Then it was time for Orkney!
It wasn’t easy! Day one a big trout with a couple of head shakes broke the 8lb maxima tippet Jonas was using. He told me he had underestimated the power the fish could have and clamped too tight on the line. A valuable lesson!
Day two Jonas caught a small (3lb) trout, to which one of Jonas’ fellow anglers said “This is the only place in the world where you’re disappointed to catch a 3 lb trout.”It was day three when the big reward came!
I asked him to describe what happened. The following is transcribed from a recording of an interview with Jonas.
On the third day I caught a really nice trout. It was one of those moments when I didn’t expect anything to happen when I cast. It was one of a hundred casts. I had taken 6 or 7 strips and there was a big tug on the line. Then the line went crazy. There weren’t any head shakes, nothing, it just went straight off. I let the line go, and it went out, soon it was on the reel. It just kept going and going, I tightened the drag a bit but it just went; going and going. I was getting a bit scared because I could see my backing getting lower and lower. I knew I had 150 m of backing but half of it was gone. So I started to walk with the fish, but got to a depth that I couldn’t go any further, so I stopped. It was still taking line.
At one point it slowed and I started to recover some backing, but when it felt the pressure it took off again. I was worried I would run out of backing.
The runs became shorter and I kept pressure on it, working on it gradually. It started to swim towards me and I was able to recover all the backing and some fly line before it turned again.
As I came to Jonas, having heard his yodel from the other side of the loch and run around, I saw he was playing a large trout. As I was opening up the net, he told me it had taken more than 70 meters of backing. Luckily it went into the net without any mishaps and we were able to admire a 71cm brown trout – 7lbs of Orkney gold.
If you’re wondering why I wasn’t at Jonas’ side, as I usually am, it’s because there were three anglers on Jonas’ trophy trout trip and on that venue they were well spread out. So I had heard his yell, left the other guest and run around the perimeter of the loch in time to net it.
When I asked Jonas what advice he had for someone wanting to re-create his successes he said, just do it, email Duncan and follow his advice.
Thanks Jonas! Good angling and see you soon.