Evertjan en Frans uit Tsjechië
Once I saw a film called ‘The river runs through it’ featuring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford, in which fly fishing plays a central theme in the film. I was taken by the elegance of it but never seriously thought that one day I would actually go and do it. Many years later I acquired a cottage near the Jizera river and one day saw a fly fisher there, bringing back the memory of the film. I started to consider picking-up fly-fishing. Years went by without taking action. Still I must have mentioned it once to a couple of friends because when I had my birthday 2 years ago they gave me a cheap wading suite as a joke. That birthday party, being slightly intoxicated, I promised my friends I was seriously going to look into fly fishing. I collected some information and found out getting permits was more complicated than I had imagined. It included doing an exam at a Czech fishing club. I gave up on it. A year later I met the father of my daughter’s best friend. A freshwater ecologist, he promised to help me out on the licenses. Having all licenses does not make one a fly fisherman. I googled the internet to try and find someone who could teach me the basics. In my first search I immediately got to the Fly Fish Farm webpage. To my surprise it presented Dutchman Erik with a fishing lodge in the Krkonose Mountains not that far from my cottage, organizing fishing trips out of the Netherlands. I did not hesitate and contacted Erik immediately. He probably was not convinced about me and invited me first to meet him at his lodge for an interview. In the wonderful entourage of his lodge Erik lectured me for more than two hours about all aspects of fly fishing. I must admit it dazzled me, but I saw no way back and Erik seemed satisfied enough to agree to provide me with a clinic, but I needed to find one other pupil. I contacted Frans, an old friend of my army days who at the time had just immigrated to the Czech Republic. To my surprise he was immediately interested and together with Erik we scheduled a clinic for a week in Spring 2014.
An early morning in May we met Erik and two of Erik’s clients, Henk and Mark, at the breakfast table at the lodge. Henk , being a typical jovial ex-Amsterdam resident, a city I lived in for many years, and Mark, coming from a village near where Frans used to live, we got quickly in lively and animated conversation. Erik’s very hospital wife Sandra kept on serving coffee and cookies and since it was raining cats and dogs outside, we indulged in it. Fly fishing seemed to be far from our minds when Erik suddenly told us we were ready for our casting lessons. For two days Frans and I were standing in the rain at the side of a small lake not far from the lodge being instructed very patiently and professionally the art of casting without a fly. Fortunately after two days the rain stopped and the sun came out and according to the local fishing shop owner in Trutnov, a good acquaintance of Erik, water levels had dropped sufficiently on the Jizera. After Erik arranged Frans his licenses at the Trutnov city hall and fish shop, we speeded to other side of the Krkonose mountains to investigate the Jizera. We ended at exactly the place where I spotted my first fly fisherman may years ago. And under supervision and guidance of Erik I caught my first two trout with a dry fly within the hour. I was in heaven and for short while felt like Brad Pitt. Seeing my image reflected in the water I was soon back to earth, but still I can feel the excitement catching my first two trout for which I will my whole life be grateful to Erik.
The rest of the week we had wonderful weather and Erik took us to the most wonderful locations at different streams in Krkonose never stopping to give us instructions and valuable advice. At the end of the week Frans and I had both caught a substantial number of fish and although probably far from yet proficient we became confident enough to plan our first fishing trips. At our last day Sandra still made some good pictures of us fishing in the Upa river. When I showed them my parents they were surprised how professional I looked on them and claimed the pictures could have been from a periodical about fly fishing. Only the best of hosts can make you feel so comfortable and look so good in such a short time. For those who have seen the film and think of fly fishing, you can have the river run through you quicker than you think if you spend some days fishing with Erik and Sandra in Krkonose.
Kind regards, Evertjan