Last day of fishing in Greenland and the last char over 71 cm. We had a lot of fun. Got the fish while my friend Lars was already fighting. Enjoy !
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
August was almost gone and rivers were extremely low. Summer drought killed many fish. In some rivers over half of the trout population died. It was the last weekend of the month and even hopes for a big catch were as low as water level (extremely low), I left after work to meet the others in the Czech Republic. In a later I arrived in Susice where downtown at a terrace, my friends were talking about fishing and drinking beer. With Jan's help, we managed to find a hotel were to sleep during the first night and continued our discussions till tiredness overwhelmed us.
The next day early in the morning, we went downstream from the city to try our luck. After we changed some flies during the morning hours, our reward were only some small grayling. Easily frustrated, we returned to the hotel where we had breakfast, then we moved to a hostel recommended by Jan, outside the city.
There followed a pocket water fly fishing upstream from the city. Dry flies did their duty, each of us managed to capture some trout. Fish were not particularly large, but beautiful colored. A very effective fly in this water was 'Mercer's Missing Link'. Liviu supplied us with some of them some time ago.
We spent the evening with a few bottles of IPA, cigars and best quality Czech home cooking. Sunday morning, together with Silviu, we explored some other part of the river and managed to fool some little fish with our flies. Even fishing was extremely difficult, we had a lot of fun and we'll definitely go back next year hoping to catch more and bigger fish.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Day 0 (zero) arrived.
Over a year ago I started looking for information about fly fishing tours in Greenland. After a week of intense fighting through the jungle of information and offers I had a list of about ten points. After almost another two weeks, remained only two. I was looking for an expedition in a remote area with big fish and decided myself for Getaway Tours who gave me the opportunity to choose between Camp North (North of Sisimiut) rougher with longer distances to the fishing spots and Camp Erfalic (South of Sisimiut). Of course I took to boot camp, in the North, which was exactly what I was looking for.
After a night of work, tired but happy and somewhat curious and anxious, I was on my way to the airport. After I arrived in Copenhagen, I let my luggage at the hotel and went to the city (Nyhavn/Christianshavn) for a beer and a warm meal. Next day early in the morning I was back at the airport where I met the group. Though I knew nobody was easy to find them after the fly fishing apparel they wore.
After more than 4 hours of flight with Air Greenland, we landed in Kangerlussuaq (Greenland's largest commercial airport). It dates from the American settlement during and after WWII. After a few minutes on the terrace of the airport we were attacked by the first mosquitoes. On calm days, they were a real pain in the ass. Soon followed the flight to Sisimiut where we staid until the next day.
We went for a walk through this little town and found on the way to the harbor, the village pub where we had a beer with the locals, most of them shrimp fishermen who were home during holidays. Time passed quickly and early in the morning we embark on “Vega” and took course for Nordre isortoq, one of the fjords located North of Sisismiut. In the morning the sun came out, the mist over the sea began to dissipate and snowy peaks showed up. The sea journey lasted more than 4 hours, then we entered the river mouth with two landing boats. Previous group was waiting on the shore. The transfer happened very quickly and had a short chit chat about the fishing.
After we settled in the camp, there remained nothing to do but to start fishing. The desire to catch those wild fish, had lain for months in us and suddenly we were in those places, that river... it all seemed like a dream, but it was reality. To reach the fishing grounds we had to walk about 5 km from the base camp. Many times in the following days we traveled 10 km or more to find the best fishing places. The first day of fishing proved to be a difficult one, little wind, sun and plenty of mosquitoes and black flies. Fish were in the river, many of them entered the river during the last days. Water was gin clear and fish pretty spooky. First one was caught by Christina, the only lady in our group.
From a ravine I managed to see the silhouettes of some fish. I made a cast upstream and started to fish the streamer in dead drift. It did not take long and saw a fish turning, sunlight reflected off its scales and then I felt the take in the line. Enthused I shout:
- Fish on! Lase which was not far, rushed to help me. It did not take long and the fish was in his landing net, 1.5 kg of pure silver. After some pictures, the fish was released. That afternoon followed two other fish about the same size and a third escaped. Towards the end of the first day of fishing, Karl managed to capture the first big fish. 8 o'clock we were back in camp and dinner was served. Three of us dared to fish during the first night with very modest results.
