FishDee managed to pay a visit to Birse yesterday to catch up with an enthusiastic young fisherman from Sweden; Mr Simon Nilsson, from Engelholm. Simon has been on Deeside for the last 5 weeks learning about the skills required to become a top Ghillie from some of Deeside’s renowned Ghillies, Robert Harper, Brian Sim and Doug Murray. Simon is a student of the Forshaga Academy in Forshaga, some 20kms from Karlstad. Simon heard about the world famous River Dee many years ago when he was regaled with stories from many visiting anglers who came to Deeside in pursuit of our wonderful salmon and a number of television programmes. Simon had a dream that one day he would come to Deeside and fish for salmon.
Simon Nilsson at Birse
Simon is finishing his 2 year ‘Sports Fishing’ course shortly where he will receive his vocational qualification which will help him become a Ghillie/Guide in his native country and abroad. The course covers Fish Biology, Water Conservation, English and German language, Guiding, Fly casting, Sports Fishing Methods, customer care and fly tying. What makes Simon remarkable? Well Simon has taken out a student loan to enable him to take this course and is funding his 5 week stay on Deeside himself. This personal commitment says a lot about Simon’s drive and determination to develop a meaningful career out of one of his passions-Fishing. FishDee have interviewed Simon and want to share his views on his experiences on Deeside learning from the best.
What do you think about the River Dee?
The River Dee is an amazing fishing destination. Your enlightened people here realise the economic importance of a healthy salmon river. Your FishDee website is a fantastic resource promoting your well managed beats and provides a wealth of information for those wishing to find about the wonderful River Dee.
How was your experience working with some of our top Ghillies?
Brian Sim, Robert Harper and Doug Murray have been incredibly kind and helpful. They are very professional, knowledgeable and great communicators with super interpersonal skills when looking after clients. They have helped me a lot and given me confidence on how to communicate effectively with clients, how to read the river and how to advise on what tactics are necessary for the clients to fish well.
Simon entering a catch into the log book
What do you think about the Course you are undertaking?
It provides a great opportunity for young people in Sweden to learn about Sports fishing & Ghillying and gives a great foundation to develop a worthwhile career.
What is the main difference between the River Dee and your own rivers?
You promote catch and release which is a great method of fish conservation. In Sweden we need to adopt your policies as our stocks are low and threatened. We need to learn proper catch and release techniques as you practise them on the River Dee.
Simon getting ready to discuss tactics with an angler at the Irrigation Pool
How have you found the People you have met in Scotland?
The people have been very kind and polite, from bus drivers, shop assistants, people you meet on the river. The fishermen have been very friendly and kind and I have had a wonderful opportunity to meet many experienced fishermen.
What have been your funniest experiences on the river?
When I was at Crathes with Brian Sim we were looking after the John M Clark party. Mr Clark asked me to fish his rod whilst he made a phone call. Incredibly I hooked and landed a 15 lb Springer. Mr Clark took me to the hut to celebrate my success with the other rods. We celebrated with champagne and whisky-they were so incredibly kind, generous and gracious. Doug Murray got me with his Dog Jaw. Which many Birse anglers will know and laugh about another victim of this funny prank.
How would you sum up your experience briefly?
It has been a better experience for me than I had dreamed it would be and I will always treasure the time spent with your wonderful people on Deeside. I hope I get good references from the Ghillies who are all remarkable people.
Simon getting ready to drive off to meet anglers fishing the other beat pools.