Teepee camp. Photo cred Espen Ørud
Recently I got signed with my sponsor ArcticSilver Innovation in Norway. The moment I signed the deal, boss Robert Selfors, asked me to go on a trip fishing for sea trout and salmon in Finnmark, a place I always wanted to go to fishing. I will try not to bore you with stories about when I forgot all my rods at the airport, far away from where we sat basecamp. Or the night, when we worn out, on our way back from the river got pulled over in the middle of nowhere because they had a check on seat belt and drivers license, which I did not bring into the wild, and actually talked my way out of a ticket.
Free-Flex waiting for action. Photo cred Espen Ørud
I accepted the invitation with a tiny anxiety. The only easy way to explain that is that the dry fly fishing takes almost all my time when i´m not with my family, both mentally and physically. I easily get hooked and addicted and thats why I have decided to go a 100 % in on DoD. Simply, there is no more room for another fly fishing discipline in my life. Though, I understand the feeling when a 20 pound salmon wants to go the other way and you on the run along the riverside. Pure adrenalin. No need for an advanced DoD-formula to explain.
Vebjørn Kielland fighting an 18 pound tropic shark style. Photo cred Espen Ørud
The DoD-formula worked out and I caught my first salmon on the dry.
Another thing I know about salmon fishing is that they usually do it at night and gets up really early and sleep at day. Same rythm as the bats by the rivers. At least thats my preconception of salmon fishing. Another preconception is that salmon fishers are more comfortable compared to us dry fly fishers. I had seen pictures from previous trips from Robert. Serving nice lunches and dinners by the teepees and sashimi straight out of the river. All salmon rivers follow roads, so they drive along the river and scout for rising salmon. When I saw the first outdoor toilet along the river, with toilet paper in it, all my theories of salmon fly fishers became a truth.
Gearing up with ArcticSilver Free-Flex ready to drive rivers.
Photo cred Espen Ørud
The clock was set at 04.00 every morning. First morning I slept in til 7.30, with a good conscience. Nothing had happened by the river. 17 hours later we where back at the basecamp. No sashimi was served. No breakes. No mid day sleeping. Just hardcore pounding and walking the river the whole day. They where fishing my style. I loved it! With one concern. They only had a break for eating bread. Thats a thorn in my side with the norwegian “couisine”. They eat bread all the time. Im used to at least one break with drytech food. Gives me enough energy to go on forever. But bread? No fuel to my body.
Fueled up Robert creating magic moments. Photo cred Espen Ørud
Old timer Asle Bårdli with one of many salmons. A true king along the river. Photo cred Espen Ørud
Tailing my frist salmon. Photo cred Espen Ørud
Espen writing secret messages with stylish loops. Show off!
In the end we fished for about 16 hours every day for five days. With minimum of food (bread). No day time rest. No, just sitting by the river waiting for the mayfly to hatch. A rest in itself. This trip really put my head in a monkey wrench with a hard twist. My waders hardly fitted my body anymore. I was slaughtered. Dried out. But I was still in heaven. We landed loads of small sea trout and four 18 pound salmon and some smaller salmon. I caught my first salmon on the dry, almost six pound, and lost a few. Actually the trip gave us all five species in the river; grayling, brown trout (technically the same as sea trout), salmon, sea run arctic char and sea trout.
Junior Vebjørn struggeling holding his monster salmon. Photo cred Espen Ørud
My sum up of experiencing salmon fishing is that when the tough gets going they knock the preconception out of your bones. Thanks Robert, Asle, Espen and Vebjørn for a hell of a ride.