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Beginners salmon guide part 2 – Timing

August 5, 2017

Text & images by Calle Lundqvist

Guideline Power Team member Calle Lundqvist here follows up his blog post from earlier this summer with a Part 2 about the importance of Timing. Fish smart and plan your time by the river to get the best chance of hooking into a solid Baltic chrome salmon. 

If being by river swinging flies is the only thing you are doing during the summer timing shouldn’t be a problem. But if you for some reason have other things in life besides fishing, it would be a good thing knowing when and where to spend your time fishing. In my experience, fishing on fresh or moving fish is the most effective way to do it.

First fish.
Where I do most of my fishing I northern Sweden, the first fresh fish usually starts running in the end of May or early June. If you like getting hooked up with big fish and a fight of a lifetime now’s the time. The bigger fish tends to be the first fish entering the rivers and fishing the lower part of the rivers is the best place. At this moment the fish isn’t that picky about flies, just make sure you got enough backing and a strong leader.

Summer rain.
When the first big run ends (usually in about 2–3 weeks), the weather tends to get sunnier and the rivers lower and warmer. Now is the time to spend time with friends and loved ones to store some extra credit to use when the first big rain is arriving. When the river is rising the fishing tends to be kind of slow but when the rain stops and the rivers are dropping, that’s the 2nd prime time of the summer. The fish in the river must find new holding places due to change of the water flow and fresh fish is entering the river to compete about places in the pool. That makes them way more eager to grab your fly (if it’s brown of course).

The tide.
In northern Baltic rivers we don’t have to consider tidal times since it’s not noticeable here. But if you fishing in rivers that’s entering tidal oceans, the incoming tide is what you are looking for. That usually pushes some fresh fish into the river. While fishing the incoming tide in one section of the river, find out when the pool seems to be most active(jumping fish, pull in the fly or even a hookup) then compare that to when the tide in the oceans had it’s peak. If you are fishing that pool the next days, just check when the tide is highest and then add the time you counted last time. That’s usually a good guideline for how long it takes for the fish to get to that place (if the water flow stays pretty much the same).

 

Magazine FlyOnly – Salmon in river Laerdal

July 25, 2017

In the last issue of Swedish webmag Fly Only you can read an article from last year when we fished the opening days of river Laerdal in western Norway. In Swedish language but plenty of images from the trip.

Baltic Salmon – The Journey Continues

July 14, 2017

By Kieran Conlon, Guideline Powerteam Ireland.

There are very few places I’ve fished that seep into the soul like the big rivers of northern Sweden. Especially the mighty Kalix river. Fishing this river is a big challenge and can lead to moments of absolute chaos when a big one decides to let you know who is really in charge but in stark contrast there are quiet moments when you feel this powerful river has accepted your presence and allows you to share it’s peace and rhythms.

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Casting a line out on this river is truly an interactive experience, the pull of the heavy flow on the rod, feeling the tension through the line as the fly swings through pockets of turbulent water or gets pulled down in the an eddy of a rock the size of a small car. You need to be alert to fish these waters correctly, constantly aware of any subtle changes in order to maintain good speed to the swing and even adding a bit of extra life to the fly if you think something other than the water or rocks has interacted with the fly. Baltic Salmon often want to be provoked into taking the fly and when you get it right the takes are truly spectacular. This trip saw us with much higher colder water than upon the previous occasion with air temps down as low as 3 degrees and while not cold by arctic standards this was June. Nothing but the toughest equipment will suffice. For me it was the LXi T-Pac 14’9 10/11, VOSSO 1113, my old trusty Quadra 1013 and a selection of 3D+ & 4D lines. Egor in .47 & . 52 diameters with lots of PE Extreme backing on the reels.

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While upon first glance from a distance it looks like one big sheet of water going by at a ridiculous pace but upon closer inspection you start to spot the individual runs, creases, and pocket water of the edges of roaring rapids. There are tails outs to dream off but in true Baltic Salmon style the best places to meet one of these powerful fish often leave you thinking that if I hook one here i haven’t a hope and more often than not this turns out to be only too true. One encounter this year saw me attached to a very large fish hooked half way down lovely run about a hundred meters above some real hard water. The first searing run saw backing disappear at an alarming rate after which the fish promptly left the pool and held position in the top of the hard water and just decided that he couldn’t be bothered moving anymore. This stand off lasted for about two minutes after which he just spat the hook back at me as if to say today is not your day. If your going to fish this river you better learn to enjoy loosing a lot of the bigs ones if your fortunate enough to hook them, though I must admit its one river where I do just that and when they do show you who’s really in charge and spit the hook or break .52 leader like cotton I find myself just smiling and taking my hat of to the fish.

