Fishing Lappland 2011 (Day 4-6)

Here follow’s the rest of the report from our fishing last week, more specifically for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Day 4 – Seriously, more walking? And finding more big trout.
Its silly isn’t it, you would have thought that after two days of hard walking and non stop fishing along both ways of the river we would have wanted to have a more calm day. If I recall it correctly that was the original plan but somehow we ended up walking more than the previous two days together on Sunday.

The morning started out with another blue sky and fantastic weather. After breakfast we decided to go up the mountain side all four of us to try and phone home to our families. For some reason we didn’t find any service we I had found it before instead we had to go much higher up the mountain side. Once everyone had reached their loved ones Roger planted the idea that since we had already gone quite high up maybe we should try and get to the top and see the view. At that point you would have thought that the rest of us, a little stiff from the previous two days, would have said “no way, we’re done walking for a while now” but heck no, we went all the way to the top at 1090 metres and enjoyed it so much! The only regret was that I didn’t have the camera or the video cam with me, so this photo from the iPhone was all I got.

Okay, so now that we had gotten the walk going again nothing was gonna stop us. On the north side there was two lakes up on the top of the mountains, both on barely 1000 metres hight. Lakes like this on altitude like that are bound to have arctic char in them, so we decided to cross the river for the climb up the north side mountains aiming at the closest lake.

We did however feel the past days travels in our legs so the other guys felt like a nap for an hour or so would be good before setting out again. I had the trout fever bad so I couldn’t go sleep at all, instead decided to fish myself upstream in every pool with big foam flies trying to annoy a big trout so much with it that it was bound to come up in pure aggression to it. I found out that if I fished the big fly downstream dead drift trough rapids into a pool and then fished it home with hard takes on the line I could either get it to go popper like in the surface or dive under it. The last way was way more productive than anything else and I found myself catching slightly bigger trout now, not close to one kilo but still a little bigger than the 25 cm standard size that we’d been catching so many of up until now. A few hundred meters upstream from the camp I did the same thing again, short cast into the end of the rapid and then fed out line downstream so that it floated dead down the pool for about 25-30 metres and I directly caught fish as I started to pull it home again. Then on the third cast it happened, two hard pulls on the line just as it reached the far end of the pool and up comes a head of one of the biggest trout I have seen, I mean it was almost 30 metres from me but I could see the head so clearly as it completely devoured my fly. My heart stopped as I lifted my rod to strike back, and nothing was there, I had missed it. Cursing and disappointment didn’t help, neither did 50 casts in a row on the exact same spot. I had missed setting the hook on the trout of my life 😦

I had a mix of disappointment and excitement as I got back to camp just to find that the other guys was ready for the trip up the mountain to the lake that supposedly had char in it. So a quick pack up and gear up while I told the others of the missed trout and then we were off walking again. Somehow we missed where we should have gone up and ended up going where the mountain was almost at its steepest, trough rough terrain that held an abnormal amount of flies and mosquitoes. Once we was up over the worst par, completely sweaty, the cool western winds was a relief because it also blew most of the flies and mosquitoes away.

Now let’s get one thing clear, I have not been very successful at char fishing in the past. It’s so bad it has turned into a reoccurring source of laughter among my friends, so I had a little laid back approach to this lake. I would have loved to have been proven wrong but after more than an hour of fishing it had happened nothing, no rising fish, no strikes or anything else that could prove that there were fish in the lake at all. We did find extensive tracks from four-wheelers around the lake, so the theory was that the native “Samer” people had been doing net fishing in the lake. But it could also be that we sucked at fishing it!

So with nothing else to do we took the westbound way down the mountain aiming to come down somewhere close to the top part of the river to see if any big trouts were there today also. So more walking but this time down the mountain side, also we found that the four-wheeler tracks had made a small road that we could follow all the way which made it much more pleasant than walking trough the otherwise so rough terrain.

We saw more rising fish at the big pool than we had seen before, some really big once far out away from casting distance. Me and Anders fished that while Magnus and Roger went up stream to the slow flowing stretch. Anders managed to get one of the big guys to strike but never managed to set the hook, and the rest of us wasn’t successful either. So it was a little disappointing that we had to turn back without any bigger trout from this stretch.

Slowly we fishing our way downstream picking off small trout until we came up to the pool where Roger had have that bigger trout try to come and take the small trout from his fly two day earlier. Into this pool comes a smaller stream with ice cold water from the mountain in the south. It is not like the rest of the river is very warm, just that this little stream is even colder. It’s easy to see why it is so cold when you look up the mountain, where the stream begins is a large spot of snow still up there, so the water is pure melt water from snow! Anyway, as we start fishing the pool on the south side Magnus goes down to this little stream to drink, and as he does so he sees this big shadow swim out from it into the bigger pool in the main river. Aprox a two kilo fish who had gone up like 20 meters in the small stream, we would never have guessed such a big trout to go up such a shallow and small stream or we would have not stomped our way down to it.

It was now late and a little cloudy, as close to darkness as we would come up here, and just as I went to go look up in the smaller stream again I hear Roger call out from the pool. As I come back I see him standing with a hard bent rod and Anders beside him ready with a landing net. A bigger fish for sure! A minute or two of fight and then Roger had landed his biggest trout so far, what a beautiful fish! A big black zonker streamer did the work!

