Ismo Saastamoinen

Professional Swedish Fly Tier

Articles by Ismo Saastamoinen:
The IQ Shrimps
The Zeb Macahan
The Dawn series

Ismo on Ismo
I was born on the 8th of January -68, on the west coast of Sweden, in a small town called Kungsbacka. My parents are immigrants from Finland, father Pennti and mother Anna-Maria. I have lived almost all my life in Sweden and only partly in Finland. But I am, and will always be Finnish in my heart!

Our home is in Hindås, thirtyfive kilometers east of Gothenburg. It's a small town; we have a post office, gas stations and a small grocery store, no bank but two hotels. And most important, we have a small creek with excellent trout-fishing (catch and release). We live in an old girl-school with five other families. Itīs only five hundred meters from my shop (and three hundred meters from the creek, thatīs important).

We are five family members. Me and my wife Ellinor, and our daughter Felica, ten years old (she will be very good fly tyer when she grows up, and I hope she will work with me, but you never know. Her own dream is to become a police officer.) Then there is our son, Jack Ismo Jr. He is two and half years old. At the age of one and half months he was for the first time introduced to a salmon river (his fathers passion). The youngster in the family, Picasso, is a seven months old collie puppy. He usually accompanies me to the shop and looks after the customers.

My father comes from a family that has been fishing for generations. I was actually fishing before I could walk. As for the passion for fly tying, I don't know where it comes from. I think it started when I was very young, before I even tied my first fly. My aunts ex-husband had a lot of sport-fishing magazines, and when ever we were visiting my aunt and him, I ran in to his tackle room and could spend hours just looking at the pictures. I remember that I always liked the salmon flies best because of the colors.

I tied my first fly at the age of eight. I took, or borrowed, some of my fathers single hooks, and yellow goose feathers with sewing thread and red wool from my mother. These were the ingredients to my first fly. I tied without visa, the fly was not pretty I tell you, but it was my first and I made it myself without any help.

The passion urges me to become even more skilled and better all the time; you always want to make a perfect fly, that's the passion for me. There is no special fly or pattern. When you know that you have produced a fly that comes as close to perfect as you can get, that's the ultimate satisfaction. But if I have to choose my favorite, I have to say (with some reservation), a classic salmon fly. When tying a classic pattern and succeeding in doing it on the top of my ability, that fills me with great satisfaction and happiness.

I fish for salmon, and salmon again! When you catch your first salmon on fly, you are hooked for life. I got my first ones at the age of ten. You get this funny smile on your face that will always be there when salmon is the topic. It's a passion that's only known to persons that have had the luck to hook this magnificent creature named Salmon Salar. Amen!

You may have noticed that I have three passions in my life; first my family, and close, on a shared second place, fly tying and fly fishing for salmon.

I sold my first flies when I was seventeen years old. Today it is my profession, full time. I work as an advisor for Adexa, which is a wholesales tackle firm here in Sweden. I'm travelling around in Sweden, visiting shops and game fairs, tying flies and showing how to use different materials et cetera.
I have always known this would be my call. It's a passion that grows every year, I don't know what else I would like to do. I know that I'm one of few that have the opportunity to work with one of the things in my life that are important, and for that I am greatful.

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