In our new blog series we are taking a detailed look at the entrepreneurs we work with. As a small family business it is important for us to work only with other small businesses to make sure our guests have the most genuine and authentic travel experience.
The first one sharing his story with us is Jakob Rosenqvist of JaRo Guiding. How did he become a fisherman and nature guide? What is his relationship to nature, to Åland and to the other Nordic countries?
And most importantly, why he loves what he does.
Enjoy the journey through the thoughts and lives of Ålandic nature and tourism entrepreneurs!
Jakob was born and raised in Eckerö, the westernmost municipality of Åland. Eckerö is a popular destination for outdoor tourism in the Åland Islands and also many of the locals enjoy fishing and boating.
Jakob started fishing at a very young age when he got to join his dad and grandpa at sea. They used to lay down nets and catch whitefish and perch.
One of the greatest memories from Jakob’s childhood is when he used to go in to the forest where they found an inland lake and used to catch perch. They always caught fish there. Nowadays Jakob arranges fishing excursions for children and their families in the same lake from where he has many lovely fishing memories.
Another memorable nature experience Jakob has is when he caught his first salmon, that big guy weighed over 12 kilograms. He also remembers the night he went to fish burbot with his friend in Klarälven, Sweden. They were all alone on a tiny sand island only reachable by boat. The night was rainy and there were no buildings, or other people around.
Some time in middle school Jakob decided that he wanted to work as a fisherman. Because of his early life experiences and heritage the choice was obvious. At the age of 15 he applied to a sport fishing academy in Värmland, Sweden, and was accepted. He had made a great choice! Jakob got plenty of experience and knowledge as well as all safety licenses needed when working as a fisherman and guide.
At the moment of studying in Sweden Jakob also found him self a job as a tour guide. His job was to take tourists into the Swedish wilderness and on the sea – and that is where it all started. Nowadays Jakob still works part time in northern Sweden and Norway and help the local tourism operators there besides running his own business in Åland.
This is how Jakob describes his relationship to nature:
“I would say my relationship to nature is a little special. I do not romanticize nature and I do not hold any delusion that nature should have a purpose or a will. Nature is chaos that we have not tamed and packed in boxes. Nature does not care about our meaningless attempts to categorize and structure, and only when you let go of there delusions can you really understand how nature works.
I feel fascination and reverence for nature, we are a art of it whether we like it or not and our impact on it can have effects beyond what we can imagine. And despite many attempts, we cannot control nature.
At the same time it is beautiful and quiet. Everything just exists, there are no requirements or deadlines. Nature does not care about our human concept of stress.
I enjoy the north in general. The climate is just warm enough and there is fantastic nature. Norway and Sweden are where I spend most of my time away from Åland, and when I say Sweden it is usually the mountain chain I am referring to.
I like the snow and mountains in Sweden. You can drive snowmobiles and ice fish in the winter, and in the summer there are hiking trails and a fantastically varying nature. There are also rivers and streams where you can fly fish for grayling, trout and char. I love fly fishing, you come extremely close to the fish and to stand waded out in a small stream and watch your fly drift down the stream waiting for a grayling to surface and take it is a unique experience.
In Norway it is the fjords and the mountains. Especially the ocean fishing is absolutely incredible. The masses of fish that exist and the size of some of them is almost hard to imagine if you haven't been there. You can easily catch food for a month in a few hours with a fishing rod."
Jakob and Åland Expeditions and Events welcomes you all to a great and memorable wilderness and fishing excursion in the Åland Islands, Sweden and Norway!