Midsummer’s Eve is a big deal in Norway. The day is to celebrate the brightest day of the year. People go camping or have BBQs at the beach. Midsummer’s Eve is about enjoying the endless sunshine.
However, in Alta, shops close early, people leave work before time and the city becomes like a ghost town as everyone has headed to the rivers. Midsummer’s Eve is the last day of free fishing in Alta and all the locals are out in force along the banks to catch some Midsummer’s salmon. The salmon have started making their way back up to their breeding waters. They aren’t hungry at all when they get to the rivers as they have already filled up in the ocean so this makes it very tricky to catch a salmon. At Twelve-midnight, when the sun is high in the sky, the free fishing ends. Alta folk sure know the rules down to the letter – if you hook a fish before midnight, even if it is 11:59pm, then you are allowed to keep it no matter how long it takes you to reel it in.
Onkel Rooney is the (fanatical) fisher of the family. Nearly every weekend he is down by the rivers. He inspires you to fish just from his dedication. Moose reckons the Alta salmon is Onkel Rooney’s ‘Moby Dick’. Well, lets have a look shall we?:
1. Did Onkel Rooney sign up minutes after the office opened to register for the license raffle? – yes.
2. Did he count down the weeks, days, and hours to the fishing license raffle? – uh-huh.
3. Did he wait up until midnight for the drawing of the fishing licenses? – of course.
4. Did he win a fishing license for 2010? – yep, the fish gods smiled down on him this year!
5. Is he crazy-happy with his one day, 24 hours straight, of salmon fishing? – you bet!
6. Did this slow down his free fishing activity – hec, no!
I think Moose might be right.
Next year I might even sign up to do some salmon fishing. But maybe it would be a good idea to learn fly-fishing first?