New ­owners ­at ­Rena ­Fishcamp

Rena Fiskecamp has new owners.

The word on the street is that Rena Fiskecamp has new owners. Tell us a bit about yourself John.

I grew up in Otis Massachusetts, a small middle of nowhere town by somegood rivers in New England. My parents owned and operated a small store where my father was a butcher and we lived above it. Both of my parents were really into fly fishing so growing up I would often go out with them on fishing trips.

It sounds like you’ll do just fine living above the fish camp then?

Haha, Yeah. I first started guiding fly fishing in Vermont in 2008. When I had the chance to move to Montana in 2010 I jumped at it. For the last 10 years I’ve been living in Livingston Montana where I worked as a butcher for an all natural food store, bartended, and fly-fished in my spare time for before I started guiding in again in 2015.

John Bond in Montana
Rena Fishcamp

Norwegians grow up with skis on their feet, but you grew up with a fly rod?

I grew up in a fishy family but didn’t really start getting into it till I was around 11 or so. At least that’s when I caught my first fish on a dry fly in Pennsylvania. I really started getting into it around the age 15/16 when I would start going out by myself.

I know how that goes man, I got into fly fishing pretty young with a fishy family myself. I feel super lucky to have had that opportunity.


So the past several years you’ve been guiding on the Yellowstone River in Montana. What made you want to leave that and come to Norway?

I really did not want to leave Montana at first. My wife, Silje, is from Norway and as the parents of two beautiful little girls we decided that moving to Norway was the best thing for our family. But I feel very lucky and blessed to have this great opportunity to take over the Rena Fish Camp and be so close to such a Great and beautiful river.

Rena really is something special, and as a fellow American transplant in Norway I I can relate to that. Us Americans are invading Norway!


But seriously, what an opportunity to buy Rena Fiskecamp. You didn’t just jump on one day and see Rena Fiskecamp for sale, can you remind me who introduced you to Rena for the first time?

You did! After fishing the Rena four days in a row, drifting, seeing a few late season hatches, and the large population of fish in 2017, I definitely fell in love Rena! I’m the definition of a trout bum and I knew I could settle down here. After researching for a couple of years and drilling you and Lars (previous owner) with thousands of questions, I just felt comfortable about it. I feel that Rena is one of the best trout and grayling fisheries in Europe, if not the world. The abundance of Grayling, the unique copper color of the brown trout, and just the river itself make it a very special place. Not to mention the incredible hatches Rena is known for.

Selveste Lars Johansen
John Bond

I think anyone who has ever fished Rena will agree with you there. Lars did a great job building the fish camp into what it was today, what are your plans moving forward?

We have many plans, this is going to be our lifes work. We look forward to hosting a variety of events and gatherings at the Fishcamp in the future, which should be easier once the corona situation lightens up. We’ll be doing a streamer festival during the opening weekend, a dry fly festival at the beginning of July, and reviving the Grayling festival in the fall. We will have a fully stocked fly shop and will be offering guiding, casting courses, and arranging fly tying events. We’re also looking forward to getting the café up and running, which may not happen this year, but our fingers are crossed! Then we will also offer catering for private parties as well, and we make a damn good burger!

I hear you’ll also have a good variety of boats available for rent, what type of boats do you have?

We have the Rena Fish Camp 3-4 person Clackacraft drift boat that we inherited from Lars, a 3-4 person Maravia raft with an aluminum frame, and 6 Watermaster rafts available for rental. I’ve been using the water master raft for almost 10 years and they are safe and functional and one of the best ways to get around, especially on Rena. I will also have my personal drift boat that I brought from the states for guiding. We of course offer safety and basic operation instructions before every rental so people don’t get themselves into trouble. Every boat comes with accessories and safety equipment.

That’s a solid selection of boats! With drift fishing becoming more and more popular on Rena, what are some of the important things newbies should know before they get out on their first float?

That’s a great question. One of the most important things while floating any river that has other anglers occupying the water is being respectful to the river and other anglers. Making sure to give anglers fishing from the bank their space to fish and always staying focused on what’s coming up in front of you. Giving anglers at least 15 m of room, this means moving to the middle of the river or completely to the other side of the river if you see someone fishing on the bank. Even if they’re not fishing and they’re just resting water, everyone drifting should be respectful and give them that water or move over. Not being too loud and being aware that there are other people around is very important. Also safety is a big concern. River currents are powerful and unforgiving and can pull you under very quickly especially when wearing waders. Always show maximum respect for the river and wear a life vest. We have life vests available with all boat rentals.

Vertskapet på Rena Fishcamp

Well I’m super excited for you guys taking over and wish you the best of luck! Lets wrap this up with some simple questions.

Favorite way to fish ?

Streamers or dry, it depends on the dayStreamers eller tørrflue. Kommer litt an på dagen.

Favorite fly ?

The DragonThe Dragon

Best movie ?

Big Trouble in Little China

Favorite fish ?

The mighty brown trout of course.

Favorite food ?


Favorite car ?

Suzuki Jimny

Interview : Jake Semons

Powered by Labrador CMS