When we’re walking miles along the flats or in chilly river waters up to the hips of our waders, let’s face it, we’re all rock stars. It’s our show. Win or lose the prize is always ours for the taking just because we spent the day doing what we love. We toast the day’s efforts when the sun goes down; this is our award ceremony.
But imagine if you will, a bonafide celebration in which everyday anglers are honored like celebrities. Imagine if there were actual prizes for your passion and productivity in sports fishing beyond the cold beverage that awaits you at the end of your fishing day. Sounds like the stuff of an angler’s fantasy, but in Norway, it’s reality.
The place: Oslo, Norway on a surprisingly mild Saturday night in December. The event: Gullkroken (The Golden Hook) 2014, organized by Hooked, sponsored by Loop. Gullkroken honors Norwegian sport fishing in an Academy Award-esque ceremony with all the glitz, glamor and mayhem you’d expect anywhere BUT in a room with a bunch of anglers.
The stage was set The Cristiana Teater in Oslo. Outside revelers were ushered past velvet ropes and a V.I.P photography station and into the classical auditorium. A row of gilmmering golden hooks were under the watchful guard of the two statuesque Norwegian goddesses who would escort them to their recipient over and again throughout the night. Cato, from Bekkis Drums Fish, the waist length blond haired, three piece suited, fast talking MC took the stage and the party started.
The excitement was palpable in the theater. Over 600 attendees filled every brocade chair in the house. They cheered for their favorite in such categories as “Best Fly Fisher” and “Best Fishing Film”. Several music acts performed life on stage in between awards including a solo performance by Geir Ruud, The Maggots (a band comprised of the MC Cato himself, Håvard Stubø of Jazz & Fly Fishing (winner of the best film, The Curse ) and Lars Lenth). The headline act: Norway’s beloved pop music band, “Donkey Boy“.
Top honors of the evening went to angler Torunn Handleland. After this last coveted Golden Hook was placed in her hands, the party continued way into the night.
Though to my ears the language sounded like a sweet parody of something deliciously Scandinavian, a few things became abundantly clear as the night pressed on: Norwegians love fish, they love fishing and they love a good party. Norway elevates fishing culture and anglers to the pantheon of superstars. Skål!
Article: Elizabeth Kamir