Der satt den! Det er bare noen dager siden årets sesong begynte i den øvre delen av Numedalslågen, og i kveld fisket jeg Rien øst. Hadde flaks med været. Etter adskillige varme dager, uten en sky på himmelen, regnet og blåste det i kveld. Denne laksen tok en Tosh, og selv om det ikke var noen stor fisk, vartet den opp med en god kamp. Gleder meg til laksemiddag.
Hjemme igjen etter å ha tilbrakt langhelgen i solfylte London og ikke minst ved kalkelvene sør i England. Der holdt jeg foredrag om lakselordene i Lågendalen og egne fluefiskeeventyr, i henholdsvis Flyfishers’ Club og for medlemmene i Piscatorial Society – to gamle, ærverdige klubber. I tillegg ble det tid til å nyte sol og vårfølelse, treffe gode venner og rusle langs River Test – som vel neppe trenger noen ytterligere introduksjon. Jeg lar bildene tale for seg :)
Back home after attending the traditional River Dee opening ceremony in Banchory, Scotland. What a trip it turned out to be! I hope you will enjoy this little report, in both words and pictures.
Scotland had put its spring clothes on, when we arrived at Banchory Lodge at lunch time on Wednesday. How wonderful it was to see crocus and snow drops, to hear the birds singing and feel the warmth of the sun. A great contrast to home, where it was cold, windy and snowing, when my brother, Terje, and I headed for the airport just a few hours earlier.
That evening, I had the privelege of giving a talk about the Victorian anglers in Norway. Orvis had very kindly organized and promoted the event, and I hope that everyone who turned up, had a good evening. We certainly enjoyed it, and it was pleasure to meet and chat to fellow anglers, ghillies and proprietors. Thank you all for coming.
Despite the drinks we had the previous night, we got up early Thursday morning. It was opening day on the Dee – one of the world’s most prolific salmon rivers – and our plan was to enjoy every second of it!
After having a proper breakfast, we headed for our beat: Lower Woodend. We had arranged to meet the proprietor, Michael Buchan, at 8 am, in order to bless the river and to fish for a couple of hours, before returning to Banchory Lodge for the opening ceremony. The weather was a bit challenging, with rain and wind, but the water level looked good and we were quite optimistic.
While I fished the smaller pools down towards Cairnton, Terje fished the wonderful Hut Pool. Armed with a Gold Wille Gunn from Orvis, he slowly, but surely worked his way through the pool, and within half an hour he was in touch with a fish! Unfortunately, I was not there to witness the fight, but it took him about ten minutes to land what turned out to be the very first Dee springer of 2018!
We did not see that coming…
Attending the ceremony was a treat. There must have been at least 200 people there, to enjoy the atmosphere, speeches, lovely refreshments, and, of course, the traditional toast and first cast, this year done by Trout and Salmon editor Andrew Flitcroft. Terje was also presented with a bottle of single malt for his 8 pound bar of silver – great fun and very much appreciated.
Returning to Lower Woodend, there was not a lot of action to report, apart from a kelt I had from the Hut Pool.
Later in the afternoon, however, it was my turn. In the very last pool of the beat, a fish grabbed my Posh Tosh. A tricky situation, as I was on my own, wading rather deep, with the net out of reach and even poor phone signals. Luckily, the fish was properly hooked, and despite its powerful attempts to get rid of the hook, I was able to land our second springer for the day.
The weight? I’d estimate it to about 6 pounds.
What a day it had been! There was still time to fish for an hour or so, but we were more than happy and returned to Banchory Lodge for a nice dinner and a good nights sleep.
We had a few hours available to fish, before we had to pack up and go home. It was a raining as we arrived on the river, but soon the clouds broke up and the sun once again paid us a visit.
Still very satisfied with the previous day, we spent most of the time on the fishing hut veranda – enjoying the sun.
We did, of course, try our luck in the various Lower Woodend pools, but the fish were off. Not even a pull. Our excuse for the day, was the fact that the river had come up a wee bit over night.
But that did not matter at all! What a fantastic Dee experience! I believe we have to return next year and do it all again 😊
If you’d like to fish Lower Woodend, too, drop Michael Buchan an email on email@example.com or check out his website. For other Dee beats, visit FishPal. There are several accommodation options, but I’d recommend Banchory Lodge, with its perfect location right on the river. If there is anything you need in terms of fishing tackle or clothing, pop in and see Scott Rutherford and his team at Orvis, Banchory.
I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year – and tight lines for 2018! My flyfishing season begins on February 1, when I am fishing the Dee in Scotland. Can’t wait! Then comes a week on the Spey, hopefully a little chalk stream fishing in England, various trout and salmon adventures here in Norway and, finally, trout fishing in Montana, USA.
This week, I had the great privilege of doing a talk at London’s legendary Farlows store.
My talk focused on the British angling pioneers that came to fish Norway’s salmon rivers in the 19th and early 20th Century. A truly remarkable chapter in our common angling history. Just as with sports such as mountaineering and hunting, the gentle art of angling was introduced to Norway by British aristocrats. Officers, diplomats, politicians and well-to-do gentlemen were all enthralled by the wild, beautiful and unspoilt country and for a salmon angler Norway, with all her rivers, was a dream come true.
Hundreds of travel books were published and, filled with exciting essays, lovely sketches and photographs, they tempted increasing numbers of tourists to visit. By the 1860s to 1870s, Norway was experiencing what can only be described as the early days of mass tourism, a growing business that led to major changes in Norway’s infrastructure, economy and, in the long term, whole way of life.
I’d like to thank the Farlows team for the invitation and for organizing a very pleasant evening. Let me also take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the talk and for the good discussions that followed.
Hjemme etter et par fuktige dager i Skottland! Mye vann forvandlet Avon til en brun, stor flod, og forholdene var plundrete. Men sniking langs breddene, med en tung fortom og en stor Red Frances, ga likevel resultater. Helt inne ved land, i en liten, rolig lomme, tok jeg en liten, farget laks. Korte kast og forsiktige bevegelser er “the name of the game”, når elvene går store.
Noen ganger er man på rett sted til rett tid. Ikke ofte, dessverre, men det hender ALT klaffer. Som i dag. I løpet av noen timer kjørte Bendik tre laks i Lågen. Den første, en ordentlig bamse, slapp dessverre etter noen minutters kamp. Men de to siste, de ble med helt inn! En stor dag for Bendik og en minst like stor dag for meg.