I have found others things to make me busy during weekends that may at first sight have nothing to do with fishing. I like all sorts of animals and woulden't mind having some if my lifestile could allow me to keep them and take care of them as they deserve. Cats, Dogs and Horses is what i like most. I have been more and more intrested in forestry last few years and could see myself harvesting and using horses for that purpose instead of machines that destroy, in my eyes, to much when collecting logs. I don't know where this new intrest for forest and horses is taking me, but this weekend i had the opportunity to take a course in handling workhorses. One place remaining on the course when i phoned the people organizing it, and, off course i decided imidiately that i wanted to take part of it.
Ohh man, i really didn't know wich part of the animal was back and forward, but was sorted out fast:-)
A complete Novis am I in this, really. I went to Ryasjö Hästgård two days in a row, sat-sun. We were some people there, taken care of some really professional people and really calm, welltrained horses, making it easy for me to learn how to put on the different gear on the horses and choose the right things for the purpose i wanted to do with the horse. Pull logs, wagon etc. And then, after training in the paddock for many hours we went to the forest doing the same things. This is among the coolest things i have done for a long time and of course i signed up for the two following courses. More training in the forest and then driving heavy loads of logs is what I want to learn properly, and more about the horses, naturlich.
This winter i will spend four days there and i'm allready looking forward to it.
This intrest for horses could come from my genes. Grandfather was a horseman, using horses long time even after buying tractors to the farm in north Finland. And his father was a horseman too...After some digging far deep i have found i like those animals too, simple as that. No, jumping, racing, betting with and on them. Just work with them, nice and slow in the forest without leaving any marks but a pile of shit here and there;-)
So what does this story have to do with fishing?
In Isaac Waltons "The complete angler" i know there is a description of lines, tippets and leaders made of horses tailstrings there. Hmm..That is a tough material and with soft rods, a thought in mind that the line and leader is a bit weaker than scimilar, modern ones, i think it's possible to land good sized fish with them. Just read below what they used in Japan not to long time ago. (yepp, horsetail)
In the good word of spreading the fishingcultures in different countries, I post the article and photo of the fly without permission from the author.
Below the article i post some pics of the horses from this weekend Danja, Lukas and Turbo are their names.
Kurobe headstream area
headstreamthat is in Northern Japanese Alps
of 3,000 meter
class in the border of Toyama Pref. and Nagano
Three in the left are flies of Mr.Zenichirou Onikubo
who kept fishing iwana (char) by the Kurobe
for 40 years. The hook was Kaizu No.14.
Bantam of black in early season, brown in best season,
black-and-white in autumn were used for the hackle each.
The body was tied three times by silk black thread
and was tied by peacock herl in summer.
Shamisen string was used for the eye.
The rod length was 3-3.6m.Horsetail was used for the line.
After it had become hard-to-find, the nylon line
No.3 (12lbs.) that was shortened 50cm more than
the rod was used. The right side is the fly with a tail of
Mr. Bunpei Sonehara who is last professional fisherman
in Kurobe. He kept fishing iwana for about 10 years in
Kurobe until the fishing area was lost by constructing
The hackle was bantam of red brown.
The body was tied 3 times by black thickish silk thread.
The eye was not attached. The rod length was 3.9m.
The furled tapered line of horse tail that is a little
longer than the rod was used. The tippet was
No.2 (8lbs.) 30cm. These are flies that I reproduced.
(Sources of reference: IwanaⅡ Last Professional Fisherman in Kurobe 1989,
Iwana Ⅲ Sequel Professional Fisherman in Headstream
edited by Shunji Shimura Hakujitsusha 1990)