Category Archives: Fishing trips

Fish your fly all the way

Last weekend I had our annual pike fishing trip, more on that misfortune later. I’ve been bringing the video cam along my last few outings trying to catch a little pike fly fishing action. On this little clip you can see me doing a classic mistake, not fishing quite all the way in. On numerous occasions I’ve had Pike take the fly just by my feet and it always pays of to fish the fly right to the shore. You can see here that just as I lift the rod to cast again it looks like the fly gets stuck, well it gets stuck in the mouth of a nice pike. Naturally I didn’t hook it, and my reaction is a little late 🙂


The flight to crystal river

Another little video cut together from the flight out to the river we fished about a month ago. It was a fantastic scenery and it is a little sad that I didn’t film more of the flight than I did. There are a few nice shots there but it is far from doing any justice to the amazing mountain country we flew over.

At that point we were as excited as kids at christmas morning. Four buddies who hadn’t been on a real fishing trip for more than three years, sitting ourselves in a helicopter about to fly out to a potentially great river. If the fishing wasn’t enough to look forward to, the helicopter flight kinda makes it double the excitement. If you have ever been flown out to a river with a helicopter you know exactly what I am talking about. I mean, c’mon we’re guys, we love anything with an engine and if it also flies it is just fantastic!

So here it is, the flight to crystal river, going on our way, the way of the /:Fly:/


The crystal river

For the first time I had a digital video camera with me on this summers fishing trip to the river that I have named Crystal river from its crystal clear waters and its beauty. I didn’t film that much but it turned out to be 20-30 minutes or so. It’s not a very good cam, I am probably gonna get myself a GoPro Hero for next year but it had to do for this time.

I am gonna try and cut a short little film from all the material sometimes this fall, will be a good project when the darkness and cold begins to creep up on us here. But for now I just wanted to publish this very short panning of the river itself, this was just where we had our camp some ten meters behind where I was standing filming this.

Upstream you see some of the mountain tops where the snow were still laying, and on the opposite side of the river you see the top where we went up to the lake looking for char on day four and at the end you see where the rapids run out into “home pool”. This stretch is quite representative for how the general profile of the river was. Rapids, and pools, and untouched fantastic nature scenery. I want to go back there.


New photo album

I’ve added a new photo album to the Photo album page showing some photos from this years spring fly fishing for pike. I had ten days out during the spring with very mixed result due to very big variations in weather. My general view of the population of pike in my home waters is that it have come back quite strong for the last three years or so. Last year we caught more pike than we had done for almost ten years, most of them around the two kilo mark. This year we had a slightly bigger average weight to them, which shows that the population are growing and are combined with the occasional 1-2 kilo fish as well. I take this as a sign that spawning has done well for the last three years or so.

Some photos in the album are taken by my friend Marc Fauvet who came down together with his lovely partner Jeanette Linnarud to fish with us for two days during our “Elmer goes pike” weekend.


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.


Fishing Lappland summer 2011 (day 1-3)

I said as I started this new blog that I wanted to repost some posts from my old one. I think that the reports from this summers big fishing trip is in order to repost especially since I messed up the Photobucket albums on the original post. So here it is!

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So here’s finally a report from the week of fishing we had in Lappland Sweden 13-20th of july!

Prelude
For me it started by being picked up by Magnus and his girlfriend at home in the afternoon on Wednesday, we then took the one hour drive to meet up with Roger and Anders and move all stuff into Rogers car and then we were off! I love a good road trip, and this was no exception. 1090 kilometres on just over ten hours, yes we had a good speed on the Volvo 🙂 Unable to sleep at all during the night we got a little sleep when we got up there since we were about three hours early before the helicopter was to get us out.

Day 1 – take off, landing and the first trouts
Finally the small camping station opened on Thursday morning and we got to meet Kjell who was the manager there and plan the helicopter lift, pay for it and also pay for the fishing licenses. Still it was about an hour left until the helicopter were to arrive. We took the car back to the lift off position which was beside a small lake and got to start getting our packing out of the car, do a change of clothes and open a beer while we waited. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long before the helicopter came! After the weighting in of the luggage (which gave us about 60 kg over weight) it was time to start loading us and the bags in!

Seriously, when you get in that helicopter and hear how the rotors start to go faster and faster, hear the engine start accelerating and then feel how the whole thing sways as it takes the first centimetres upwards it is impossible not to feel like a little boy at christmas. We all sat there with big grins on our faces and they all got bigger and bigger the higher up we came. When the helicopter took up over the sides over the first mountains and we saw the views in front of us…. I don’t really have good words to describe it, let’s just say that if we’d smiled a little more our heads would have split in half horizontally! We past over three clear mountain ranges the first one held a real valley but the other two were more of mountain plateaus with no trees, small lakes and small streams, a fantastic scenery!

I did some extensive filming with the video cam while flying over this fantastic part of our country, I will put together a video from it later this week and it will of course be up here as soon as I am done.

