Sometimes you just want to get as far away from public and connection as possible. Far away from crowded rivers and people. Sometimes you just want to get off the grid for a while.
So, my buddy Jim and I decided that we should go for a remote river way in the north of Norway this summer.
For me, it was first time going on such a trip with heavy backpacks and for a whole week, something my feet told along the way. But Jim has more experience with this kinda trips, so it was a good thing he was along or I would probably still be somewhere around up there, trying to find my way home.
So, after some planning, we packed our backpacks and started our way up north.
We walked all night through in the beautiful light of the midnight sun. We reached the river early morning and just had to have a break and sleep for some hours. It was a hard walk.
Later that day we walked downstream a bit and found some really nice fish rising and thought we hit the jackpot. But the fish were easily spooked and before we could say fish it was long gone.
But we didn’t let that stop us, so we moved our camp to a bit better location downstream and started our fishing.
That day we saw a lot of fish and had good hatches, but we really misjudged the fish of the north….
We made cast after cast. We spooked fish after fish. We got them to take the flies, but didn’t set the hook right. Lost again. When we finally got them to take properly, we totally misjudged how strong they were. The tippet snapped and snapped again. This went on the first day and a half before our brains actually started to understand something. Bigger flies, thicker tippets and so on.
Then our luck began to appear.
Jim was the first to hook up, a slow dead drift over the fish with a size 14 olive mayfly did the trick. Had we finally cracked the code? It did not take long before I hooked up also. Same pattern, slow drift, hard strike, hook set! Little did I know I had one of my top five trout shooting down stream with my fly in its mouth. Damn those fish were strong. We did not have something to measure the fish so we let the picture do the talking.
The next day we had pretty bad weather and no fishing during daytime. We had 12-15 m/s of wind and rain! And since we made the smart choice of not bringing a tent, only hammocks, we kinda figured out that the weather up there in the mountains would be much more comfortable with a tent. But we didn’t complain a lot, just took a big sip of whiskey and tried to sleep it off and wake up to better weather. But next time we’ll bring a tent.
After 16 hours in the hammock the weather started to shift and the midnight sun was shining through the clouds. A decent hatch of mayflies started and fish were rising everywhere. So, we geared up and started fishing. This day we explored the river about 5 kilometres down stream from our camp and we found lots of fish willing to take the fly. Decent avg size but nothing to write home about.
And so the days went on and we still misjudged some fish that we thought was small, but went crazy and snapped the tippet. We lost some really decent fish. Maybe next year? And then they’re probably even bigger.
The rest of the trip we had quite good weather and fished up and down the river all day and night. But also took our time to relax and be embraced by nature.
It was a cool thing with the midnight sun, as it was possible to fish all the time. You get tired as hell, but so nice anyway. We will definitely go back and the plans for next year is already in motion.
But next time we are a bit more prepared and probably won’t misjudge the fish under the midnight sun.
By Eugen Vegger & Jim Lysebo