It was the last days of August and the salmon season up north was coming to a close. My plan was to finish the salmon season strongly, but my tendinosis ridden left hand had forced me change plans to some more delicate fishing. I made my way back to the tundra to see if there were any trout action left in the rivers I had fished earlier in the summer. I had not fished the north this late in the season before, so I did not know what to expect. My theory was that the fish would start to get ready for spawning and move up from the lakes and into the many creeks and rivers in the area. I was not expecting much in the way of insects, but I was in for a surprise. I started off by visiting some locations that had been good earlier in the summer, just to see if the fish was still there or if they had started their runs to their spawning locations. I was happy to see that the late generation mayflies were now hatching in good numbers. The fish were mostly eating nymphs, but would reveal themselves occasionally when picking off a dun or emerger. And they were still in the exact same places as earlier in the summer, still focused on fattening up before winter. Thus, I went to work and experienced some great moments on the various rivers in the area. Fish were not plentiful, but I usually managed to trick a decent trout or two each day.
There is also grayling in many of the water systems up north, and although it’s not my favorite fish I decided to give it a try before I ended my season up north. The river I decided on usually holds great numbers of grayling, but this this time I had some trouble finding them. They were not in their usual places, so I really had to search them out. I knew they school together and that if I hooked one there would usually be more in the same area. I fished a quite large stretch of river without any contact, before I came upon a deeper pool just below a fast-moving drop in the river. There I saw the first delicate little rise, and then another. The grayling had congregated in the particular pool and they were there in numbers. For the next couple of hours, I caught over 50 grayling between 0,7-1 kg. They were just gobbling down the nymphs I presented to them at almost every cast I made. Although it’s nice to catch many fish, the excitement wore off after a while, and I decided to leave the grayling alone.
My season in the north was now coming to an end. It’s hard to describe how great it has been to explore the north in search of prime fly fishing experiences for almost a full season. There has been little else on my mind except fly fishing and connecting with nature. When present in these environments it can be difficult to take in the full beauty of it all. The spirit of nature flows strongly in these places, especially at the height of summer. I feel privileged and humbled by my experiences and it will probably take some time to process it all. Small details I did not think about at the time keep popping up in my mind, adding value and meaning on deeper levels within. This is what I love most about fly fishing. For me it’s not only about the fish, it’s the total experience from being outside and connecting to the wonders of the natural world.
Now I am back south again, and the fly fishing season here in Norway is winding down before winter. There can still be good fishing in lakes before the snow falls and we also have decent sea trout fishing close by. But I must admit that my thoughts are now focused on the magical islands of New Zealand. Hopefully I can transport myself down there before winter comes on too strong here in Norway. To be continued…