Lapland August 2015
The though of Lapland has always been associated with magnificent fishing and beautiful nature! That is why Lapland offers has been on my mind for quite some time now – Finally I decided to go ahead an plan a trip to Lapland with my very good friend, Rene Johansen. We found a free week in the summer 2015 where we both could leave the family life behind us and do some serious fishing!
Full of desire and expectations I started to plan for this trip!
At night I started dreaming of big trouts and graylings like those I have often seen pictured in online flyfishing forums. Now it was finally my turn to go there, to the look for these beautiful fish!
Lapland is known for wild nature and great fishing. One could probably use an entire life to explore lakes and rivers there, and never try them all!
The preparations for the trip made my mind float down memory lane.
In my basement I’ve discovered some old articles describing fishing adventures in Lapland from old danish magazines (FiskogFri). There is no doubt that these old stories partly created this desire and lust for Lapland and partly why I decided to book and plan this fishing trip.
I looked at the old stories from Rasmus Hansen and his adventures and mind-blowing trophy trout fishing in Lapland. These stories from Lapland and Rasmus success were partly what made me leave my wife and son for 8 days to go fishing in August 2015.
Going to Lapland was just something I had to do! And in my mind there were no doubt that I would experience some unforgettable fishing there! and possible a new record trout 🙂 And not least! My first GRAYLING!
Well.. You know what they say.. Don’t be to sure about anything..
We left Denmark early Monday morning. We had a short break on the way through Sweden in my fishing mates summer residence.
After collecting a bag of tasteful and good looking mushrooms we were ready to continue our journey.
From weather forecasts, we knew that Sweden had experienced much and widespread rain and cold temperatures.. Not the best weather to go fishing in the northern Sweden. The weather forecast for the next week gave us a small hope of better fishing as warmer water where on its way!
After a two days drive from Denmark we arrived to the very beautiful area along the meandering vindelälven. The destination was the Ammarnäs fishing lodge. This very evening was quite warm and as the sun was about to set, we drove towards the small town of Ammarnäs- Getting closer to the town we started to see hatching mayflies and our expectations for the following days fishing grew to a new level. This looked very promising!
We slept very well that first night and early next morning we both woke up before the alarm even went off!
We had arranged an introduction tour with the fishing lodge, where we stayed (Fishyourdream), and the tourguide showed us around in the area and told us about the places to go look for trout and graylings in the river. To be honest I would not recommend this deal to anyone with some experience with fishing, as it was not rocket science we were given for our money.. Well to be fair he was a nice guy, and he gave us a map.. But still..
The water level was quite high and above average, lots of trees along the river was covered in some 10-20 cm water. The hatches that we observed yesterday was long gone today and we tried to sight fish the first part of the day. We drove around to several great looking spots.. But no fish seemed to be feeding at the early part of the day.
The evening was the best time of the day and it gave me my first grayling!
Later the first day, just before the sun was setting, we started to see the first sign of active fish. Small and very faint shows on the surface of insect feeding fish. This was a very appreciated timing from the fish and it became the highlight of the first day at Ammarnäs. I managed to get a couple of the smaller graylings to inhale my dry fly and this was how I caught my first Grayling!
Next day was a little different from the first. We knew that the fish were there but as they were not easy to spot, probably due to the high water levels, we started using weighted nymphs instead of dry flies. This was a success! We found a nice spot near a big bridge crossing the northern part of the river system.
After a few attempt we it was as if we found the missing key to trick the fish in these tough conditions. In the beginning we hooked some smaller graylings with a few decent sizes in between. After spending the most of the day there, catching somewhere between 15 and 20 smaller graylings, we returned to the southern end of the river, to see if the dry fly fishing was as good as yesterday.
It turned out that the spot was taken by another group of fly fishers. So we looked for another place to fish, not far from the first location, this gave us a very interesting evening with several good graylings and a single baby trout for me 🙂
A mountain lake and a strong sneaky trout
Two out of six fishing days were now spend, and we started to fear that the conditions would not improve immensely. Maybe the high water level in the river was the problem and we agreed to seek other locations. We heard about this remote lake not visited by others at this time of the year. We arrived at the lake after two hours of walking up hill, away from the city.
It was a very impressive scenery we met when we arrived, we could see the mountain ridge and trees reflection in the mirror-like surface all across the lake and it was beautiful.. But also quite destroying as there were no signs of active fish..
After walking along the lake for a while, scouting intensely, we decided to make a stop at a nice looking spot. We started a small fire and made some coffee.
After half an hour the wind started blowing silently and disturbing the surface. This made the fish less scared of showing their position along the shore and I soon found a cruising trout that were feeding actively close by. Finally !
A fish was very aggressively feeding, just next to the place I was scouting! I grabbed my Winston GVX Select #5 and placed my little red tag wet-fly just 30 cm next to where the fish had shown itself, and hoped it did not spook the fish.. I held my breath as I retrieved the fly.. AND SMACK! That take was not a small grayling. It was a hungry and strong trout!!
I was blown away by the strength and the fish didn’t even show at the surface for the first couple of minutes.. I was keeping the line tight and tense to prevent any slack line and loose the connection to the fish! even though it might break the thin leader instead..
I could feel that the fish was getting tired after an intense 15 minutes fight and it came closer to where I wanted to land it at the rocks under my feet. I had still not seen the fish in any greater detail, and it was still not giving in.. It took off with an impressive speed and and i felt the fish shaking its head and “No…!” Off it went and out came the hook. I stood back with no fish, no other fish in sight and only the imaginary picture of my trophy trout to bring back to my buddy at the other side of the lake 🙁
Well after spending a day at the lake we returned empty handed.. We were not exited or very happy about the result, but at least we finally got in contact with a decent sized fish!
As we came back to the city and driving along the river towards the lodge, we saw that there were a lot of active fish in the central part of the city in the river.. we were very much in doubt whether we had any energy left to seek new failures.. But of cause we could not resist this opportunity.. As we came down with our equipment our expectations grew second by second and we saw a few other people trying their luck near by. They seemed just as frustrated as we felt.. After talking with the guys we found out that everyone had the same experience of the last weeks fishing, no fish worth mentioning and even less fish on land than we had.. It was a small, though good information, that we were not alone with the experience of little success rate..
A small success with the dry fly..
Walking away from the city we found a few rising graylings and I managed to trick one of them to take the dry fly. It was a wonderful feeling! I had seen the fish cruise around the river in front of me and every 30 second-ish it took some kind of insect drifting by. It took me one cast and a very intense 10 seconds untill I managed to hook the little fella 🙂 What a day!
Going south to Sorsele!
After three days with only a few fish and similar stories from other guests at the lodge, we decided to try out some lakes during the last two days, rather than continuing in the fast flowing Vindelälven.
We drove to the town of Sorsele down the river. Here we asked for help and good advice for fishing in the area in a local tourist office. Here we met a local and passionate fisherman behind the desk. He gave us one of his favorite lakes and told us that we could be lucky to get some serious graylings in that lake!
We were not sure if we dared to believe this wonderful story as we had been fooled by Vindelälven and Lapland already, but we gave it a chance and rented a boat in that lake (No name lake ;))
What happened the last two days need no explaining, but I have not regretted that decision since!