Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mandatory pilgrimage

On May 30th I packed my bags and headed across the North Atlantic. 18 hours and a few plane changes later I was in Oslo, Norway where I met up with resident friends Jeff Leopold and Ole Wilmann. The first objective was to get to a small cabin along the Stordal River and usher in Atlantic salmon season. In order to accomplish that it would still require a 6 hour drive from Oslo over the Norwegian high country, a ferry ride to the Fosen peninsula and then more driving, but the possibility of catching the regal chrome fish transformed the lengthy trek into a mandatory pilgrimage. At our destination cabin we met up with Egil Wilmann who was waiting for us with steaming hearty sodd, aquavit and cool beers. For the next couple of days we two handed flies through the beautiful pools of this river.

Now those of you who chase this fish know that there are no guarantees when it comes to catching Atlantic salmon and in this trip’s case, relatively warm conditions combined with low water stacked the deck in favor of the fish. We had tide and water temperature as our trump cards. It’s a hard game no matter what, especially when you only have a few days. Skill and luck are always tested and big winners are few. I always set my expectations on this mantra, “It only takes one”.

We did manage to coax fresh silver blue torpedoes to take our Leopold tied Jock Scott variations (Ole’s favorite fly for this river). A few small sea trout (pictured above) found themselves deceived as well. During our long and mostly sleepless sessions we tested new waders and features, a variety of packs, a new soft shell shirt and a host of current styles including R2 Jackets, Insulator Pants, Riverwalker Boots, the Guidewater Jacket and more. It was also a chance to see some new product line coloration in this environment. Great session, great place and really great people….but it was time for part II of my trip.

The later half of this excursion was the fixed point and the real purpose behind my travel. It was time to head to Annecy, France for the Patagonia Spring 2009 EU Sales Meeting. I was a bit nervous but was looking forward to it since getting the nod to attend. I would get a chance to present the Patagonia Fishing category to our hard core representatives from a wide variety of countries in their neck of the woods. It would also be a chance to hang with my team members on an “away game” level. Needless to say it was awesome. The presentations, company, food, accommodations, organization and activities (which included Dragon boating and Sumo wrestling) were all commendable. I’m looking forward to next time already as a mandatory pilgrimage.

Photos by El Pescador



I enjoy the post a lot! Thank you!

El Pescador said...

I'm glad to hear that you appreciate the post Blueangler. It was a pleasure and a privelage to share.

Mark said...

Is that orange fanny pack a new fishing bag?

El Pescador said...

That's the Desert Clay (color) Hip Chest Pack for S9. The Hip Chest Pack undergoes a bit of a redesign for S9 that includes changes to the feature set as well as a fabric and color.

El Pescador said...

I put together a 30 second Animoto Short of some pix from this trip.