A few more contacts with bigger fish left us very happy but very tired, the clock was now waaaay past midnight and it wasn’t until three in the morning when we got back to camp. Another fantastic day of climbing, walking, fishing and landing of big fish! Life was extra fair.

Day 5 – Rain, whiskey and more big trout
Sometime during the night between Sunday and Monday it started to rain, heavy rain. After having gotten up late the only plan for this day was to get up to the deep pool again, and to do it for evening and night fishing. Maybe fish a little around the camp upstream mean while. We started a fire and gathered around there with some coffee and some whiskey and then a little more whiskey. To make a long story short we might have had a whiskey or two too much but then again those moments around a fire in the mountains is also part of the whole experience. Laughter, stories, tales, secrets and tears have and will always be shared around such a fire. What is said on the mountain stays on the mountain. Is that easy.

Me and Magnus around the camp fire

So after a wet afternoon (in double sense) it was time to get serious, gear up and walk upstream to the deep pool once more. While Magnus and Anders headed up there almost directly I felt I needed to give that big trout that had shown its head to me the day before another chance, so I put in about 20 casts in that particular small pool but without success. So I too headed up to the deep pool and met with Magnus who had just landed another beautiful big trout a couple of hg over a kilo, again on a streamer.

Magnus showing up more gold!

While Magnus was content with that he soon headed back to camp while me and Anders left to try in the rain. I stubbornly kept fishing dry flies but Anders had switched to big streamers and had long since went into “focus mode” like only he can. I have never fished with anyone who can get so focused in his fishing, not saying a word for hours just placing every cast perfectly one after another until he gets that fish that he is after.

This time was no exception, just as I was wading accross at the lower end of the pool I see how he stands where the small cold stream comes out into the pool with his rod well bent. I reach him just in time to help him net the biggest trout of the trip, 1,4 kilos, and one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. What… a …. fish! I mean, just look at that tail of his!

Now I was just as content as if I had caught it myself and Anders was of course in the state of happsky so with the rain still hammering down on us we called it a night and walked back to camp some 3 kilometres or so down stream from us. A day with very little walking, with our previous standard that is, rain and beautiful trouts came to an end. We fixed up some dinner, shared a beer or two and smoked the mandatory “PB” cigar for the second time on the trip and I crawled into my Ferrino LW2 tent and layed there for quite a while listening to the rain comming down on the tent competing with the sound of the river for my attention. Life felt fair, but also it was hard to believe that we had to leave this place the next day.

Day 6 – Last try and home bound.
Already on the first day the sole on one of Rogers wading shoes had started to loosen, and not only the felt sole but the entire sole. And since most of our walking had meant fishing our way up or downstream we had walked in waders for the entire week. The result was that Rogers shoe now held together only with packing bands and that he had some real problems for the last walk we did over the mountains. But it looked very odd when he came with that band around his foot and the sole sticking out.

I had mentioned earlier that the river was quite shallow and we found out (duh) that this meant that it was quite vulnerable to rain. When we got up that last morning the river had risen around 20 cm from all the rain the day before. Normally I would be worried when a river rises so much but this river being so shallow I thought that the bigger trout would benefit from it. Also having read a report on the internet from guys who had been fishing this river a few years ago they told a story about 90 mm rain in two days and after that they caught several trout over two kilo that had gone down into the river from the bigger lakes on top. So as long as we stayed cloudy we thought we could have a really good chance for big trout one last time on this last day.

We were up early on that last day, the helicopter wasn’t gonna come until 15.30 so we figured we could fish well into lunch and then still have a couple of hours to pack up and eat before the helicopter came. We went straight to the deep pool all but Magnus who fished some of the other pools on his way up. Since I was the only one still with a trout over the kilo mark I was left with the spot where the smaller stream came out into the pool which had been by far the best so far. A big Fish skull streamer was on my leader today, finally giving in and keeping the dry fly in the box for this last try. I had several cast where the fish stroke and only caught the tail of the fly and one who I did set the hook too who initially felt like a good fish but turned out to be around the half kilo mark. Both Roger and Anders was in contact with bigger fish too and Roger landed one just under the one kilo mark just as Magnus came back. Then the clouds started to disappeared and the sun shone trough once again and the fish stopped coming. It was that easy, the clear water in combination with the sunshine made the fish very spooky. And afterwards I realized that all of our bigger fish, except from the one Magnus caught on the top stretch, had been caught either in cloudy conditions or in the middle of the night when the light was not as bright.

So with that our fishing in the Dellik-river had come to an end. Oh, except for a few last casts I placed in home pool just to catch one last trout of the trip. We were back to camp and after lunch it was time to pack up. We had plenty of time still, but it was a good thing that we started early with it because the helicopter when it came was 30 minutes too early.

The only thing that was left was to take of our hats and wave goodbye to one of the finest places a man can fish. You can always say that we caught too few big trout for it to be a perfect trip, but it is not always the biggest fish that makes the best trip. For me it was one of the best fishing trips I have been on, period.

About Ulf Hagström

Fly fishing, fly tying, family and going your own way; the way of the fly. View all posts by Ulf Hagström

3 responses to “Fishing Lappland 2011 (Day 4-6)

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