Once again, another fantastic week has passed for us here in southern Lofoten, the weather has been stable throughout the week with the exception of Monday, which offered a bit more wind and waves.
Last Thursday evening, when the last guests were picked up at the ferry, we guides were sure to get a shock… The guests who will be in the guide boat + one other boat are partly fly fishermen, three in the group will do mixed fishing while Matthew and Charlie are so-called Fly or Die guys who would not accept a spinning rod even with a bribe. Fly fishing will be a challenge but talk about Exciting!
Friday and the first day of fishing offered brilliant weather and great conditions wherever you wanted to go. Daniel, who steered the guide boat with Dyllan and company followed by the Fly Fishing Guys in boat 12, after a quick stop for bait fish just outside the harbor, could drive on towards the Halibut spots. slightly deeper water in search of the giants of the sea. As this is the guys’ first trip to Norway, Daniel started with a light briefing on fishing techniques and how the equipment should be set up. When everyone was ready to wet their baits for the first time in Norway, the silence on the radio was broken by boat twelve finding a big hook where it stings in every cast on the flies in mackerel colours. Beautiful bow tie is definitely not an impossibility!
Well, back to the traditional Norwegian fishing, First down was Justin and the first to hook the first Halibut was of course him. A fairly undramatic fight unfolded and Daniel, who had his sights set on it being a bigger chump, simply focused more on horror stories instead of the fish that was on its way up to the boat, Dyllan shouts to the rest of us that it must have been Halibut and Daniel succeeds make a nice karate landing on today’s first Halibut of approx. 85cm! Quickly down with the baits in the same place and after a few seconds it clicks on all the rods where they managed to hook one of three Halibut, pole out I thought but the tag was well underway when Halibut two for the day see the inside of the boat. Math, who has now missed two Halibut in a row, was now with super focus and he signals that it is up to him, The rod bends and the circle hook is cranked, Daniel immediately sees that it is a BIGGER fish and asks the others to crank up while Math Holds on for dear life when rush number two goes against the direction of the current towards the slope down towards 150 meters… With a will from another plane and a rod that is on the verge of breaking, Math finally manages to turn the fish and begin what feels like an eternal pumping from 70 meters down. After a couple of minutes a really big shadow approaches under the boat and the next second paddles away into the depths again, round two becomes easier and finally Daniel can land math’s first Halibut ever at a magical 185cm which after a couple of pictures in the sunshine got to paddle home down into the depths again. Talk about sick that his first fish in Norway could become a real barn door!
Saturday and Fly fishing was on the schedule, the guys in boat 12 and the guide boat changed places and the guide boat’s usual set of rods were replaced with really strong fly rods for proper saltwater fishing, after talking to Matthew and Charlie it all became clear pretty quickly that the dream of a big fish on the fly still is the goal this day. The first spit delivered a bit half-assed and only one of the Coalies up to 3 kilos sucked the flies, a little doubt in the boat and something needed to be done. Slightly slimmer flies and a change of location was the plan. On the radio, we could periodically hear how the boats around us reported the occasional nice Halibut and a boat that ended up in a Cod rally. Once in place on the new spot, it didn’t take long before Charlie smashed into a better fish on his class #12 and after a few intense minutes a nice Cod around 5 kilos came up which would really be the starting point for this day! Because after that the whole sea really came to life and lovely Coalies in the 8-10 kilo class replaced each other and in the end it seemed as if it didn’t matter what was thrown out but it really hit everything, even a pink piece of foam that Charlie definitely thinks it looks like any “popper” hehe… After pulling way too many fish in a short time, the fly guys could really feel satisfied and so could the arms. In hindsight, Matthew and Charlie couldn’t be happier,
Sunday and once again brilliant weather was on the schedule! the guests who lap the guide boat were changed and the sight was once again set on Halibut which the guests of the guide boat really got their eyes on, after struggling with the bait fish for a while it is finally time to put the first drift of the day and because it is a turn of the tide so the water was almost completely still and the drift was at about 03 knots.. tough for the Halibut but what does it do when after a while a really big kisser comes and bites one of the bait? Once in the boat, the guests really had to watch their feet as this Wolffish had a really angry temperament. But after Math calmed the Wolf down, it finally wanted to be in the picture.
The drift, which is almost non-existent, finally starts to move in the right direction towards the fine Halibut hooks of the previous weeks and before we knew it all three guests were with Halibut on the hook, Daniel shouts slightly chaotically on the radio that there is a triple hook in the guide boat, all fish in a smaller model are landed, two of which exceed the minimum target of 80cm, while the last one had to swim back after photography. A little further away, Alex and company are able to report 2 Halibut with a top of 105cm after a while of grinding in a deep hole. Our Danish guests, who fished well earlier this week, continue to report nice flounder with a 129cm top. After the triple hook in the guide boat, the fish then come more sporadically during the day, but after a bunch of struggling hours they can ascertain 7 landed Halibut and a bunch of contacts, one of which the sonar gossiped about was really big. Fantastic day and fantastic fishing indeed.
To once again get into the theme which this week is fly fishing, we are moving towards the last day when incredible things would take place in the guide boat. Absolutely wonderful weather, flat water and a bit cloudy are usually perfect conditions for shallow water Halibut fishing and this day was no exception! Out in one of the coves, all the claws and hooks on the flies are checked through, on this day nothing would be left to chance. Matthew starts with a slightly larger blue flash fly with a tail while Charlie starts with a smaller tobi’s model. When we make the first casts of the day, you can really feel in the air that it’s only a matter of time before one of the fly rods hits the ball. The minutes pass and after a little while comes a ninja karate chop on Matthew’s stick followed by a neat counter-stab that sinks the stick into the mouth, Halibut on the fly!
We repositioned after Matthew’s fish’s first rush, Charlie who cranks for dear life unfortunately doesn’t have time to see the Halibut coming after his fly and that fish is unfortunately burned right at the boat’s edge. How sick? almost double drill on the fly! A few good splashes and nice rushes sideways over the shallow water later, Daniel can finally secure Matthew’s first Halibut at a magical 105cm talking about that this is a real dream fish to pull on a fly!
After many lovely laughs and hugs in the boat later, some nice pictures are taken to immortalize this moment. Huge Congratulations Matthew on a new NSA best on the biggest Halibut on fly!
But this is just the beginning, the drive after Charlie smacks in his first of the day and after a quick photo and release Matthew shows again where the locker is going with two Halibut in two casts, and on the FLY?! it’s probably unusual for people to catch Halibut on a fly, but the streak of first getting a nice one over a meter and then succeeding in getting two in two casts is just sick!
The hour after becomes a real fly fishing paradise with Halibut following the flies right up against the boat where you really had to keep your tongue in your mouth so as not to scare them. After an absolutely fantastic session in the bay with 5 landed Halibut on fly so so unfortunately this week began to come to an end. and on the way into port, no one is prouder than the Fly or Die gang who succeeded in everything they wanted to achieve this week!
Now we await next week’s guests and hopefully stable weather!
INTO THE TILE!
//Daniel Freland, Alexander Lindgren, Marcus Pettersson and Kristian Hauske!
If you, like many others, have ever dreamt about fishing the prolific waters of Å on the Lofoten Islands and would like to know more information on how you can join us, you can contact our sea fishing specialist, Paul Stevens, on 01603 407596 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.