Interview by Anita Knudsen.
There are not many female fly fishers in the country. Over the years I've been doing my course, I have met a few, and everyone's talking about the same. That's a shame there are not more women who fish with a fly rod. It may actually seem a bit "scary" that is so dominated by men, in quest for more knowledge to learn more about this wonderful hobby. In this connection, I have been lucky enough to get in touch with Anita Knudsen from Lillehammer. This is a real outdoor girl who loves to keep on with fly fishing. When I got in touch with Anita and asked if she would participate in this interview she said yes right away. Perhaps her enthusiasm for fly fishing rub off on other women too.
Anita has been involved in fishing and outdoor life since she was a child, she took the hunter's test when she was 20 years. She also fish for trout in Gudbrandsdalen River. She goes skiing in the winter, and forest walks in the autumn. She loves simply to use the Norwegian nature as often as she can. She also trains a lot with fly rod in order to become a better fly fisher. Fly Tying, she is also doing. During the season she travels to Trøndelag on salmon fishing as often as she can. This is a tough girl, let me tell you, just read her story about when she caught her biggest salmon all alone on a fishing trip. She goes on salmon fishing trips often alone, too. This may certainly seem a little foreign to other "fishing girls", but she says that she loves the great atmosphere along the river banks and especially the experience of fishing alone in the river early on a summer morning. Anita has worked in the fashion industry for 16 years now, and runs her own fashion boutique with women's and men's clothing in Lillehammer.
1) How many years have you fished salmon with a fly rod?
Bought my first single-handed fly rod when I was 21, and two-handed following year. But there was very little fishing, but mostly casting practice since I just did overhand cast at the time. There were not many places I had space to use the fly rod. It was only 3 years ago I can say that I began to fish effectively with a fly rod.
2) What are the rivers, you have your experience, and what river is your favorite river?
I have fished in Namsen Driva, Drammen River, Eidselva, Dale River Gaula, Stjordalselva and Orkla. I have in recent years most experience from Orkla, and must say that it is the river that is closest to my heart and a good number one. I discovered Stjordalselva last summer, and I think it sure is soon to get up on a shared first place with Orkla.
3) How big is your largest fly-caught salmon and on what fly did you get this?
I got it in Orkla a very early July morning last summer. I went a few rounds with the two-handed rod with no luck. So I put on a Ally's variant on my one-handed LTS X1 10 ft class 7
Then I started NOK time to catch me down the river as the sun rose over the horizon, and little did I know that just a few cast later I would get my life experience so far.
It struck at the other end of the line, and I rejoiced quiet inside me ... the first fish on the single-handed rod. But as good a fish as I thought, so I put some pressure on it to see if it was so small that I began to believe that it could be ..... or not.
Then the fish exploded, it rolled on the surface and raced down the river. Twice it was far below, and I was almost going to shout thank you for the fight the last time. This was fortunately not, I finally won, and landed a nice salmon of 9.5 kg.
4) What are your two absolute favorite flies, and why?
There are two flies I always have in my fly box.
One is a Ally variant that works equally well in July as in August, especially on the small warm river.
I have fished with several varieties of Ally, but this I think is most effective.
The other is a Sunray variant. And it is rare that I have not used it on one of my trips on the river.
Both on rainy days, and when the river is medium / large and clear.
It is tied in several varieties, but the important thing is that it has a nice teardrop shape, and supposed to mimic a small eel.
The one I have chosen to present is a slightly more interesting variation.
Tying recipe Ally:
Tag: Silver tinsel
Tail: Orange Polar Bear, some straw orange crinkleflash
Body: 1st half with Fiery orange SLF, the second half with black SLF
Rib: Silver tinsel
Wing: Black squirrel
Hackle: Orange Chicken
Tying recipe Sunray:
Under Wing: White Buck Tail, over some straw with flash
Over Wing: Black Goat
Cheeks: Yellow grizzly hackle and jungle cook
Both are tied by and are patterns of Stein Tore Larsen.
Anita encourages all women to try salmon fishing with a fly rod, there is great to run with this.