This most recent blog is a bit delayed - I never wrote a part 4 to my Norway adventure and I also had planned to do one of those 'my year in a blog' things....but as I am completely useless at time management sometimes....and always find an excuse to put things off to go fishing...so never got to it!
So how did Norway go? I sadly never managed to catch the monster salmon. At first I was gutted about this, but when I thought about it I came to a conclusion which finally resulting in the decision that I must return next year to take them on once again! I had my chances at a big one, 3 in fact, and each time I missed the take...why....because I did not give the fish time to turn, take to loop and get hooked. I thought about when my friend Marina Gibson cam e out for one week to fish with me and bagged not one but two big salmon...she has been fishing for salmon since she was 10 years old. I watched her when she caught the second fish, she felt the fish on the fly and said the universal fish on claim of 'yes', but she kept her calm and I remember noting a short time before she calmly lifted the rod. I have had this in my mind ever since but when the next time came I still did not hold my cool long enough...this kind of connection and understanding with salmon only comes after years of experience. So I began to feel better about it, I wasn't ready or worthy yet and it was my inexperience with salmon fishing which ultimately made me fail my salmon mission. The big ones are there - in fact Jonny saw them when he dived the pools to take part in the count - but I just wasn't good enough to catch them yet, I still have a lot to learn!!
I also experienced that some times even if you stick the fly on his nose you still might not get him! There was a pool where we could stand on the bank and see a huge cock fish guarding his female, I cast fly after fly that swung perfectly past him but he had only one thing on his mind! At one point as my surface fly disturbed him as it went past, he stuck his huge head out of the water to take a look, but still no attack, he must have been 30lb! But I am all set to return in 2017 (not sure if I'm ready for the lack of sleep and miles of smiles yet) but I can't wait to breathe the fresh air, drink the river water and stand in awe of the mountains.....and of course do battle with bagging a big one!
But it turned out that salmon was not the only fish that Norway has to offer, we took a few days out to look for cod and halibut in the fjords. They come into the shallows to sunbathe and feed, we had huge shoals of cod chasing our flies and lures. Also something happened which made me feel better about not catching the big salmon, I bagged a monster halibut on fly! I tied up a half and half fly on a 4/0 partridge sea prince, cast it out let it sink and allowed it to hit the bottom as I stripped it in. When the fish hit it was so powerful and really put my greys salt 9 weight through its paces. It took 35 minutes to tame the beast and when on shore we measured it and took some snaps. I eventually had this fish confirmed as the new fly caught Norwegian record. I will share the article which was published in Saltwater boat angler and a soon to be published field sports
There is only a couple of months left of the river season so I will now be concentrating on pike and trying to meet a big one before the rest period. I have a few fly tying shows coming up, and in February I have the honour of opening the river Teith in Callender! I will follow up soon with a report of how this all panned out!
Keep it reel