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The Editor Goes Fishing With…
Fishing with someone who shares his passion for the sport is one of Steve Cullen’s favourite pleasures. This time it’s Stein Thorvaldsen, one of the men behind Guideline.
Imet up with Stein on a very chilly – to say the least – February morning. To be precise, it was the second day of the salmon season on the Scottish River Dee. The water was low and clear, which was no surprise given the arctic-like conditions, but there were fish there to be caught.
Stein has been involved in the fly fishing business for some time after he and a friend started distributing Sage tackle in Norway back in 1991, before he moved to Guideline in 2004.
Since moving, Stein has become an integral part of this vast company; Guideline is in fact the largest fishing brand in Scandinavia and when it comes to rods and lines, especially its famous Power Taper concept, it’s close to holding the leading position in the whole of Europe.
The guys at Guideline take a week’s fishing at Park, near Aberdeen, at the start of the season every year and invite many guests to join them. This means they can get that little bit closer to their customers; it’s a great practice that sees many good friends meet up in one place.
As you can imagine, the banter can be pretty good on the riverbank but it’s not a patch on the ‘carry-ons’ that are had in the evening, after several light ales have been quaffed at the Stag Hotel in Banchory… but that’s a whole other story.
Stein is here with Guideline collegues Lawrie Hickman and Espen Myrhe, two very good salmon anglers who, like him, have fished for these amazing fish the world over.
As he gets himself organized I ask Stein what tackle he normally uses when he’s on the Dee at this time of the year? I’m expecting him to say big rods, heavy cone-head tubes and super-fast sinking lines, but he doesn’t.
“I normally fish with a 12ft 5in or 13ft rod, nothing too big or heavy. There are times when I use a 13ft 7in rod, but that’s as long as I’ll use here.
“The Dee isn’t a large river and it tends to produce medium-size salmon; I therefore find it much easier and more fun to fish with shorter rods, which, I have to say, are becoming more and more popular these days.
“Yesterday, on opening day, I wanted to try some of our new lines so I used three different ones from our new range of triple-density lines – the Floater/Intermediate/ Sink 1 and the Intermediate/ Sink 2/Sink 4. We also did some testing with the Sink 1/Sink 3/Sink 5. These are very special lines and we’re hopeful they will be a big hit with salmon anglers.
“The fly that I tend to use is mainly the Willie Gunn, in various guises.”
“Which is your favourite salmon fly?” I ask.
“The Phatagorva – pronounced Bathakorva. The fly is tied with templedog hair and it’s mostly fairly brown with www.totalflyfisher.com