Fly fishing in Switzerland

Fly fishing in Switzerland with François Marclay

A talk with our Swiss ambassador Francois Marclay, who sent us pictures all winter long while we were turning around in our office waiting for the snow to melt.

Hey Francois, first question, is Switzerland as cool as it looks?

Ahaha… fishing in Switzerland. If you have an obsession about the fish, well Switzerland is not the place to be. You won’t find the biggest fish here but the one you’ll find are the prettiest. The whole thing makes the experience incredible here. It’s our environment, our fish, just being outside, the incredible landscape, Alps are really magical. If you are looking for big fish Alaska is the place to be. Here in Switzerland catch and release is forbidden. You can still say its for ecological reasons, for the reproduction, etc. But that’s getting around the law. If you get caught, it can cost a few hundred Swiss Franc. Fishing in Switzerland is a challenge. There is not a lot of fish, you need to explore around, this is what makes it as nice as it is, the immersion is worth it.

Francois, your photos are definitely stunning, can you talk a little bit more about your passion for the photography?

It’s one of my main passions. I broke one of my knees snowboarding about 10 years ago and it became a way to follow my friends and share the vibe with them.

How do you manage fly fishing and photography?

Fly fishing is really slow, you have to be very quiet, you also have to be really aware of your environment. I just thought it fit with the way I work taking landscape photography. You have to be there on the right day, at the right moment, on the best spot, and to wait for the right light, etc. When you fly fish, you also work with these aspects, you move on with the seasons, the daylight, the weather… I think its beautiful, there is something very aesthetic, something magical when we cast a fly line.

What do you like the most of fly-fishing?

I think it’s the intensity of every single moment we live in fly-fishing. When my North American friends came to my place last year, we fished a little river by my place, the conditions were perfect but the fish weren’t biting. Then suddenly one of them hooked on a fish, I was on the other side of the river with the net and my camera. He was with his flip flops, fishing with a Tankara rod on a fast water river, I was bare foot, so we started running around. I felt down in the water holding my camera up in the air to make sure it was safe. We started laughing, because it was so ridiculous, all of this trouble to save a 25 cm fish. This is how you realize how thrilled you can get to land a fish no matter its size. You’ll take any risk. That’s it! For nothing! (laughs) Fly fishing for me is like a vortex, you forget everything, you stop feeding, drinking, you realize you have to go back and it’s pitch black and you don’t have any headlamps, this is what we are looking for. Forgetting everything and connecting with something real.

You can follow Frank Through his Instagram for more stunning sceneries from Switzerland and Europe.

Video credits : Stéfanie Flückiger & Elisa Chavaillaz