I had been looking forward to my trip across to Scandinavia for some months, The destination was Swedish Lapland which I have visited on several occasions, Each time it just gets better and better. The afternoon flight into Umea on a SAS airlines flight from Manchester via Stockholm was in bright sunshine, The city looked magnificent, Outside the city in every direction I could see forest's, Through which flowed streams and rivers and of course there were numerous fish holding lakes, The river Umealven flowed through the centre of this University city with its many fine shops. The Umealven is of course a fine salmon and sea trout river where you can cast a fly or spin for both species of fish, While your partner if she doesn't fish can spend the days taking in the shops, history, culture and other delights of this fine city.
Waiting to greet me was Mats Anderson an old friend and fishing guide. With the gear loaded in his car we headed off for Lycksele which was situated further upstream on the river Umealven. In fact the Lapland Hotel my home for a few days was just a few yards from the waters edge where I could if I wished cast a fly for a pike, salmon or brown trout. I was there to report on the World Fly Fishing Championships which were hosted by the Swedish National Sport fishing Federation and sponsored by JEEP and Thomas & Thomas the American rod builders. Lycksele north of Umeo was chosen as the head quarters for this very prestigious event as it was in the centre of some excellent fishing venues. Lycksele is lovely town for all the family. It can only be described as clean, green and beautiful. Without doubt a fine meeting point for the worlds elite among competitive fly fishers from around the world who would compete for the team title of World Champions, and the individual World Fly Fishing Crown.
22 Nations competed in the JEEP 21st FIPS-Mouch World Fly Fishing Championships fished from Friday 16th until Sunday 18th August. Without doubt, This event was one of the best organised events I have ever attended. Competitors from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States and Europe fished various rivers and lakes in the Lycksele, Mala, Norsjo and Asele areas for brown trout and grayling. The Sportsfish sponsored England team Captained by Chris Ogborn of Bristol certainly had an excellent and experienced team of fly fishers with, Ian Barr Peterborough, Andrew Dixon Penrith, Simon Kidd Stoke on Trent, Mike Tinnion Keswick, Stuart Croft Sheffield, John Tyzack Stockport and team manager Simon Gawsworth who is now based in the United States. At lunch time on the final day England were in a medal position but sadly a couple of bad draws in the afternoon session resulted in the team dropping out of the medals into 4th place.
The England team must be congratulated on the way they all worked for one another. Despite some terrible draws and rough weather conditions which would have caused other anglers heads to drop and take things easy, Our boys never stopped. England can certainly be proud of its fly fishing team. They worked extremely hard both in both practise sessions and through out the competition. During the practise sessions some of the team would be fishing while other tied flies in one of the bedrooms often in hot and muggy conditions. After a full days practise session conducted under competition conditions they would all be closeted in a room for several hours going over the days details.
On the second day of the championship I watched John Tyzack from Stockport Cheshire fishing a small fast flowing river, After some ten minutes I felt tired just watching John's work rate. Despite the downstream gale force wind he fished for three hours non stop. There wasn't a single second when he wasn't trying to get another fish. Before the start, John had tackled up 4 Sage rods with different lines and leaders, After fishing down his beat with various patterns of nymphs, He would move to the top of his beat to start all over again. It was an impressive performance by anyone's standards. At lunch time he even found time to give me a TV interview. I learnt a lot that day about nymph fishing on small rivers from John Tyzack.
At dinner our boys were always smartly dressed and well behaved. It certainly made you feel proud to be English. Despite not winning any medals this time, I felt the team done us proud with their commitment in trying to win a very tough competition. If our other sportsmen and woman showed the same commitment to winning, Then perhaps we would have had more medals in the World Athletic Championships in Edmonton Canada and beaten the Australians in the Test series. The winners were France followed by Finland and the Czech Republic .Well done Sportsfish England on a fine performance. Finally congratulations must go to the Swedish National Sport fishing Federation on organising and running a perfect and hassle free championships.
Though I wasn't fishing the championships, I had several jobs all of which were quite easy compared with the championship competitors. These included taking the sponsors out fishing and ensuring they had a good time at the waterside. Also I was working with several television crews which as always was most interesting. Of course I also done a lot of fly fishing for pike, perch, grayling and brown trout, Some of this action was filmed for a future TV programme. My most successful pike fishing patterns were the high density foam popping frogs which I had made up before the trip, I also had some small balsa wood frogs that Kent Sherrington had made. These always seem to lure a few pike into striking even on those days when the pike don't want to eat.
