Big Rain, High Water, Hard Day

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July 14, 2010

Day 5

It’s tough when your nickname is Monsoon Currier. Norway has had a dry summer up until today. Yesterday I experienced easy wading and clear water on the Gaula River, but today the river was much different. Last night hard rain pounded our camper roof to the point where I just could not sleep. Finally at 1:15 am I climbed into my waders and headed to the river. I don’t know about you but I’m a little groggy getting up at 1:15 am, but did it suspecting I’d have beat 2b to myself. However, when I got to the salmon hut there were several of yesterdays crew and a few guys that fish only at night. This Atlantic salmon fishing must be serious business.

After greetings from everyone, I looked around and saw a salmon hanging by his tail. The fish was 5.5 kilo (about 12lbs). It was a gorgeous fish and seeing it woke me up fast. Then I looked to the river to size up my strategy and it looked completely different. It had risen three feet! I had a tough time getting my fly out far enough yesterday, now I would need to make a whole new plan. The new plan consisted of trying beat 2a. For some reason, everyone waits in line to fish beat 2b. It has faster water than 2a and I’m sure more salmon. But, I was up and now after seeing a nice caught salmon, anxious. And beat 2a was vacant so I headed out to it.

It’s remarkably light out at 1:30 am, even with a thick cloud cover. As I waded into the top of beat 2a I noticed the water was slightly off color. I didn’t have a lot of confidence as I made my first few casts. Then I saw the occasional free jumping salmon and recalled Vladi’s theory on rising water and migrating salmon. He must be right being that the first salmon in days was caught.

It wasn’t long before Vladi arrived to me with a freshly brewed hot cup of coffee. He liked the fact that I was fishing beat 2a and encouraged me to make a few passes while no other anglers wanted to fish it. Sure enough, at about 3 am my fly got nailed as is swung behind a rock. Just like yesterday, everyone came running. Minutes later I landed my second sea trout. After a few photos I released him and headed for the salmon hut for my coffee and a break.

That was a great start to the day. It was a fish before 4 am. It got me and Vladi so excited that at 9 am I got another 24 hour permit so I could fish until 9 am tomorrow. At about 10 am, one of the East Germans landed another salmon. It was a small salmon of about 18”. Despite its size, everyone ran down to see the fish. It was a salmon and not many salmon get caught. I was glad to see this salmon released. The truth is that even though Atlantic salmon are endangered, rod and reel fishing impact does little to hurt the populations. People keep salmon all the time and believe me, they earn them. It is the commercial fishing in the ocean that does the damage. If I catch a salmon this week I will definitely return him.

The rest of the fishing day was slow. It rained hard at times and the river continued to rise. There’s no doubt that the salmon move and get active during rising water. We saw plenty of salmon free jump and there are more anglers here than yesterday. They, like the salmon come out with the rain. I fished until 8 pm without more than a beer break between turns. It was a hard day for everyone but we had a lot of fun hanging out in the salmon hut. These are some great guys and Vladi and I are making lots of friends. Vladi and I are just about to eat a surprise meal he made, Hungarian Goulash. It’s one of his favorites. All I know is I’m hungry and tired and plan to get up early again to use my permit till 9 am tomorrow.

 

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