To the joy of youth from seven countries it turned out, that this event has become a great fishing celebration.
Crowded airport terminal. Above people's heads, the ends of two long rod transport tubes are visible – Andreas and Carlsten just arrived from Dusseldorf. Is 23 July, Hamburg airport is the point of contact. -Come on guys, we'll have a cola first! After the first sip, Carsten starts talking about the Rhine zander, Andreas remembers his most interesting adventure with barbel. You know – anglers met. Lucas from Bad Bramstedt soon joins us. The discussion seems to be endless. An hour later we meet three Bavarians – Thomas, Jan and Florian. The German group is complete, we can fly to Helsinki! The boys have from 13 into 16 years and are completely devoted to fishing. They joke all the way, they laugh, they tell their adventures, They even brag a little. This journey is an award in the Blinker Spring Contest. EFTTA took over the organization of the entire fishing youth camp.
Fishing until it's dark
After landing in Helsinki, we fly to Ivalo, the biggest city (5 thousand inhabitants) in the north of Lapland. We are around 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. After an hour's coach ride through the wild nature of Lapland, we finally reach the Riutula youth center near Inari. Wild fuss in front of reception, take all fishing equipment and luggage out of the bus. 37 young fishing enthusiasts from England, France, Italian, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany finally settle in their rooms. Midnight. A meal is waiting for us in the kitchen. -I think I'll go fishing right now – Florian wonders aloud, mouth full. – We too! There was general excitement. A few minutes later we are standing with the spinning rods over the water. The fishing week has started until it is dark, although there is no night at all in Lapland at this time of the year. It is bright enough even at midnight, to be able to fish with a rod without any problems. At first, a few Italians look at us with some disbelief, in the end, however, they too appear on the water with fishing equipment. The first arctic graylings throw greedily at the tiny spinners, while the tiny hairs ruthlessly attack us. However, we are well prepared to fight swarms of bloodthirsty insects – mosquito nets and protective agents in cream and spray allow us to concentrate on fishing.
Cat on a fly rod
Five hours later we met for breakfast. Everyone has already caught the fever of fishing! After the official welcome, the program of the meeting was immediately implemented. The best Finnish fly fishermen demonstrated throwing techniques, they showed off their favorite knots and lures, answered the questions asked.
After less than an hour of training, Thomas and Jan look at my flyline with pity. I was throwing the Irish 'kick and rush' technique”, The Finns used a much more subtle technique. Florian showed us his amazing throwing skills. At the time, when I took a cigarette break, a cat appeared in our training field.
– Now watch out, I'll catch him with a fly. So it happened. Florian confidently gripped the fly-tying set (obviously without the leader and the bait with a hook) and put an orange rope in the meadow right in front of the surprised cat's nose. With the third slight pull on the line, the cat nimbly attacked the intriguingly moving end of the line. Florian was proud.
For the next few days, the boys went fishing in four groups of different nationalities. They exchanged lures, they gesticulated a lot, they laughed often. They helped each other in assembling sets and picking up fish. They improved their English during conversations. On the last day of their stay, they all exchanged addresses – fishing brings people together, regardless of nationality.