So here we are again! Its 2017 and I have found myself back at Reisastua, the salmon lodge on the banks of the Reisaelva Northern Norway. I must have forgotten how tough it was last year! But seriously we have returned for a second year to run the lodge and hope to get some time to fish for the famous Reisa monsters.
As I write this the season is almost over, it has been way too busy to keep a diary style blog like last year (yay I hear from you)! So this will be a kind of summery.
We had a few days before the season started and chaos would resume, so we spent a few nights targeting coastal sea trout in the fjord. We did this from belly boats one night which was really great fun!
The season started on July 1st and the lodge has been busy ever since, most weeks fully booked with excited guests and so Jonny and I have been pretty busy. This sadly for us has meant very little chances at prime time fishing for us, and although we negotiated a day off on Sunday this for is also when everyone else in the valley has a day off for fishing too!
But this season has been and outstanding one for the lodge! With many fish being landed in the first few weeks and a record number of PB's to the lodge! A guest from the USA, returning for the 3rd year managed to landnot one but ** 20lb+ fish through his week and the holy grail of salmon fishing on his last day, a fresh 45lb beauty! A friend of ours, Peter Andreas Christiansen visited to do some filming and has not fished for Atlantic salmon many times before although is an avid stealheader! He managed to net a 35lb beast on a floating line and a 'tiny fly' as recommended by the one and only Matt Harris.
The line up of the day had changed from last year as the river is open longer, the guests came back to the lodge every day, and fished until late. This was tough on the guests, the guides and also on us working for most of the time on 3 - 4 hours sleep. Our boss was kind and arranged for someone to do breakfast for me for one week so I didn't die of sleep deprivation! But we got through it and I think so did the guides, just! It was difficult to get away to fish because of the layout and the workload, but one day Jonny worked alone so I could fish and I did the same for Jonny. On my day I lost a fight with a big fresh salmon after about 10 minutes, but landed a nice fish at the very end of the day.
After most of the guests have come and gone we had a spare day to take an over night trip to the upper river with Morton and Peter. Although we had very little contact with salmon we caught some beautiful Char.
My last two weeks here in Norway we has guests spaced out allowing a couple of free days with no guests so we have been able to do some fishing, although there have been no available licences for fishing in the areas we would like, but there are now species we wish to fish for before I head home.
We headed to our secret lake from last year to cast a line for some specimen perch, we took the Berkley belly boats down. Jonny lure fished and I stuck with my zephrus 8#. We caught a number of large perch, and although Jonny had a nice size pike attack the perch he was playing, we could only find teeny tiny pike to take the fly or lure.
We have spent a number of mornings and afternoons between looking after the guests and a couple of full days on the boat with Morton in the Fjord, searching for halibut and cod. The boys were jigging lures and baited jigs, I stuck to my 10# zephrus and faithful half and half fly where I could fish it. Trying to keep it as close to the bottom as possible without snagging, and slowly retrieving and letting it sink. I have a big hit from what must have been a halibut and it took a big run before it came off. We went out the following day and we all caught a halibut, Morton the largest on bait, I caught on fly and Jonny caught on lure.
But as hard work as it has been its been so noce getting back into the Norwegian wilderness, fishin', making fires and enjoying the outdoors!