I had the opportunity of living and fishing in Alberta state of Canada. I could summarize it as "superb experience". Locals (mean fly-fishermen) were knowledgeable and ready to help. I met some at the rivers and fly-fishing forums and learned a lot new tricks. In addition, the nature is gracious (high mountains, fast running creeks, and mighty rivers) and fish are plenty.
I like to say hello and thanks to Maxwell, Lukesh, Stephan GD Junior.
Here are some of the photos from the trips:
Now it was time to go back and hook again that tricky fat rainbow which i just lost this morning. In fact, it did not seem to be interested for any of my flies for quite a bit of time. When it finally hooked himself, he displayed quite a bit of show with various flips and flops and runs. I started to get a bit frustrated, because my rod was just a foot longer than it should be under this bridge. So, I jumped into the water (suddenly I gained like 4 feet :O) and managed to tire the fish and tuck it into my landing net. He was fat. :P Proved to be my largest rainbow this year, 1.9 kg. Hey, thanks for the excitement.
Later that afternoon, I still saw a rising rainbow but obviously my leeches did not match very closely to the flies it was focusing on. :P One day, I might manage to catch real trout on a dry. It will come. Though, I should keep trying to cast that dry. :)
Photos about the rainbows can be seen at my Flicker (start from this one).
As I wrote, rainbow trout is not expensive in Finland. Indeed, you can buy them from 4-5 euros/kg or smoked ones for 9 euros/kg. Thus, I stand incomprehensibly and condemn you for your primitive and barbarian act.
I wonder if anyone managed to overcome this kind of behavior. Obviously, inspection alone does not work, because this happened during night. Not to mention, I would prefer educating people and not punishing them. (Fishing without licence and not following the fishing rules is punishable in Finland.)
I also have to say, I have been seeing fisherman carefully releasing brown trouts (under limit) and even rainbows (no length limit, but one can take only 2 per day). There is good example.
BTW, I am not a hypocrat. I do take rainbows from these rivers. I go there both for enjoyment of fishing and fish and I am happy when I have them both. I drive about 45 km for this section of river, so I expect to have fish and fun.
Due to the fish remainder, lots of fishermen tried at the bridge, but the pool seemed to be empty. Hopefully, it was rather due to frightened fish. I tried other places too and hooked some brownies of which one was nice and fat. :) (still under the limit). I also managed to land a nice rainbow; great colors and big belly. My newly tied goldhead leeches worked nicely. ;)
In Finland, July is the national vacation period. Some companies just scale down their production others completely close for July. People, generally, go to have at least 1 month vacation. Many prefers summer cottages spotted all around lakes, rivers, and sea banks in Finland. Obviously, many Finns go fishing during their holiday. However, that is mostly angling or "spoon casting".
Based on this information, at the weekend, I was confident to go fly-fishing and enjoy the "wilderness" alone. Due to sunny forecast, I tried to be there early, but managed to arrive only 7.30 am. Nevertheless, I was alone. :) Trying out one of my favorite spot, I was surprised by the low water and seemingly empty river. After an hour of trying, I walked to the upper section of the river where I managed to hook a branch deep in the river. I had to walk in and unhook the fly. At the same time, I unhooked a nice gold head olive leech. As it looked pretty, I gave it a try just about 5 m above where I disturbed the water. At that time other fishermen started to arrive too. In less then 5 minutes, I hooked a trout, which was quite a die hard and slipped by the net several times. By the time I landed the fish, another fishermen was waiting to take his turn at the pool. So, I gutted the rainbow trout and took it to my portable cooler.
I continued to fish in different parts of the river, but fish were shy or just did not like my flies. ;) Also, there were more fishermen and also some disturbance by trekking families and their urge to throw rocks into the river.<:|Thus, I went back to the place where I started that morning, but approached it from the other bank. There are some pools that you can reach easier from this side of the river. After a short testing, I hooked another rainbow. This was not too big, but I took as the day seemed to be quite empty otherwise. (You can take only two rainbows with this fishing licence.) Indeed, the rest of fishing was more like practicing. I hooked quite a few small brownies, one small grayling, and lost a nice rainbow.Most of them on were deceived by small goldhead leeches or nymphs.
As usual, I made some photos which will be uploaded soon to My Flickr.
At the weekend, the national fly-fishing championship "screening" leg was held at Nukari, Finland. After the usual, registration and pool drawing, the competition started in overcast, but occasional sunny spells. The contestants fished 1 pool for one hour then moved on to next pool where they had 30 minutes to prepare.There were 5 rotations, thus everyone had the chance to fish better places. :)
The river was stocked with mostly rainbows, but also there has been undersized brownies. Most of the contenders fished for and caught the rainbows. I am not familiar with the official results, but I have seen someone catching a 50 cm rainbow, which was the longest at that time.
Most of the competitors fished usually two or three leeches (though in many colors) on a line. Far-casting was not required, as the river is small and easily wadeable. Fish got a bit wary by afternoon, though the half an hour rest between the stages gave them some rest.
To cut it short :), I posted some of the pictures I have taken in my photoalbum.
A video cut from my recording can be viewed from my Nokia share.
Yesterday, in the company restaurant, they served arctic char. What a magnificent looking fish. Yes, it is on my list to catch. :) I do love the variety of fish available for eating (and catching), here in Finland. The whole lunch was just under 10 euros, including main course, salads, bread, dessert, and drinks. Also, it was tasty. The fish was steamed with new potatoes and some rosemary sauce. Yummy. Sometimes, you can have it baked, so that the skin is crispy. I love that too. :) Anyhow, in Finland, this fish is usually available in better groceries for reasonable price.