The next day I headed pretty late to the hot spots. The wind was blowing hard and casting was extremely difficult. 7 wt rods proved to be the better choice in such conditions. Windy weather meant also less mosquitoes. I managed to find a rapids where I spotted fish, some of them really impressive sizes. Sink tip was absolutely necessary. On several days, pink streamer proved to be the best. Surprisingly, fish have shown more attracted by small and medium sized flies. To bring the fly as quickly as possible to the bottom where fish were, upstream tuck cast was most prolific. After I managed to capture some beautiful fish, I felt a strong hit in the rod. During a few seconds, fish was near the opposite bank, then swam downstream pretty fast. Soon it reached backing and continued to pull like a bull although pretty tight drag system . At some moment I could not cope drilling just from that place and went downstream after the fish. After several minutes of struggle, I managed to bring the fish to the shore where it was measured and weighed, then followed some pictures. A surge of adrenaline spread through my whole body. I was happy. What I had wanted so much, become reality. The fish measured 75 cm and weighed 3,6 kg. The catch was celebrated with a cigar.
In each of the following days have been caught nice fish. I fished the main river and one of the tributaries. One day, some of us have crossed the lake by boat and fished the upper river with good results. One other day, some walked the tributary upstream till we reached some lakes. In one of them, Erik and Mikael were able to catch some big fish.
We had a lot of fun while fishing at night with foam flies. Surface activity turned out to be much higher during the night or in the early morning hours. The attacks came suddenly in case of larger specimens, smaller fish were following for longer distances the fly.
Every evening Magnus (the chef) spoiled us with amazing food. Time passed quickly and the last day of fishing turned out to be also very good. Among the many fish caught, one was almost 71 cm long with a weight of 3 kg, a splendid male that just began to get some color. I fished the way back to the camp only with foam flies, enjoying every attack on the surface.
On departure day it started to rain cats and dogs. A certain state of melancholy but also the joy of returning to civilization covered us. We smoked cigar waiting for the boat, watched some of the pictures taken during the last days but also from earlier and started talking about possible plans for the year to come.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I got a wonderful present for my birthday from Samaranda and Liviu Neagoe from Fly Fishing Romania. It is a fishing jar with 12 dry flies. This flies look so great and fit so well into this jar that I won't fish them. I want to thank them one more time on this way. You should watch their blog. They been fly fishing a lot in Romania this year. Take a look here for their last adventures in the northern part of Romania - This Summer's Adventure - Part 6 - Fly Fishing in Bucovina
Monday, August 17, 2015
Fly fishing in the Algarve is not widely known, or at least I have not found much information on the Internet. Yet through the Internet I managed to meet Russell who is guiding in the southern part of Portugal.
Many waters dry up during the summer and the only fresh water fly fishing options are reduced to a few dams and bigger rivers. In dams you can catch large mouth bass and carp. My attention was captured by a river that marks the border between Portugal and Spain, Rio Guadiana. With a length of over 700 km, traverses the Iberian Peninsula from North to South and then it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The fish fauna is varied. Perhaps the most interesting fish for the fly fishermen is the shad (Alosa fallax), a herring-type anadromous fish which migrates into fresh water to spawn. The fishing season begins in April and ends in June. Besides shad you can fish for different species of barbel, large mouth bass, zander and carp. Fishing license is required and can be obtained from an ATM or at the local authorities in Olhão, Faro or Portimão against a modest sums. Getting the fishing license from an ATM is possible only with a Portuguese card.
I met Russell near Tavira where he picked me up and drove with his car to Mertola, a small town, forgotten by time with narrow streets situated on the banks of Rio Guadiana. The Phoenician, Roman and then Moorish influence merged of in this merchant place. Sulfur and silver from nearby mines were exchanged for grain. The place where we fished lies a few kilometers north of Mertola. A country road that meandered arid fields took us to an old mill on the banks of the river.
Until I had my fishing rod ready for action, Russell inspected the river and told me that we have a good chance to catch shad. Initially I thought it would be interesting to fool some Iberian barbel with the fly, having already some experience with their continental counterparts. I started fishing with a tandem of two heavy nymphs and soon I had the first fish. Shad's attacked in glee my nymphs. Twice I managed a double. An orange BH nymph proved to be attractive for a small barbel, unfortunately the only one during that day.
After some nice shads, Russell managed to catch two little zander on a minnow imitation. Meanwhile I changed my rig and I started fishing with sink tip and streamers. Great was my surprise when I caught a sea bass with a clouser minnow. There followed many other shads on a white / chartreuse clouser and on one of Russells flies, a sparkler (fish imitation tied only with pearl flash and a BH). The take on the streamer is extremely strong reported to the size of the fish and the best way to hook up is a short strip-strike. Shad turned out to be a real game fish making a lot of jumps until you manage to have it in the net. Some of the fish didn’t managed to survive the long and exhausting journey into the river.
I ended the fishing day on the Rio Guadiana getting new experiences and lots of great pictures. If you are interested into fly fishing in this area you can contact Russell. He can provide any kind of help (information, guiding, fishing tackle). More information can be found on his website GuadianaFishing.
...more photographic impressions from the Algarve...