Finnmark is the northernmost and largest county in Norway sharing borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. My friend and fly fishing mentor Monrad introduced me to this fishing paradise about 10 years ago and I have spent 2-3 weeks there during summer ever since. Finnmark can be a bit overwhelming at first, with so many rivers and lakes that it would probably take a lifetime to get to know all of it. The weather and conditions can also vary a lot year by year and you can experience everything from snow to scorching heat. The trout fishing can be very good and the fish is usually larger than down south where I live. I usually catch one or two fish over 2 kg every season and the majority is usually in the 1-1,5 kg range. But larger fish reside there as well, as I would discover shortly.
This time I arrived to cold swollen rivers and there was little activity to be seen. There had been a lot of snow in the mountains this winter and the conditions did not look to get optimal anytime soon. In this situation I either had to wait it out or find more fishable water somewhere else. Thankfully there are other watersheds and rivers in the area and some of them had with less water. There are also many small creeks and tiny streams around, places you would normally would ignore completely. But such small waters should not be ignored, especially early in the season when water temperature is key. Over the years I have discovered many such hidden places and it would serve me particularly well this time.
I first decided to check out a tiny stream coming out of a lake. Lo and behold, I found a rather large trout feeding on mayflies in one of the small pools. I managed to hook it but after a 30 min fight it broke off. I estimate the fish to have been around 3-4 kg… After this rather brutal start I continued fishing the smaller rivers and streams around and caught a decent amount of trout around 1-1,6 kg.