Did you know that there are between 300,000 and 400,00 moose and 260,000 reindeer in Sweden? This interesting country shares borders with Finland, Denmark and Norway and while Swedish is its main official language (only since 2009), the country has 5 other official languages: Finnish, Yiddish, Sami, Meankiell and Romani. Top that with the fact that 89% of people in Sweden speak English and I’m thinking this is an amazing country.
Even cooler for the outdoor enthusiast, forest cover 50% of Sweden and there are 100,000 lakes throughout the country. All of these areas are fully accessible to the public through their right to public access laws. And get this, “The Official Twitter account of @Sweden is given to a random citizen every week to manage”. I mean, really?! Throw in Swedish meatballs, northern lights and Absolut Vodka (which was owned by Sweden’s government until they sold it for 8.3 billion in 2008) and I’m convinced this is a pretty cool country. I’m not even going to mention Ikea.
So why am I going on about Sweden? Because Zen Tenkara is very excited to introduce to you our Scandinavian Connection and newest distributor, Nordic Fly Fishing Distribution, owned by Torbjorn Andersson of Jarfalla, Sweden. Started in early October of this year, “Toby” explained that he’s “always wanted to get into this and now during the pandemic…finally got the time to kick start it!”
When Toby and I first connected, I asked him about his fishing background and story. He has over 44 years of fly fishing experience behind him, plus many years before that spinning for Pike and Perch in the archipelago of Stockholm, the largest archipelago in the world with 24,000 Islands.
His fly fishing started with grayling and brown trout in the rivers in Sweden and as personal finances got better, he began traveling to Norway to target Atlantic Salmon which in his opinion “is the king of all fish and being close to Norway with more than 850 rivers for salmon, it’s a life time project.” That started over 35 years ago.
Nowadays he likes salmon fishing the most, but tallies the most number of days chasing brown trout in Sweden. “I travel to Iceland (been 28 times) for salmon, sea trout, brown trout, char and sea-run char. I fish for steelhead on the US West Coast, rainbows and grayling in Slovenia, Bosnia and Austria. Salmon in Scotland.” So it’s safe to say, he has some fly fishing experience behind him.
I asked Toby what his goals were for NFD. “To provide high quality fly fishing gear to European tackle shops”. He told me that NFD only focused on and imported products from brands who were not yet present in Scandinavia or the rest of Europe. Of course, I wondered how tenkara fit into all of this. “Tenkara has its definite place in fly fishing but you do not chose regular fly fishing or tenkara. The opportunity and rover decide what to use. For me, in my home river in Sweden, I will carry both a 9ft 4wt fly rod and a Zen Tenkara rod. In some pools the tenkara rod will be better and in others, a regular fly rod”. Sounds like a great philosophy and one that makes Nordic Fly Fishing Distributor unique.
Finally I asked Toby why should retailers deal with NFD? “Because we offer excellent service, available stock in Sweden and foremost, that we carry new (for European anglers) brands primarily in the premium segment”. Straightforward and to the point, Zen looks forward to exploring a new market with NFD and we hope that if you’re in Sweden or the Scandinavia Region and looking to stock your fly shop or order direct online, that you’ll contact NFD via Facebook, Instagram or through the NFD Website where online ordering will be available in the very near future. And let’s not forget those meatballs…or the vodka.