Yanick Hort, your fly fishing guide, coach, host, nature lover, and chef in the Grisons, Switzerland, and abroad.
"Why is it that we spend so much of our time preparing for when we can do what we want, instead of just doing what we want right now?”
The quote from John Strelecky's book accompanied me for years...
Already as a small child, I armed myself with worms and lead balls and set out to pursue the big perch. To the surprise of my parents, I could tie all fishing knots blind as a child, but I could not convince the teacher of my French skills. Somehow, I still managed to get into secondary school and studied, learned, spelled, calculated, and sketched... my new fishing rods.
At 14, I took my first fly fishing course. A rod as flimsy as my neighbor's beanpole and a fly reel like Cornelia from the parallel class; creaking, squeaking and above all jammed... The line flew in all directions and my fly imitated no emerging insect, but a sparrow in its natural environment. Sometimes on the tree, sometimes in the grass. Nevertheless: fly fishing caught me.
Even during my apprenticeship as a chef in Appenzell, I did not let go of the rod. Although I must admit that the nightlife could not always be combined with the fishing trip the next morning back then.
After my time as a chef, I devoted myself fully to alcohol... and started working as a bartender. That's when I realized that contact with humanity can sometimes be fun. In the meantime, I completed the vocational maturity school, followed by some trips abroad.
And then it started. The big search.
With a completed apprenticeship as a cook and a diploma from the vocational high school, I decided in 2015 to study hotel management. The informative but demanding time as a student mainly consisted of learning, working, learning and more working. The mandatory internship in the reception area led me to Canada in the summer of 2017 and changed everything.
According to my contract with the fishing lodge directly on the Skeena, I was employed as a "Lodge Assistant Manager". A job title could not have been more Canadian. In the end, I took care of guests, accompanied them, drove them, comforted them, postponed them and inspired them all summer long. My job was a mix of guide, fish filleter, bartender, chef, driver, office guy, buyer and multi-fisherman. The two-handed rod became the most important companion and fly fishing was a integral part of my life.
Back in Switzerland, it came back again... The ominous question. What do you want to do?! Are you on the right path? Do you really want to be a hotel manager later?
Somehow it was too late to hang up my studies.. But the doubts grew.
The completion of my course in the spring of 2020 was a blessing. Now I was free. No more unnecessary lectures, no more obligations at work. Love, peace, and happiness! COVID-19 dampened the mood significantly. The first lockdown in the spring of 2020 meant that I couldn't start my planned job and I had a lot of time for my passion. Every day I was outside, refining my technique, cooking, casting loop after loop, studying, drinking coffee, learning new things and definitely knew: fly fishing will always be a part of my life.
It is the answer to the question of what I want to do in the future. I don't just want to catch fish, but to share my knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm. I want to show people that there is more to it than just reeling in trophy fish. I want to take people to where I feel comfortable. I want to take like-minded people into nature, show off my cooking skills, and create good moments.
So, in April 2020 I created a free website called FLYTASTIC and shared my impressions and insights. The feedback was surprising and pleasing. In May 2020, I packed my bags again. As a guide and shop assistant, I worked all summer in Sorsele. Sor-what? Sorsele is located in Swedish Lapland, has more reindeer than inhabitants, and is quickly overlooked on the map. Fishing for trout, grayling, and pike is a dream and thanks to a flexible work schedule, I had more than enough time to cast a fly. I perfected fishing with the dry fly and reworked my casting style and established valuable contacts.
Answer to my question
In the summer of 2021, I finally listened to my heart, mustered up my courage, and officially declared FLYTASTIC as part of my professional activities. During FLYTASTIC guide and workshops, I always try to pass on my skills in fly fishing and rod building, my knowledge about water, and my attitude towards nature. I am convinced that I will bring joy to some fly fishers. It's finally time to do what I love, and that is fly fishing.