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Then I need to sit down for ten minutes until the legs stop feeling like jelly. Two nights later I returned somewhat tentatively to the same pool, not sure if i was ready for another beating. A local angler was tackling up and he kindly waved me into the run. I fished the same 3D+ 3/5/8 and fly through the pool as the previous occasion and just in the tail out as the fly swung behind some large boulders the loop was torn from my fingers again and the reel went into full song. It was the usual story straight away with a large fish cartwheeling of my right shoulder with the line going into the water 150 meters below the fish. A series of what I assume where Swedish expletives from the other angler confirmed my fears that it was indeed one of the bigger ones. These fish move so fast when hooked. There’s no warning, no head shakes while they decide where they’re going its just full throttle from the second they hit the fly.

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After an obscene amount of backing had been removed from the reel this fish went straight for the hard water below and stopped in exactly the same spot as the other fish two nights previous. I thought here we go again and wound down on the fish getting level with it. This one however wasn’t fond of the side strain and started moving again the only problem was it was down stream through the hard water. What followed was a tug of war with the fish taking line out and using the flow to drop down 100 meters each time whereby I had to scramble along over rocks and through pockets of turbulent water to catch up and get level with the fish again. Water levels where high so where the water stopped the trees started, no easy following here. This was the pattern for almost almost 35 minutes and probably close to a kilometre down stream. The amount of pressure I was having to put on the fish to keep some illusion of control left me expecting the hook to pop or the line to break on any of the many boulders at any second.

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Eventually however I got to a pool that had some soft water along the edge and a bit of room between the water and the trees where I was able to get some control over the fish and after a lot of back and forth antics under the rod tip the fish was brought to the edge and landed with the assistance of another angler who was fortunately fishing the pool. The Swedish angler who had been tackling up when I hooked the fish had stayed with me the whole time and was able to get a couple of photos in the pouring rain before the fish was quickly released. My thanks to both of you. I remember the long somewhat surreal walk back up to the guys who i’d been fishing with where the story was recounted many times. Despite a good run of fish still going through I felt no inclination to fish again that night indeed I didn’t even cast a line again till the following evening. I was happy to just sit by the fire drinking coffee and watching the guys fish the night away.

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The Kalix had given me an incredible gift and it would have just felt wrong, almost disrespectful to go straight back into the water again. I now have an incredible experience to think back on during the coming winter where thoughts will turn to possible future encounters on these rivers for one thing I am certain of I will be back…

Gallery below with images above + additional selection. 

 

Carp – European bonefish on the fly

July 12, 2017

We got some nice images and text from carp angler Jamie Sandford from the UK. Jamie says – ´I started fly fishing for carp here in the U.K. like most using deer hair patterns and various other imitations on the surface some years ago. Through YouTube and various books I took an interest in how American and European anglers fly fish for their carp – sight fishing using a variety of flies and patterns. 

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Using lures throughout the summer months here in the U.K. has resulted in me landing carp and treating them like the predator they are by stripping hot flashy coloured lures like you would for Trout – to fish this way specifically is something I feel is rather alternative here in the U.K.’s current Fly Carpin’ scene.

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I’m currently using a #7 Guideline EXCEED which is a superb rod for getting big fast carp under control. I use this in conjunction with a WF7F 4-Cast line. A superb line that allows me to cover fish at any distance.

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Some time ago I fished guided with ‘Carp on Fly Adventures’ in Portugal for 3 days and caught over 30 Carp and 4 Barbel. All fish came by casting to feeding fish and using the ‘drag and drop’ technique before setting the hook once the fish had taken the fly. Some of the takes were spectacular to witness, watching carp and barbel lunge at the Fly. These strong and wild fish sure know how to fight and the Exceed handled the battles perfectly!

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Flies used were small Nymph and Crayfish imitations and the responsiveness of the rod really came in handy when short neat casts were needed to be made. ‘Carp on Fly Adventures’ are based in Portugal and can be contacted via Facebook or Google.

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Words & images by Jamie Sandford. 

 

Gaula salmon – the french way

July 6, 2017

 This year I was lucky enough to head to Gaula river on NFC waters a little bit earlier as usual, so It’s wit a great hope I packed all my equipment with the first time the great the new Lpxe in 16’ lenght. Words & images by Fabrice Bergues, Guideline Power Team France. 

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I used the 13’9 Lxi with the new 4D lines with most often belong the combination body 1/3 with 4/6 and 5/7 tips, and the new 3D+ in 2/4/6 , 1/3/5 and F/H/S4, and of course big tubes flies with Future fly in marble fox and zonker variations. The good news on our arrival was a little window in water level in order for some salmon to pass through the Gaulfossen canyon and then to reach our beat in very short time. Although the water level has dropped a little, it’s still high and I take the opportunity to handle the large stick ! It not take a long time for me to change my point of view concerning so large rod, this one is just amazing, light powerful with a very sensitive tip.