In fact there were occasions when this frog pattern was dragged a foot or so up a reed stem then suddenly a pike would rise from the water to eat the frog crashing back in a shower of spray. I love this type of fishing which is so visual and exciting. One of the great things when fishing the waters in Swedish Lapland are the large number of pike which want to eat flies from big streamers to frogs and lots of other different fly patterns. Whatever the conditions its always possible to get a few pike using a fly rod. The Wild rivers in the forest's of Lapland such as the Skepptrskn, Maln, Vindellven, Ngermanlven are all waters where you will find one or several species of fish such as trout, salmon, grayling, perch and pike. Fishing the lakes you can expect grayling, trout, arctic char, perch and pike. If your very lucky you might even see a bear , moose or lynx. You will certainly see reindeer and beavers.
The grayling fishing in the rivers, streams and lakes of Lapland is probably the best in Europe, Its certainly a destination where you have the chance of hooking into a very big grayling. Perhaps a fish of four pounds. And yes, You read the word lakes correctly. There are some huge grayling in some of these Lapland lakes. Grayling that could weigh seven or eight pounds or more. which can be taken on nymphs and big dry flies. In fact some of the sedges I used were quite huge. My tackle choice for grayling was a nine foot six weight Red River travel rod matched with a Jubilee model fly reel from Masterline International based in Tewksbury. I chose this rod as its a bit more powerful in the butt than my other six weight. I found my normal fly fishing rods of three, four or five weight a bit light for these big grayling. Yes they will cast a fly but I wanted a rod that would handle these powerful fish which as I have already stated grow big. Using the more powerful rod helps in getting a big fish to the net. When dry fly fishing and nymphing on the rivers I used a Cortland six weight forward floating line. For fishing nymphs in the deeper still waters I used a six weight forward slow sink tip line.
For trout fishing on the rivers and streams my first choice style of angling whenever possible is casting a dry fly upstream and across, My tackle choice today has changed from a couple of years ago, Then I would be using six or seven weight rods. Today its three, four and five weight rods, As I was fishing a wider river than normal, I fished with a five weight rod with a double taper floating line with a knot less tapered leader around nine feet in length with a tippet strength of between 2 and 4lbs depending on the size of the dry fly in use. For me the most successful fly patterns were the European 12 and Super puppan which accounted for some lovely brown trout to 17 inches. On one occasion when fishing the Vindle river, Trout and grayling were rising every where but I didn't fish for over an hour, Instead I spent the time watching a black woodpeckers and a group of reindeer.
Without a doubt the most exciting and delightful fishing on this trip was on the Baksjobacken Creek near Asele where the fishing is controlled by the Asele Sports Fishing club. They also have fishing on an excellent still water where trout up to ten pounds are caught during the Mayfly season. My guide for the day was Lars Norberg who really did know about fly fishing his local waters. He was full of information on the fish and wildlife and of course great company. The fishing on the Baksjobacken creek for brown trout and grayling was done with a four weight rod, double taper floating line and nine foot tapered leader with a three pound tippet. Fly choice was quite simple, I used a size 14 Paythorn Olive. The magnificent brown trout from 13 to 17 inches were plentiful and readily accepted my Paythorn olives, They could have been painted by Walt Disney. Fishing this Crabtree type of water which resembled a spring creek or chalk stream with free rising fish in what can only be described as a naturalist paradise was what dreams are made of.. The fishing, scenery and environment were some of the best I have enjoyed anywhere in the world. A few days later I was made an honorary member of the Asele Sports Fishing Club and next season I will be spending a few days on the Baksjobacken lake and creek. The club have there own boats and log cabin so I want have any problems of where to stay. If your looking for a holiday destination next year then I can certainly recommend Asele in Swedish Lapland for further information contact Jan Teblin or Stig Anders E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Or contact Gregger Johnson E-mail email@example.com You can of course E-mail myself firstname.lastname@example.org
Big brown on a dry fly
