Sometimes in August it happens. Finally landing a salmon or at least getting it on camera. Two attempts have been made. I haven't had much more time than that. Two real “shots in the dark” it was. One in week 24 in Orkla River and one in week 28 in Laerdal River. The second week after the premiere in Orkla is fishing for large fresh fish in a river that has not yet been filled up with fish. I like it when it's difficult. Eventual reward is so much greater. Of course, I took the opportunity when my friend "The Oracle" asked if I wanted to go. We were four fishermen on a kilometer long stretch. It was me, "The Oracle", "Duracell" and "Gothenburg".
"The Oracle" landing a fish was obvious. But the rest of us, would we succeed? "Duracell" that fishes so hard that he sometimes loses his eyesight. He was, I think, the one who was the second safest card, to be the one who would manage to catch a salmon. Me, I am that stupid I always think that I am going to get a fish.
”One fish a day.” That is my mantra.
A mantra rarely lived up to. But I also feel like I fish better when each cast really has the goal of getting a salmon to bite my fly. "Gothenburg" I did not know at all. I just knew that he was working for some kind of fishing brand down south. But when I saw him cast, he was clearly a contender to be the one to catch a fish after the "Oracle" had taken his.So we were three fishermen who fought to be the "No 2"
The fishing was conducted in pairs, one team on the upper stretch and one on the lower. We fished for five hours and then we switched places. The upper part we had all decided to be the hottest part. Me and "Duracell" were a team the first two days. I was ready to lose my eyesight. The fishing was really slow until I saw a huge splash far downstream. I was already in the water.
-You shall not pass! I thought and laughed evil like inside my head.
In the middle of the beat - BANG! I could feel the take in my spine. I hooked the fish hard and turned around to see if "Duracell" had seen what had happened. He wasn't there. My eyes turned towards the happiness again when a solid silvery side broke the surface and detached itself in a cascade of water. It all went as fast as saying.
-Yes! I got one!
Much more didn’t happen. Yes, just that, "The Oracle" got one and the week was over. Back home to work and rest up a bit.
That's probably how most people reacted. So did I. The year before was a disaster, this year is even more of a disaster. No salmon had been taken on our part of the river before we set foot on the bank of Laerdal river. But I like it when it's difficult. There was me, "The Hybrid", "Jonny in a hurry", "Split cane" and "The old one". The latter three were to me completely new acquaintances. "Jonny in a hurry” and I had fished together for a few hours in Kungsådran, Älvkarleby. I consider them all my friends today.
After a reconnaissance and field test we all probably had the same feeling. This is going to be difficult. It was decided that all fishing was to be done in the late evening, night and early morning. Fishing would be conducted at the very last part of the beat. I saw that "Jonny in a hurry" did not really have the same feeling as the rest of us, he seemed more calm in way. I saw correctly, he started by taking the beat’s first salmon of the year, on his first attempt. "The old one" started good as well, by hooking a nice seatrout. The hope rose in all of us. It dropped quickly again, with an empty second night of fishing. The third started well with a trout biting my fly during the first swing. It also came off the hook and left me feeling empty on the river bank. We all had a few small bites during the last nights and it all ended with "The Hybrid" loosing a nice seatrout. I still have to say, even though things went quite badly for us, Laerdal is unbelievably beautiful. It is not often that I am jealous of others who have caught fish. But on "Jonny in a hurry" I am. Imagine getting a salmon in that environment. Back to work to rest.
So now everything depends on Secret River no 2.0. If the weather permits it, that is. Right now the water is low and the heat is on. We'll probably go anyway. I like it when it's difficult. I just wish it to be a little bit easier sometimes.
Red Francis (or Frances) is one of those love & hate flies. Every salmon angler usually has a opinion about it. We think that you should carry a few always in your box. Read our tips for fishing with Red Francis and have a look on the step-by-step tying tutorial.