Some of us get a lucky break and I have had quite a few over the last 18 months. Applying and getting through the qualifying process to take part in BBCs The Big Fish, battling my way to the semi-final, and then as if that wasn’t enough an opportunity came about to work in the Reisastua Salmon lodge in northern Norway for the summer. This was such an awesome thing to be part of, it was extremely hard work and long hours but it gave myself and my husband the chance to experience salmon fishing at its best whilst surrounded by breath taking mountains and living in a luxury lodge! In between my work at the lodge and looking after the guest’s I was able to investigate what fishing Norway had to offer.
There is so much to experience in Norway, wading into the gin clear river and casting your fly to try your chances against one of the monster Atlantic salmon that reside in the cold waters. Trekking through jaw dropping valleys and national park to fish among waterfalls and towering rock faces feeling a tug on the fly that makes your heart nearly jump out of your mouth! There is also quiet forgotten lakes surrounded by woods where specimen perch swim and moose like to creep down to feed on the vegetation.
But one of my most memorable moments in Norway was when I took a couple of days off freshwater fishing and went to investigate the icy cold waters of the fjords. One of the lodge guides, Morton, took us out on his boat to fish for the legendary Norwegian cod, these fish were very obliging taking both lure and fly and proved very good fun! I was informed that sometimes Halibut come into the shallow areas of the fjord to feed and sunbathe, we headed over the area where these fish had been seen, and sure enough we spotted two nice sized Halibut cruising along. That night I tied up a suitable fly on a strong partridge 4/0 sea prince and the next day tried my luck at targeting a halibut in the shallows. After an hour or so my persistence was rewarded and I began a 35 minute battle with the biggest fish I have ever been attached to on fly. I was using a Greys Salt 9# and Hardy ultralight and they were definitely put through their paces holding on to the powerful flatfish. Once I had tamed the beast and got him boat side, we took him to the rocks for a couple photographs and to measure him (147cm), I then released him back into the clear waters holding onto his massive tail until the very last minute. I was left with such an amazing feeling of achievement and disbelief at what had just happened. After we all celebrated we sat silent trying to take in the thing that had just happened. It turned out to be the Norwegian fly caught record, but it all seems like a mad dream now!
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