The following story really does show what fishing is all about, Beginner or the more experienced angler we can all catch that fish of our dreams as Swedish angler did when he fished his local river for only the second time and caught a brown trout we all dream of. Leo Lundgren a film cameraman of Umea writes Hello Martin ! Here comes the story about when I caught the big brown trout. Me and Bo Wrandling a television Chef of Obbola went fishing to Juktå-river for two days. This time I left my movie camera at home, a little unusual for me. I looked forward to trying out my new flyrod. The weather was good, a little bit cloudy, We caught many fine graylings on the first day. Then just before we were leaving on the second day I was having a last try to catch another fish. Casting out a European 12 it got stuck behind a stone, I thought !! The fly reel started to spin and a fish jumped high up and then I realized that it was a big big brown trout OH !!, Now I must take it very easy, because the leader was only 0,16 millimetre. My fight with the fish went on for one hour and twenty minutes. The brown trout showed to be 80 centimetres long. I released it and thanked it for the good fight. Many Regards Leo
Fly Fishing Books
. Randall Kaufmann is the author of what I feel is the most magnificent book ever written on that wonderful fish of the warm saltwater flats the bonefish. The title Bonefishing! Fly Fishing The Flats---Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Trevally. This is a book that will have you drooling at the pictures, Then having read the text you will be reaching for the telephone with plastic card at the ready as you call up your travel agent to book you a bonefishing trip. Its that type of book. Its also a can't put down book. If your planning a trip to fly fish the warmer climes then you need this book There is so much information in its four hundred pages. Its also A must have book on the bookshelf for future reference. At only 79-95 dollars it the best buy you will make this year and remember we don't have to pay value added tax if you purchase from Kaufmanns Streamborn Also the State of Oregon has no sale tax. E-mail email@example.com
Some weeks ago a new book arrived on my desk 'Fly Patterns of the Umpqua Feather Merchants' by Randall Kaufmann. This second edition covers all aspects of fly fishing from tiny dry flies for brown trout to those big flies used for stripers and sailfish. The fifteen hundred macro colour photographs showing the various flies illustrated are exceptionally good. Probably some of the best I have seen. Umpqua feathers are a company steeped in the history of fly fishing. They are situated within a good cast of the Umpqua. A river, World famous for its steelhead fishing. Over the years it's been fished by some of the great anglers from the past, Major Mott, Zane Grey and Clarence Gordon Some of today's anglers who have fished this great but very difficult river are Trey Combs, Billy Pate. and many others. The Umpqua is without doubt the toughest river I have ever waded but thankfully I have had some excellent guides in Ned Bowler, Frank Moor and Joe Howell.
This hard cover book contains autobiographies of Umpqua's top fifteen fly tiers who are featured in the book including Bob Clouser with his Clouser deep minnow and Lefty Kreh with his Deceiver pattern. I reckon if you have a selection of Clousers minnows and Deceivers in various colours and hook sizes, Then you can probably catch most of the salt and many freshwater fish. Other world class tiers featured are - Larry Dahlberg, Tim Borski, Theo Bakelaar, Andy Burk Randall Kaufmann, Gary LaFontaine, Mike Lawson, Craig Mathews, Mike Mercer, Bob Popovics Ed Schroeder, Shane Stalcup and Dave Whitlock. Randall has photographed all materials individually with over one hundred close up colour photographs with an explanatory text. The book has seven chapters. - Materials, Dry flies, Nymphs, Streamers, Steelhead and Salmon flies, Bass flies and Saltwater flies followed by a comprehensive index. Another good attraction I liked about this book is, Its spiral hard bound binding which allows the book to lie flat at the page of your choice. With 231 pages and costing just 49 dollars Fly Patterns of Umpqua Feather Merchants is an excellent buy a good read. One that will help you with your fly identification and tying. Its available from Kaufmann Streamborn E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Please note there is no seventeen and a half percent value added tax on books from the United States coming in to the United Kingdom. This book is certainly excellent value for money and one I can recommend for all fly tiers.
Able's nine foot nine weight
Over the past few months I have been spending a lot of time at home and abroad fly fishing in fresh and saltwater catching redfish, seatrout, jack crevales, stripers, pike and muskies. During this time I have been field testing one of the new Able saltwater three piece nine foot nine weight fly rods. Which I would described as being, "Crisp and light that handles like an eight weight with the power of a ten weight and lots of lifting power" This lifting power certainly proved its worth when I was having to pump pike from deep water lakes or getting big jacks up from fifty or sixty foot of water in the Persian Gulf.