When we past over the third mountain range we suddenly saw it, the river we were gonna fish for the comming six days. Beautifully set in the mountain valley it flowed mainly in a west – east direction with a section just were the river started from a handful of big lakes going north – south. The closer we got down to the river the more excited I got. I saw numerous of small rapids with calm waters in between, big rocks and small “islands” splitting the river at several places. It looked exactly like I wanted it to! The pilot landed us smoothly on the south side of the river, some 8 kilometres down stream from those big lakes that started the river. After a quick unpack we were left there standing in the low shrubbery watching the helicopter go back over the mountains until it disappeared over the mountains.

This was the moment, where all magic lay in front of us, where in theory we could still believe that there were huge trout in every pool, backwater and rapid. Excitement were high and the laughs was many as we set up camp just by the river beside a small set of trees. Normally that would be the last place to chose because in the trees like that would be where the mosquitoes would be at the most but it seemed like we had came with bad weathers which called more for shelter from the wind than from mosquitoes. It was only 8-9 degrees with very hard northern winds and gray skies, which made the smooth way our pilot had landed us it even more impressive! Before setting our tents up at the chosen spot we had to take a real look at the river thought, it was magically beautiful, a small rapid just upstream from our camp, with a bigger pool opening up just where we had our tents, could it be the perfect spot?

First fly was tied on and first cast was put out, and I’ll be dammed if the first trout wasn’t landed too! Despite the weather I felt like a king and we set off, me and Magnus upstream and Roger and Majja downstream, for a couple of hours fishing before getting back for some food and and a fire. Several trouts had been landed already, all of them small 25 cm or so. The first exploration showed that the river was quite clear and quite shallow, at least on the spots we had time to fish so far. Anders did some cast in our home pool and came back with a really nice trout at around 35-40 cm or so. We found a good spot to make a fire with shelter from the hard wind and we spent the evening sitting there sharing that trout, some drinks, cigars and laughs. Life was fair.

Day 2 – walking upstream and the first trout over one kilo
Day two begun and it was obvious that we had very different conditions today. The sun was shining and it was almost no winds. The river now displayed all its glory under the blue skies and the high mountains around it, and if we’d thought it was clear the day before it was nothing now when the sun had come forth, you could see every rock and stone on the bottom.

We decided to fish our way upstream a bit before lunch and it wasn’t like the river got uglier the more we saw of it. Rapids and small pools all the way and often no wider then you could reach cast just across it. Behind every stone and in every backwater, rapid, pool and.. well, everywhere there was trout! It was not like it was hard to find one to cast to, the trouble was more to find some of bigger size. Then Magnus out of the blue hooked something much bigger, unable to hold it in the pool he was fishing in and just as he was thinking of following it down stream it stepped off, so there were bigger fish there but extremly hard to sneak up upon and of course we didn’t make it easier on ourselves fising only dry flies.

As we came up above a longer flow of rapids we approached the longest stretch of slow flowing water we had come across so far. Roger positioned himself so that he could cast towards the shore line across the current to some trout who was rising. After having landed a few he quietly said to us that he had a bigger one who was up head and tail. After several futile of getting him to rise we gave up and signalled to Magnus  that who was upstream that we were about to get back to camp for lunch. He came back to us telling us that in the pool above he had caught about 30 trout, almost fish on every cast, and even though smaller once he too had seen not one but three larger trouts that had risen but had not been able to get them to strike.

I was a little concerned with the fact that we had not found any deeper spots at all in the river, and also the crystal clear water in combination with the sunny weather was gonna make it very hard to sneak up on any bigger fish. But it was no concern really, we still had tons of exploration to do and we were confident that we were to find bigger fish and deeper pools. So after lunch we decided to walk our way directly to where we had stopped for lunch and also packed down dinner and field kitchen so that we could be away upstream much longer this time.

Before that I decided to see if I could find mobile service if I were to walk up the mountain on our side of the river. I did find descent service about 20 minutes walk up the mountain side, about 50 meters above the tree line. So I could now phone home and let everyone know we had landed safely and that we had a great time. The view from up there was fantastic!

So we started out to fish as long upstream as we could, to where the fishing licenes was valid, which was just below the lakes where the river started. A quick check on the map showed it to be about 3 kilometres so how hard could it be? What we didn’t know then was that I had checked the map wrongly, it was actually the double distance and the terrain was dreadful to walk in. But we didn’t know that as we set off upstream and started where Magnus had seen those bigger trout earlier. They were no where to be seen now but there still was a lot of small trout in that pool. We walked on upstream and the scenery slowly changed to a more tree less country as we gained meter after meter in altitude and with it came the shrubbery and svamp like suroundings that often replaces the trees as you get higher.

The river was quite similar every where, rapids followed by a wider shallow pool, I think we saw no place deeper than one and a half meter any where. There was no real change in the size of the trout, we caught so many around 25 cm you lost count of them, all on dry flies.

