Swedish Scouting 2001
In his first fishing trip to Scandinavia, Jerome Philipon samples some of the delightful waters available in Northern Sweden and enjoys warm local hospitality.
- Scandinavia brings up pictures of true wilderness characterised not only by endless numbers of lakes rich with trouts and pikes but also by numerous large rivers where runs of sea trout and salmon are still plenty : in short, an anglers paradise!!! Some of the best fishing can be found here, says Jerome.
for a change from the more obvious destinations of Scotland or Ireland
and keen for a somehow wilder adventure, I set off the third Saturday
of June to the northern province of Vasterbotten, just a couple of hours
south of the artic circle.
The Guides and The Rivers.
of destination had been guided by a combination of articles in the angling
press and a lot of exciting research on the internet. The plan was to
fish two rivers: Byskealven and Logdealven. I was here for a week and
would split my time between these two rivers depending on circumstances.
As if there was anything like ideal conditions in angling lore!
Despite landing six hours late in Skelleftea because of a missed flight connexion in Stockholm Arlanda, I felt relieved that my rods had survived transport in the plane cargo. Less enthusiastic was I about the way the first mosquitoes immediately greeted me on the airport parking! Anyway, slightly dreading the constant company of these buzzing winged friends, I quickly picked up a hire car and headed off north to the small town of Byske where I was meeting Carl Holmkvist, my guide for the following day.
only two Scandinavian A.P.G.A.I instructors, Carl is an English and
music teacher who leaves in southern Sweden but travels to Byskealven
every summer to guide for the short salmon season (19th June to 31st
was alone right in the middle of nowhere in the Swedish forest surrounded
by the evening songs of birds and the loud roar of the Byskealven in
the background. Prospects were not ideal for salmon fishing but I was
here to find out and very much determined to do so! Gathering my lunchbox
for an evening picnic I drove off onto a dirt track following the river
to Fällfors, the biggest falls on Byskealven where a new salmon
ladder is being built.
day, after a quick dip in the river to wash, the fishing really started
and Carl guided me into about 8 different pools showing access to the
water, correcting my casting and explaining the favourite lies.
The River Byske
is Sweden's largest forest river with a width varying between 50 and
100 yards in places. Of course larger rivers exist in the north (Kalixalven,
Tornealven) but with Byskealven you are already talking very serious
current including series of rapids and frequent falls. Banks are often
lined with birch trees and the river bed made of big rocks. Hence the
very tricky wading with some deep holes right by the bank and a wading
staff is an absolute essential.
Returning to the car in the evening and in way of consolation we picked up the largest morilles -wild mushroom buffs will know what I mean - that I have ever seen. Some up to a pound and twice the size of my salmon reel. They made for a nice fry up back at the caravan!
sunshine and a river level down, I fished the following day hard round
the clock till 3am but to no avail. Locals were giving stories of fish
being caught and indeed I saw one lucky angler succeed from the other
With very warm weather but the water still much too high and a recent large influx of anglers queuing to occupy pools at night, I decided to make my way to Lodgealven and try a different river.
The River Lögde
At this time of the year, although the sun actually sets for a few hours, there is daylight 24 hours a day and anglers can fish round the clock enjoying the fresher moments when fish become more active.
river lesser known but more allround. Lesser known than Byskealven where
fishing permits for salmon cost £8 a day, Lower Logdealven managed by
Logdealvens FVO can be enjoyed for a mere £3.50 a day. Even if it hasn't
been subject to hydroelectric schemes yet like many other rivers around,
the river had for decades its whole ecosystem devastated by the reckless
removal of stones from its bottom to facilitate the carriage of millions
of trees downstream to the local paper industry.
my trip were the Swedish very friendly and eager to help, whether fellow
anglers or camping owner, but the real warm welcome came from Rickard
Sjostrom who runs laxguiden.com, an internet portal specialised in salmon
angling in Northern Sweden.
love their outdoor and their taste is reflected in the infrastructure
for anglers: toilet sheds are usually provided even in the most remote
of pools (watch out for bee nests though!) and I even slept free of
charge for two nights by the river in a very robust and comfortable
In Sweden, a tent can freely be erected almost anywhere. It all comes down to anglers expectations both in terms of fishing and standard of accommodation.
Harry and Nicke
Half way between the rough sleeping experienced earlier in the week
and a five star lodge with all modern comforts stands Gammelgarden Camp
where my trip ended.
stayed in the camp for three days fishing different pools in search
of these huge browns that can be seen chasing anglers flies forming
an impressive water bulge right behind the leader.
the whole week the weather was excellent - may be too good- and altogether
Sweden delivered its promise of wild fishing and pleasing encounters
with fellow anglers and locals. Opportunities to learn are plenty with
wet fly fishing, Czech nymphing, the occasional dry fly fishing not
to mention excursions on Gammelgarden lake to tempt pikes with streamers.
Even in Sweden, salmon fishing keeps its degree of uncertainty and although
I had to go home without a fish, this definitely was quality fishing!
I am up for it next year without a doubt!!!
Swedish Krone, £1 is currently worth 14.64 krones
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