. I especially liked the knurled screw winch fittings. You could leave a saltwater fly reel on the rod for several days and have no problem undoing the winch Though I wouldn't advise such treatment. The rod is fitted with good size snake guides that allows the line to whistle through them. Though I felt the two stripping guides should have been larger. In fact that's the only criticism I have about this excellent rod. On a recent trip to the States, I got Damon rods based in Potsdam NY. to change the size of my stripping guides. I can certainly shoot my popping frogs and rabbit strip zonkers to where the fish are feeding with one or two false casts. Even in windy conditions it takes just a couple of false casts to get the lure out to the fish. This rod comes in a cloth bag and a heavy duty protective case which can be taken on your airline as hand luggage. If your in the market for a new saltwater fly rod take a look at the Able model. The stockists are Denbighshire Foxons Tackle 01745.583583 www.foxons.com Hampshire The Rod Box 01962.883600 Herefordshire Sportfish 0544.327111 www.sportfish.co.uk London Farlows 0207.8392423 www.farlows.co.uk Penrith John Norris of Penrith 0176.8864211 Surrey Albury Game Angling 01483.205196
Arriving home from Swedish Lapland I had eight days at home before heading off to Manchester for a flight to Calgary in Alberta Canada, Those eight days were some of the busiest I have had in a long time. I spent five twelve hour days in the film studios going through film footage of my recent trip to the States. Then it was into the BBC Radio Lancashire studios to record three of my "At The Waters Edge" programmes. All this before sorting out bags of tackle and cloths for my next trip. Which was an interesting itinerary, I was going to fish the Bow river near Calgary for a few days of brown trout fishing with the chance of twenty four inch plus brown trout. I would then drive up to Jasper national park for more fishing taking time out to shoot some film and take a look at the wildlife. After fishing Jasper and taking a look around Edmonton where the recent World Athletic Championships were held I would then take a flight to my final destination which was going to be Fort McMurray Northern Alberta with its rivers streams and some six hundred lakes for several days of grayling, trout and pike fishing. Full story in next months feature.
Kayak Fishing- The Revolution - A New Book
Recently I received a new book with the title Kayak Fishing The Revolution by Ken Baubert. Its a book that covers all aspects of fishing from a kayak. My first experience of this style of fishing was in Florida with fishing guide John Stanton. It was an experience I will not forget in a hurry. One I was to repeat on many occasions and hopefully more so in the future.
Fly fishing from a kayak takes on a whole new meaning and one of immense enjoyment. Now for the first time you can read a book that covers the subject in full. Ken Baubert book is the ABC in the art of fishing from a Kayak. Between the covers of this book in the 256 pages you will find many chapters covering this exciting form of fishing such as Choosing a kayak, customise your kayak, kayak accessories, Skills and techniques, fly, lure and live bait fishing. Safety when fishing from your kayak and much more. I can thoroughly recommend this book to expert and beginner alike. Its the last words on the subject of fishing from a kayak and worth every cent of the published price of 15 dollars 95 cents. You can E-mail Cpt Ken1@worldnet.att.net or write Coelacanth Communications 3323 S.E. 2nd Street Ocala Florida 34471 USA When your next in Florida why not have a day out with John Stanton E-mail Fishkayaks@aol.com. Its an experience you want forget in a hurry and it brings you very close to the fish and the wildlife. You ladies can also handle a kayak without any problems. Go give it a try.
The Hugh Falkus Memorial Lecture
Thursday 1st of November The Bowland Game Fishing Association based in Lancashire have organised the Hugh Falkus Memorial lecture in aid of the river Hodder Propagation Scheme. The show is compared by Dr Malcolm Greenhalgh and features Bill Entwistle and Charles Jardine. Tickets are just ten pounds from Mr LW Hart Social Secretary of Bowland Game Fishing Association Willowcroft Avenue Aspul Wigan Lancs WN2 1QJ Telephone 01942-831413 or E-mail Rob@hart77.freeserve.co.uk These are always an interesting event and shouldn't be missed and all monies raised are going to habitat improvement