So, why is this blog here? :) Because, it is about a marvelous fish, which actually you can catch in Lapland. The Sami people (natives there) do catch a lot during winter through ice. The arctic char's color is even more vibrant in that white surrounding.
Where and at what circumstances
Last weekend, we went to the, now traditional, early summer fly-fishing
trip to Middle-Finland. Those familiar with fly-fishing in Finland,
know that the west region of this part is famous for its fast flowing
and brown-colored (due to mould) trout rivers and creeks. It is a
picturesque landscape with plenty of forest, rivers, and brown trouts.
Our usual fishing place is close to Keuru, where you can rent the whole
section of the river, holding all the six fishing licenses, and a big
historical cottage. Holding all the licenses ensures that fish are
disturbed only when you go fishing. This way you can get the fish rest
and loose a bit of their "jumpiness". :) In addition, you know the
group you are fishing with and our team respect each other and trout.
Back to the actual trip. It was a three-day excursion, starting Friday
afternoon and ending Sunday. I and my friend shared a car, which we
both drove to get there. He was tried and I was driving at my usual
calm pace. Not everyone can stand this speed-limit-respecting pace when
in hurry for fishing, but he bore with me, for a while. :)
When we arrived, it was cloudy and even drizzle a bit. The water level
was much lover than usually in June. Half of the group was already
there. We sipped some coffee and had a quick chat, before heading
towards the river. We have not even reached the water, when my friends
dad was coming back with a great looking over-a-kilo trout. That
electrified us. We learned that the color of the day was red. As the
weather was warm (27C at the beginning of June!) and overcast, it
actually made sense. ;) Soon, we landed 3 more trouts. One of them was
over 2 kilos. What a fabulous start!
I stayed a bit over midnight, as the sun did not really go down. Around
11.30pm, I hooked a bigger trout which after a couple of jumping waved
good-bye. Inspection of the line and hook showed that the hooked bent
out. In that minute I was close to furious. I got this fly as exchange,
however, I did not examine before taking it into use. Obviously, the
fly's design was pretty good, but the quality of the hook is
questionable. Fortunately, I usually :) make mistakes like this only
once. Also, my bad feeling about the loss of fish faded quickly and I
focused on hooking it again. :)
The same day I landed many small trouts and even some perches (They arepretty dark
in this river. ). Similarly, others hooked and lost trouts.
Nevertheless, it just seemed to be a normal rate of landing vs loosing
I started this second they early, 4.30am. I wanted to try the pool I
lost the trout, before the sun illuminate it. For my surprise, it was
pretty cool and clear. After about an hour of testing the pool, I
decided to try other places. Obviously, the red fly did not work
anymore in this clear and cooler weather. Having a great variety of
flies with me, I went through of them, systematically. Soon, couple of
friends awoke and came to fish. It was mostly empty trying. We actually
saw many fish, but they were either leaving or not taking the flies.
Only one of our friend hooked and lost couple of trouts. Though
annoying for him, he took it pretty calmly. :)
I changed to nymphing and landed many small trouts, perches, and even
small red-eyed breams. At least, nymphing was a bit more eventful. In
many places, I saw fish flew or even jump, but we could not trick them
to take our flies.
For lunch, we drove to the city and tried out a pizzeria "known" by one
of the fellows. Ordering normal pizza (vs the family one), we were
extremely surprised by the close to 40 cm plates and overhanging
pizzas. We joked about the size of them, but finally we all choked down
what we ordered. The guys went for ice creams :), but probably first
time in my life :D I passed it.
Going back to fishing, mosquitoes were plenty! You even breath them in.
In addition, they found their way to the cottage too. We looked into an
interesting night with "high-pitched music and frequent slapping". The
day ended with the usual sausage roasting over the fireplace. I am not
a sausage fan, but after this long and tiresome day, it tasted good. :D
I have to comment here that the group behavior changed a lot since I
first went on this fishing trip (4th year). At that time, leaving Alko
(the state controlled alcohol shop) over hundred of beer cans looked
strange. OK, I am a bit of unfamiliar with the beer consumption
quantity, as I rarely drink alcohol. However, on this last trip we did
not even went to Alko. My friend brought some beer with him and also
took most of them back home. In general, the group might drank only a
couple of dozens of beers (bare in mind, 6 persons for 3 days) and
focused on fishing and enjoying each others company.
Some managed to wake up early, but I got down to the river only around
8.30. Although, it looked I did not miss anything. Yes, I need to enjoy
a cup of green tea (I will write a blog about this, too. :)) before
waking up. :) Again, fish were seen, but no one manage to land a trout.
As this was the last day we all focused on finding those undisturbed
places. One of us was quite successful in this, hooking couple of
trouts, but landing none. Before leaving the river and packing our
stuff, two of us landed trouts reaching the minimum length. I managed
to do it just in the last minutes. It was a quite lean but longish (46
cm) fish, which saved the trip for me. :)
The trip home was nice. We mostly drive the countryside roads which
goes through hills and forests. Due to my weak Finnish, we had mixed
English & Finnish discussion about fishing :), but also mushrooms,
landscapes, meaning of village names (check out Ori in Finnish or Kantarelli//Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), linnake). We also visited/drove through Hämeenlinna (Check out.) which has plenty of golf courses and parks.
Here is a picture of my
catch. You find more pictures at my photo album.