The following story is the story about who I am, my choices in life and the crucial episodes that has made me the man I am today. To sum it up, a lot about angling and what it means to me.
Story: Asger Hjort
Photographer: Nikolaj Thaning
FIRST STOP: COPENHAGEN
I’m a country boy. Born and raised far from anything remotely urban. So when I moved to Copenhagen, I experienced an insatiable appetite to live in the beating heart of the city and really absorb the vibe and energy of the place. I wanted to create, engage and live out my entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to channel my entrepreneurial energy and see how far my abilities would take me. In this particular period I started out making a living by arranging events and parties. I did pretty much everything from underground pop-up events for art magazines in Vesterbro to client VIP-get-together stuff in the more posh areas of Copenhagen. At that time my idol was a weird bittersweet mix of the promoter Jean Von Baden, the lead singer from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Danish entrepreneur Klaus Riskjær. At the end of the journey I ended up with co-ownership of a bar, and I worked as a party promoter for one of Copenhagen’s most lavish and extravagant nightclubs. However, the nightlife got the best of me, and the turning point was when I wet my bed without even waking up. The hype, the glamour, and the excitement had been exchanged with odd working hours, faceless people and an unhealthy addiction to good times. Eventually it had to
end, and I needed to re-evaluate my existence. Something easier said than done, as the scene around me never changed.
HOOKED ON A FEELING
I clearly remember the first time I was without any phone coverage, miles from the nearest city with nothing but a fishing pole and the silence of the sea. In no time, I went from being part of the hectic nightlife of Copenhagen to spending all my weekends in a two-man rowing boat on a deep lake in search of pikes willing to bite. I was hooked on angling. I didn’t see it coming, it just sort of happened when a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to test-drive his uncle’s rusty lure. And boy would I! We made a rule that the one who catches the first pike gets to drink a pilsner. It turned out to be the funniest, long-winded drinking game ever. However, the suspense in-between beer and catching a pike took me by surprise. I found tranquility, serenity and insight. And it all came with a stunning view.
I got to know myself a whole lot better and found that I’d missed out on quite a lot. The last 7 years had been one long hangover and most of it was hazy at best. One day my fishing buddy said: “The one who lives in silence, lives well”. That sat with me for a while. People really don’t care about what you do, but if you are truly happy with it, you become a better and more tolerant person. So, take it easy, and figure yourself out. I got hooked on angling and started chasing pikes and perches. I used every trick in the book and pretty fast I learned to do my own snoods, tie a proper Palomar and make unique double knots. I learned to jerk bait like the Swedish and in no time I was the sharpest knife in the tub. At one point I even considered calling the owner of the coolest fishing brand around, Savage Gear, and pitch myself as a promoter and sales general for his products. The plan was simple: lead an army of newfound fishing fans to the promised land of inner peace. I had to make a living and chasing pikes and perches on a daily basis just didn’t cover my expenses.
BACK TO CIVILIZATION
I never got around to executing my humble plan of world domination. Out of the blue, a friend of mine called me up and told me about his new bar project in the city. At first, I could feel past virtues swell up inside me with an unhealthy mix of guilt and contempt, but when he asked me to do the interior design I was puzzled, curious and kind of relieved that it would be during normal work-hours. So, I accepted to give it a try - after all, the next few days weren’t exactly perfect fishing weather anyways. As I stepped into the new place, I was immediately displeased with the paint on one wall, the way the doorway was made, and why a room was separated into two separate sections. Apparently I had a stance on colors and interior design too. The next two weeks I practically slept in the “office” trying to turn a sleazy cave into a nice, exclusive cocktail bar. I wanted to make it look like the million that was actually being spent on interior design. At the end of the day my friend and his investors were overjoyed with the result. I decided on the spot to make my own interior design company: A Studio.
It has been a wild ride and at least as hectic as the old days. However, the calmness from angling remains, and the joy of the work is back. I’m true to who I am and what I do, and I am still a very passionate fisherman, whenever I can find the time. I don’t think I would have been as happy today if it hadn’t been for my introduction to angling. In fact, I have no idea what I would be like as a person. Probably old before my time and a very grumpy man. Every time I find myself on calm waters, wearing a woolen sweater with my good luck hat tucked down my ears — I smile, look over the calm sea and find comfort in the fact that I finally figured out what it’s all about.
Dedicated Angler Since 2013Read RAINS JOURNAL Issue Six