Anders and Magnus fishing one of the stunningly beautiful pools

Before we had left for this trip we had seen a video on Youtube where some guys fished this river and in one pool a guy gets on a little trout and while taking him in a BIG trout comes and try to swim away with this small trout that is still caught on this guys fly, really cool! Now about two and a half kilometres upstream from our camp we found the most interesting pool so far, and as it would turn out the best spot for the entire trip, it was much deeper the any we’d come across so far and had a good steady flow into some rapids where the river split in two streams for about 50 metres. As I was fishing along side Roger I saw him get a take on his dry fly but it didn’t look spectacular in any way, but all of a sudden the fish took away and his rod was bend hard way down! Then after a few seconds it seems like the fish had tired already and Roger reeled him in just to find a 20 cm trout on the fly with one operculum missing! Now that was clearly a bigger trout who had gone after the smaller one, just like on that video we’d seen! This happened not only once but twice this trip as Anders had the same thing happen to him in the same pool a couple of days later.

Yes, there were mosquitoes there!

Strengthened by this we kept going upstream to the bigger pools just below the lake, stopping for some occasional fishing now and then and also a longer stop for dinner a couple of kilometres downstream from our final goal. As we got there we had became rather tired from the long walking in rough terrain but the big deep pool who had fish rising as we approached it made it easy to regain strength. Supposedly there was going to be a bridge that marked the end of where we could fish but so far we were yet to see one, so we fished away. Anders and Roger fished the bigger pool and me and Magnus fished the slow flowing stretch above it. Things were different here, the rising fish looked much bigger the river flowed much slower over sand bottom instead of rocks, it was like we stumbled in on another river completely. Magnus and I approached two rising fish slowly, I had a big Blasphemy hopper on and he had a big Streaking caddis on, the strikes came just after each other. First it was like someone had shot a bazooka on my big fly as it disappeared on a big splash of water, I stroke back but there was nothing on the other end, dammed! Just a second afterwards the same destiny betook Magnus fly, but he too missed out on striking back and we both stood there with silly grins on our faces as we kept fishing.

Magnus showing off his William Joseph Exdous back/pack combo. They worked so good on our long walks.

After a while I decided to get up to the rapids above this slow flowing stretch and Magnus stayed about 100 metres downstream from me slowly fishing his way up to the point where a smaller stream came out into our river. I could see from a range how he got a fish on, and it did look different from any others we’d caught so far. After a good fight with a good bent rod and a couple of minutes fighting it the first trout over one kilo came up, a good 1,2 kilo trout which unfortunately didn’t get caught on photo since I was too far upstream and Anders was still down in the deep pool.

Myself I hooked into my two biggest trout so far, but landed only only, not quite up to the kilo mark but still a very nice fish at about 0,6-0,7 kilo. It was past midnight as we decided to give up and start the rough walk home again, and as we past the slow flowing stretch that Magnus had caught his nice fish on we found the foundation to the bridge, but no bridge, so now we knew where the end of the permitted fishing zone was. All that was left now was for an hour or an hour and a half walk back in the calm rain that had started to fall back to camp. Needless to say I fell asleep directly when I zipped up my sleeping bag and closed my eyes. Again life was fair.

Day 3 – much more walking
After a long nights sleep we awoke again to fantastic sunny weather. When we had arranged with the helicopter and payed for the licenses the manager at the small camp had suggested us to stay down at a bridge that was downstream from where we were, according to the map some 6-7 kilometres to walk. The plan this time was to walk first and then fish ourselves upstream all the way back. The walk was probably even harder than the day before, but the river kept dazzle us with its beauty and now as we walked down stream we also kept going lower and lower which made the landscape around the river change, more trees the further we got. But still shrubbery and swamp so it was not a very easy walk this time either.

Sneaking up on trout from above

Apart from mosquitoes there was another life form that kept showing up all the time sometimes in ridiculous amounts, the lemmings! Every where we went they ran around our feet, often screaming at us at high pitch while showing their teeth. It is so hard to find such a cuddly cute little critter scary, but hopefully it works for them on other predators. At several occasions we saw them swim across the slower parts of the river and just held our breaths waiting for a big trout to come up and take them, but regretfully we never saw it!

Eventually we reached the bridge, a much harder walk than the day before and realized that from the bridge and downwards it was a long shallow rapid area as far as we could see. I walked downstream fishing from there and it was like this for at least a kilometre. So we had our lunch there and started to fish our way back to the camp. To make a long story (or walk rather) short we fished most of the bigger pools but apart from a couple of 0.5 kg trout that I caught there was nothing interesting caught really. I actually felt like there was fewer trout down hear than upstream so it didn’t at that point feel like we were gonna fish a whole lot more downstream at this trip.

Anders “Majja” Maijgren fishing the downstream area.

A dinner by the river when we got back and a couple of sips of single malt together was all that was left after another day filled with walking, almost 40 kilometres over the past two days, was to again zip up the sleeping bag and fall into a nice warm sleep with the sound of the river following my down into never never land. Again life was fair to me.