The week after I had two guys from southern Norway as guests. They brought 3 dogs… :) Man, they had quite a drive. 15 hours, 1000km. It’s a long country, still they wanted to fish as soon as they saw the water. Crazy what good fishing can do to you. They caught about 100 / 130 each that week.
All fish naturally reproduce, no stocking and all on dry fly. It’s a crazy place. The numbers – well, even if you sleep late you start fishing around 2pm and until 3 or 4 am. That’s 14 hours fishing including breaks, say 10 hours pure fishing each day. The fish are rising all the time. I believe they eat in shifts. :)) That is 140 hours fishing in one week for two people. One or two trout per hour.
I guess competition fisherman could double that figure in this water. However, a competition fisherman would not like to get a 2 or 3 pounder on the hook! These fish show you the backing knot in no time and many hooks come back fishless and straightened.
I compare this place to a racetrack or car testing track. They say the Nurburgring has the factor 10 or higher in material strain, add the high speed and you end up with a lot of knowledge about your car’s material limits in a much shorter time than by driving on regular roads.
The same applies here. The rising trout can be so dense that you show your fly to three or more fish in one drift. The standard procedure seems that guests start fishing, not believing me that the presentation is key. So they mostly catch 300 to 500gr. fish, meaning young and very eager fish chasing everything.
After showing how to do a reach mend / cast and that a bigger fish is the result right away, the guests practice this technique. By Wednesday or Thursday they have it down and start to really get into it. It’s pure statistics. Experiencing the effects of a good presentation right away and working on it, with the next fish which is rising just seconds after your fly comes by; it is priceless.
Normally there is an hour or worst case a whole winter in between two such events. Here you have this 24/7 minus 5 hours sleep. Normally this means you cast your fly to a fish every 2 to 3 minutes in the most hectic hours between 22:00 and 2:00. That’s 30 presentations per hour, 120 during a night. Mind you, this is 3 weeks in June / July we are talking about and it is bright as day at midnight.
Typically you end up between a dozen or two dozen fish per day. The other fish are not taking your fly, or you miss them due to mistakes during the presentation, resulting in bad contact or no contact to your fly, or because you used light hook and fought the fish on the line, meaning not the soft brake of the reel, or did not manage to use the flex of the rod to balance the anger of that grease-finned friend.
I am not up there with my numbers. I can’t be bothered to stress about this and instead search for very difficult fish and spots. I get a huge gratification from seeing my clients catching, taking pictures and being the host. I love cooking and having the meals together. The local produce of moose and reindeer meat has a stunning quality.
My personal gratification is to actually hook an Arctic char on a 20m plus cast with a dry-fly. It is priceless. Smaller fish but soooo beautiful. I almost cry every time I get one. Char fishing at night is very special as it tends to be good in very calm nights with the most amazing colours in the sky imaginable. It’s addictive. You have to bring insect repellant though!