I have been very lucky to be a guest of my good friend Dieter again this year. I am days away from being able to comment on my first stop in Norway but I arrived at Alta airport on 27th and picked up the car which was kindly lent to me and headed the 2 hours north to Lakselv.
It is a stunning drive. On the way there, it was cloudy and stormy with some weather brewing but on the return it was a beautiful day.The reindeer were out in force wondering all over the road and along the coastal flats by the sea.
On arrival, Dieter and I enjoyed an excellent dinner and watched Spain v Portugal and then went to bed ready for an early wake up at 4am!
The Lakselv is a beautiful medium-sized river by our standards, small by Norwegian standards. Very fishable with a 14 ft rod. We buzzed around Dieter’s various favourite pools looking for running fish but had no luck. It was a howling gale by this time so casting was tricky at the best of times.
We decided to split up and I headed back to some of the spots we had covered in the early morning. As I walked down from the head of one pool to another where fish had been caught I noticed a channel that had been dug in the river bed caused by a rock creating water turbulence. It had gouged a deep channel for about thirty yards just adjacent to the rapids into the next pool. I felt it was worth a go and sure enough a fine 12kg or 26lbs fish – a fat fat fat female with long-tail sea lice and in perfect condition. See the video.
That night one of Dieter’s Norwegian friends came and cooked for us. We enjoyed a four course meal with fine wines, smoked salmon, ptarmigan terrine, roast ptarmigan with wonderful reduced gravy and finally some summer berries with a desert wine. We finished at about 2am having watched Germany lose to Italy!
There was a big clear up job the next morning but we got that done and prepared to go out just when Thomas appeared with a 32lbs fish that he sadly had to kill. That was inspiration enough and I put down my washing up brush and headed out. I went to a pool well up river where I had caught a kelt the evening before. I decided to try a much smaller fly. There is a very large flat rock which you have to cast over, it means a rather poorly presented fly. As the fly pulled out of the nice smooth water into the swirly stuff, there was a huge take and a great fish came almost entirely out of the water. It was on. It then streaked across the top and then started thrashing and making one hell of a mess. Finally it settled down and I got my line on the reel and began to start working out how I was going to land this brute when the hook came out. Such is life, not a massive fish but I reckon 35+, a male fish.
This was not a spectacular fight but a totally stunning fish. Had to leave the hook in because it was in the gills. You can see me making a final check for blood. Caught on sink-tip with a 1.5 inch Jora Gold.
Those were my last moments at Lakselv this year. I said my goodbyes and headed south to Alta for my 22nd year. I wonder what Alta has in store this year.