Category Archives: Stories

Three anglers in New Zealand

Some years ago we went to New Zealand for a trip of our lifetime. Everything was perfect in theory. We had lot´s of time, we were seven friends and we thought we had a pretty good idea of where to find some big trout. However, the plan didn’t work. Most if them failed due to the rain. The weather haunted us for five weeks and totally destroyed some of our big plans.

P1160860Gabbe’s plans didn’t work good either.

P1170476Rolf’s plans worked better.

P1210958Sjödén’s plans too.

P1160568Thanks to the lemmings we had some black gold on the trip.

One of my plans was to gather footage on all my friends since they’re some pretty strange and weird individuals. That plan didn’t work out either. Nevertheless, this is a video of three of them. If you watch it and feel it makes no sense you probably right. It doesn’t.
Make sure to activate subs if you’re not a Swede.

Somewhere in Slovenia

About two years ago we went to Slovenia. Ever since we have wanted to return, not just for the fantastic nature and the ridiculously clear rivers but also for the early season dodding.

DSC00207Clear water and weird pools, what more can one ask for? Photo: Emilie Björkman

However, the previously travelers were scattered. Mattson was focusing on some sort of career and I can’t really understand how one can put the career first and the dodding second. Patrik was busy distributing Klinkhammer hook 16 the Scandinavian anglers and Rolf, well.. he was hiding in in a shelter trying to get some footage of a strange bird.

P1000185This is what we came for.

That left me and Emilie and we quickly decided to travel south in early may for a couple of days of sight fishing. The first thing I realized when we arrived was that I had forgot the hot shoe adapter for the tripod which made it useless. So there we were, no stabilization for the camera and tough fishing conditions due to the weather.

P1020184Even if the conditions sucked, the fishing didn’t.

Anyhow, we managed to hook some trout with help from the best guide out there – Matt Calderano. If you’re ever in Slovenia, make sure to visit him.

I tried to make a story from the footage we got from the trip and it’s the first time ever that I have tried to narrate one. I also realize that 10 mins of footage might be a bit too long for your patience. However, I just wanted to give it a try so please have mercy on me trying.

Thanks to:

Meanwhile downstream

Three weeks ago someone set fire to the house where me and my girlfriend were living. We both were lucky to get out through the balcony. But minutes later everything we owned was gone, and that includes all the footage I’ve filmed the last 10 years. I got out in my underwear, and that is all I own for now (my car broke down a week before the fire).

brandumea8-992-jpgI was living on the top floor. Later I found out that it’s possible to buy “fireproof hard drives”, damn…

As I’ve written earlier I spent the last year editing a full length fly fishing documentary. And the during the summer I’ve filmed the footage to make the series I called ”meanwhile upstream”. Since I’ve promised the frontsidefly visitors a film and a series, I’m sad to say that the plans have changed. I won’t release anything this fall. Unless I manage to find a camera and make something about pike fishing (which is the only fishing available here right now).

20140906_034616The picture is taken a few minutes after we climbed down from the balcony.

I’m happy to have the best friends and thankful for all the help I’ve got. The nice norwegians at VAK have started some kind of campaign to help me get new camera gear. I don’t expect anyone to help a stupid person who didn’t have the right kind of insurance. I’m not starving and there is millions of people around the world that deserve help way more than me. That said, I’m very thankful for their initiative and the potensial help.  And very bummed to have spent almost a year in front of a computerscreen for no reason.

Dodding in Slovenia

As every dry fly fishmermen knows, the winter really, really sucks. Many fly fishermen, especially the dodding ones tend to go somewhat insane due to the lack of hatches for too many months. Last year we went insane, we fell into some sort of an agany due to a very long and cold winter up in the northern parts of the Scandinavnian penninsula. It led to a series of events and the most important one were that we decided to leave for Slovenia in early may.

P1040835Patrik is always a happy man even at times when the weather gods are not at our side.

Since we were so eager to leave the winter we came a bit too early to the beautiful country, many of the well knows river such as the Soca river were high and dirty due to the mountain run offs and the smaller tributaries were very cold. The awesome guide Matt and Soca Fly fortunately was a laid back sort of man and told us to calm down and wait and so we did. Matt knew what he was talking about and it didn’t take long until we saw the first rises and so it begun. The everlasting search of DoD all over the world.

P1020035To have four people walking around the small river you dont’t get that many chanses a day to catch a fish and luckily for us we don’t care who catches it – we share the joy!

During the evenings we had a great time at the house we spend the week in. Fortunately there was some of us in the group of dodders who could play the guitar and sing a tune at times which made the rest of us relax and enjoy it all. This video is a music-video type of summary of how I would explain for us in Slovenia in some melancholy kind of way. We had some bad luck with high rivers, lack of rises and we also saw some evil nymph fishermen which made us really scared. However, since we don’t want to catch many fish nor big fish, we just want to do it the right way we were very please with the few small fish we got. That’s what fly fishing is about to us – the friends, the fantastic environment and the DoD!

Dodding in Slovenia – 2014 from Stefan Ågren on Vimeo.

a thousand theories

In late august this year I travelled to Finnmark, the far north of scandinavia. The idea was to catch my first proper salmon.
Now, if you follow Frontsidefly, you now I try to avoid anything related to salmon. Mainly because it’s quite strongly linked to big sinking flies. However, Finnmark is one of the most beautiful places and rumours told me there was a possibility to catch salmon on a dry fly!?


oystercatcher outside the mouth of a well known salmon river

This trip was not a Frontsidefly trip.  Stefan had disappeared somewhere in the Swedish mountains  a week earlier. Lately he has been very focused on fishing the upper, upper parts of rivers. That can sometimes lead to us losing contact for weeks. Anyhow,  it was not a Frontsidefly trip. It was a trip I made after a strange phone call  in the middle of august.


