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the River Keeper
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The river keeper - Hein van Aar, The Netherlands

Can you tell something more about yourself ?
“ In 2003 I lost my job in Holland, and I decided to try to realize an old dream: working and living in Scandinavia. Hεvard, the owner of Kvennan Camping, offered me a summer job. Two years later we started Kvennan Fly Fishing. The river board employed me as a manager for the KFF project, river keeper, fishing inspector and webmaster. If there is some time left, I go fishing with friends and KFF guests, and I am a Glomma fly fishing guide. My original profession is photographer, during winter I live in Holland and I am 46 years old. ”

How long have you been a fly fisherman, and where have you been fishing among others ?
“ Since I was a small boy I have been fishing. Sitting on the bank of a small Dutch channel, staring at my float, hoping to catch an eel or a perch. Of course I didn’t catch much, but my father and brothers had more success. In the mid 80’s my brother and our friend Pieter introduced me into fly fishing. We fished river Ourthe in Belgium for some years, and I was hooked. To make a little camp next to the river, a fire in the evening, drinking whiskey with good friends and talk for hours about the right fly and the best techniques, for me these are the things fly fishing is all about. So I went on, fished rivers in Germany, France and Austria before making the big step to Canada. Later I fished the North and South Island from NZ, and I went to the USA to try some remote rivers in Idaho. And of course I fished Glomma. For the first time in 1993, and since that year I visited Glomma between Tynset and Tolga every year, mostly twice a year, a full month in early season and a week or so in September. I am a dedicated nymph fisherman, but I am starting to appreciate dry fly fishing as well (at last…) ”

Why do you like river Glomma and the Kvennan Fly Fishing zone ?
“ I think our stretch has everything Glomma can offer. The fly fishing zone - KFF zone -  can be defined as the perfect river stretch for the fly fisherman. The flow has an ideal pace and depth for both trout and grayling, and because the river is not that deep, it is possible to wade at most places, even when the water level is higher than usual. The water will stay clear enough for fly fishing, the river is not very sensible for colouring during rainy days. When the water level is quite low (for example during August) there remain enough deeper channels where the grayling find shelter. There are a few dams upstream, but unlike river stretches in the Southern part of Glomma there are no major water level fluctuations caused by them. Especially Grayling doesn’t like sudden rises in water level, they just stop feeding then, and you have to wait for the level to stabilize or fall. There are only a few larger tributaries between Tynset and lake Aursunden,  and this also makes (in my view) that the river is not very vulnerable for high water-levels caused by sudden heavy rain. ”

 Can you tell something about the old days at river Glomma ?
“ I can only refer to the last 15 years, but I believe I can see changes in this period. In the first years the fishing was rather lousy at Kvennan, there was a lot of fish in the river, but mostly small ones. In those days I preferred to fish the Os stretch because there was more big fish to be caught. A few years later, say around 2000, the situation changed completely: it was lousy at Os, and at Kvennan there was a lot of big grayling. When I began to think this over, I realized this could only be caused by human influence - in the form of fishing pressure and killing to many fish. ”

Did you catch any really big fish in Glomma ?
“ I was very lucky in the early season of 2006, I hooked, landed and released two trout, 64 and 68 cm ( 3 and 3,5 kg), using my small Orvis rod with 14/100 tippet. They both fell for my gold head nymph, and were in perfect shape. In Glomma my biggest grayling was 51 cm. ” (update 2014: my biggest grayling in Glomma watershed measured exactly 60 cm, weighting 2,4 kg)

What is your favourite dry fly ? 
“ It depends to the season, of course, but I like the Blue Winged Olive (parachute style)  a lot because it is such an elegant fly, and the fish go crazy for it.”

What is your favourite nymph ? 
“ No doubt, the Hare's ear gold head nymph. ”

How long leader do you use, and how thick is your tippet ?
“
For nymph fishing I use fairly short leaders, max. 10 ft. with tippet 12/100 or 14/100. When fishing dry I use a much longer leader (3,5 - 4,5 meter) with tippet 14/100 or 16/100 ”

 Do you loose a lot of fish when fishing without a barb on your hook ?
 “ I don't loose so many fish, not with barbs and not without barbs. I loose fish when I drill to hard, but I feel it is better to loose a few then playing the fish to long ! ”

What do you think about the new rules & regulations ?
“
I think it is the only way to get a decent amount of big grayling and trout in the river. And those big ones, for me they are the reason to go fishing again and again. "

 What should be your best advice for a fellow Glomma fly fisherman ? 
“ If your results are not good, you are doing something wrong. There is so much fish around ! Ask advice from other fisherman in the river or at the campsite, or come and have a chat with me at my KFF office in Tolga. ”

What should be your best advice for river management ?
“
Let's try to bring back our part of this beautiful river to the good old days, and turn it into a real fly fishing paradise. "

Is there something more you want to share ? 
“
I wish Tight lines for all our guests this summer ! ”

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contact : kff@kvennan.com

© Hein van Aar