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I was amazed how easy is it to handle the heavy line and much more amazed to see a long is it possible to cast with large tube flies. After a short time I was happy to have my first pull and to land a 106 cm beauty bar of silver, the rod is just a lethal weapon. After dinner we decide with my friend to go up the river to see if some other salmons have reached the upper parts. Bingo ! The second salmon of the day much more modest but just as beautiful as the previous one, with sea lice! This one with the LXi 13’9.

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The day after we try again in the upper beat, with this high level I prefer use the « little one » in order to be more comfortable against the bank, very closed to the bushes, and we are both rewarded by a 10 kg fish! In new pool, a little bit later I try again the LPXe in order to cast long distance without effort and then the same thing happen, I can feel the line drawn tight… Incredible, a new 10 kg fish has taken to my tube fly, amazing days!

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Words & images by Fabrice Bergues, Guideline Power Team France. 

 

 

 

Guideline Drifter EVO – test

June 13, 2017

Last summer our Drifter Evolution kickboat with oars was taken for a test drive in the Swedish mountains together with three boats from other brands. Below you can read the full article from magazine FlugfiskeFeber written by Marcys De Zayo Hallquist. About the Drifter EVO – it is a normal Drifter that is equipped with a set of strong, removable aluminum oars, fixed to a strong oar holder that can be folded down to lock in place along the side of the pontoon. The addition of oars on this craft means extra safety and added power of transport in heavy winds or currents.

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Words & images courtesy of Magazine FlugfiskeFeber – Marcys De Zayo Hallquist.

 

Ice age trout in Iceland

June 5, 2017

Text & images by Lars Marius Bjørnstad, Guideline PowerTeam

Late night fly tying and a significant lack of sleep. Departure day has come. After six months of preparations, we’re finally ready to fly to Iceland in search of the majestic ice age brown trout. We are four pumped up fly anglers, reaching to beat the 10 kg limit. We acknowledge the difficulty, but nothing is going to stop us from pulling up some monster trouts on this trip.

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The excitement level is rising already in the car on our way to the airport, as we dream about bright summer nights and mirror-smooth waters. We keep chatting about our expectations over a mandatory airport pint as we wait to board our flight. When we arrive Keflavik airport, we quickly collect all our stuff before we pick up the car we are renting for the week. Before we head to our cabin, we drop by a tackle shop where we purchase more flies, equipped for the big day tomorrow. We’re accommodated right by the water where it’s gonna happen. After enjoying a glass of red wine, we strolled down to discover the terrain and to get a feel of the surroundings. Knowing that tomorrow is going to be a long day, me make sure to get as much sleep as possible.

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Breakfast goes down in an irregular speed as we can’t wait to get out and start day one of fishing. However, when we get to our daily spot, we’re met with huge disappointment as hurricane-like winds destroys the potential. Not only this today, but the next four days came along with terrible fishing conditions, and the numbers of decent trouts turned out few. We keep fighting with heavier rods, lines with different sinking degrees and all types of flies. The wind just doesn’t want to give us a break. Within these days, we manage to catch four trouts up to three kilos. At least, this gives us hope. Still, we’re relatively frustrated, knowing that these waters usually give good results. The mood kept sinking as we moved from rivers to smaller creeks, trying all options.

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We still had not reached what we hoped for. This was supposed to be a trip of big catches. Big trouts. However, we succeed in consuming tasty Icelandic meat and liquor from all over the world and sharing old fishing stories. Without any certain expectations, we wake up on day five, finally seeing no wind. Breakfast was eaten in the car… Is this the day?!? The sea lies like a mirror and I start rigging my brand new LPXE 9’#5 with Haze v2 #6/8, floating line and egor tippet 0,23 and a small black fly. We hear a familiar sound, and within a second, a big trout shows up above the surface. We all burst out: “oh my god” at the same time. We’re four men sharing two rods, and those two rods quickly bend. From there and out, we had action all day long. Just as ordered! Suddenly, the trouts didn’t hesitate to embrace our midge flies. We swap rods and cameras, making sure to capture all our catches. We are landing big trouts and there’s always a high five going on.

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Two of the guys broke their personal best, landing trouts on 4 to 5 kilos on dry flies. On #5 rods. The Icelandic landscape is amazing and makes the evening even better. It’s magical and words can’t describe. It’s all about the experience. After feeling some careful bites I decided to change fly, and a fish takes it immediately. As I set the hook, the water explodes with a big trout dancing ten metres on its tail, ending in a somersault. The LPXE is running warm and the line runs quickly off the reel. You need backing in Iceland. I am beaching the fish carefully and realize that this is my peak point of the trip.

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A brown trout that pulled the scale straight to the bottom. Approximately 7 kilos and 80 cm in length. Ridiculous girth. We spent our last day by a small river, catching char and trouts in smaller versions, letting yesterday’s fishing adventure sink properly in.

We are definitely coming back. It’s all about the experience. Enough said. Below you find a full gallery of additional images than the ones showed above. Click the first image and you can view them in slideshow mode. 

Text & images by Lars Marius Bjørnstad, Guideline PowerTeam