Tommy Josefsen and Robert Selfors. One is claiming something, the other one disagrees.

On the line I had mr Robert Selfors who offered me a job, documenting a trip to the far north of scandinavia. Two weeks later I sat in a car together with Robert and Tommy Josefsen. I had never met Tommy before, but I did recognize him from many photos with ridiculously big fish. My plan was to do a lot of talking during the trip, but from the moment I sat down in the car my plan changed, I started to do some serious listening instead. That’s something I rarely do, but it is quite fun. Robert and Tommy were both salmon fishermen but they represented two very different salmon fishing cultures. So the rest of the trip I spent listening to them arguing about different approaches on salmon fishing. I could keep writing about them, but then I have filmed some disscussion between them so I guess it’s easier if you just press play.


Just another ugly morning north of you.


Low tide outside Laksälv.


I thought I had caught my first salmon, but apparently a fish that size is just a grilse, and not even close to being a salmon.

The fat lady

I went fishing with two buddies to a new river last summer. We didn’t know anything about it but it looked good on the maps so we couldn’t hold ourselves to have a look. Before we arrived we said to each other that no matter what happens one thing is sure. It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

P1150703We’ve learned one thing. The longer the hike, the bigger the fish is.

P1150213So we prepared to have a look in the river when we finally arrived.

P1150393Luckily for us it looked awesome.

P1150361And Hans caught and relased a perfect trout in proper manners.

After a full day of fishing we arrived to a super sweet pool in the small river. We always take turns when we’re out dodding and if there was a trout in the pool it was Tobias who was about to take the challenge. Suddenly she appeared and breaked the surface. The fat lady. Tobias had a good feeling but his heart started pounding. Faster and faster and faster. He took upon a big fat smile and layed a smooth cast to her.

The fat lady – 2013 from Stefan Ågren on Vimeo.

Tobias forgot one thing. It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

My dearest darling

My dearest darling is a song made by the old soul queen Etta James. She’s sings about an old brown trout who haunts her dreams in a good way. Because she knows when she gets it, the world will bes a happy place to live in.

That’s kind of like we at frontsidefly are feeling right now. We know there are so many trout that needs our love and attention but the season has comed to an end. That’s when we dream ourselves to another world. A world full of beauty and joy.

P1040587This may be the definition of a world full of beauty and joy.

Ms James continues her lyrics by singing:

I pray your answer’s yes
I’ll make your life
Full of happiness

If you’re not a poetical kind of human beeing it translates to that she’s wants the trout to eat her dry fly.

P1040693Happiness by definition.

Furthermore Ms James sings:

Oh nothing, nothing, nothing in this world
Can keep us apart
Unh my dearest darling
I’m offering you my heart

We have been thinking about that line for some time now. We’re not really sure what she means but we guess it must be that she never ever will use a nymph. That would keep them apart yet instead she offers her heart. And that of course can only be one thing. Her money.

P1040606My dearest darling.

What we really like with Ms James’s song is this line:

Oh, yeah whenever you need me
I’ll..I’ll be there by your side
Oh I pledge my love to you
With God as our guide

That line made it all come so clear to us. The trout needs us. We need them, at our side. We will pledge our love, with the may fly god as our guide. So we simply had one thing left to do. Book a ticket to New Zealand yet once again. There’s only one problem with that mr trout – I’m offering you my heart.

This was some footage of fish in water. No more no less. Made with a pocket camera a few years ago.


Slovenia sessions

Earlier this year we wanted to find some rising fish. Someone told us that there’s always a hatch somewhere so we took a chance at Slovenia. This post is all about some pictures and what we did during the evenings in Slovenia.

The Slovenian alps are stunning. We climbed those mountains each day.

Here’s an example when we’re reacing the top on a 4526 meter high alp.

But of course we went to Slovenia to find beatuiful rivers and rising fish. This was a waiting game as usual.

During the evenings we went to eat at fancy restaurants and we’re very social and talked alot to each other.

And of course, we caught monster fish each day.

Slovenia sessions from Stefan Ågren on Vimeo.

Second Grace – A melancholy fishing story

This is sort of a sad and slow story about a river that used to have really large brown trout. People have spoken of big monsters sipping dry flies back in the days but sadly they’re now all gone. The evil lure fishing people have killed them all.

When the fishing isn’t as expected many fishermen goes insane and do stuff they normally don’t do.

This video is illustrating the normality of the sport for us. We often end up at beautiful spots but get dissapointed when others also have found them. When there are too many people, especially those worm fishing people, the trout tend to be rather small and few.

We thank Orvis for the help with gear and tripods.

If you want subs just enable them in the player.

The video is sort of a follow up on Rolf’s “Trout size matters” he did last year when me and Johan struggled at a nice little river.

Gustav full part fishing NZ

This is a tribute edit to my friend Gustav Hellström which I made to his PhD graduatiom dinner. He’s been studying social behaviour interactions of Eurasian perch which is a pretty nerdy thing to do. Gustav loves fly fishing for trout however and is a funny guy to hang out with.

Please remember that is all about doing very random things and edits. I just thought that there are some nice footage in this one for you to watch.
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Gustav gives the epic streams of New Zealand thumbs up.