A few hours ago, Seatrout Open Spring 2016 has blasted off, boiling the blood of every seatrout fanatic on and around Fyn to the peak. As soon as dawn casted the tiniest ray of light onto the beaches of that beautiful island, lures and those freshly-tied flies hit the surface of the water on the hunt for the big one: the one big one.
I am sitting at home, recalling the past week, but have no chance to take part in this great gathering. About a week ago, it was me, ploughing the shallow waters for coastal silver. Two of my best friends and I had rented a summer house close to Helnæs for seven full days of fishing – a time that all of us have long been looking forward to. Rumors say, even more than to the yearly vacations with our girlfr… shhhh!
For many years now, we are starting our trip at Go-Fishing in Odense to hear the latest stories and to bore for the hottest fishing spots. There is always a hot cup of coffee and tips & tricks for that specific time of the year. Social media make it possible that these guys always have a good idea about where the fish are and how they might be talked out of the water.
After we were supplied with all the good stuff for the rest of the week, we started out near our house at Å Strand. Within two hours, the three of us had landed 20 fish up and down the beach, with a fat beauty of 59cm being the top fish. Most of the fish were below or just around minimum size, others were longer, but rather thin. Happily, we went home to close the arrival day with lots of unhealthy food and cold beers.
The next days we stayed in close contact with Jesper from Go-Fishing who was guiding us around the island. Except from one day, we always found the fish in large numbers; sometimes it was big schools, were we could catch 40 at a time, sometimes they were spread out all over the spot. But no matter the fun we had, being busy with the action, few of them were in size and shape that encouraged us to take them home for dinner. At the end of the week, the best fish was the one we caught after half an hour on the first day; other than that, we took two more home with us.
Spring is always difficult. The way to success is either to wait for the luck or to work for it. We went from spot to spot everyday and stayed only when we found fish and were confident enough that more fish would be there. 95% of the fish were active within the very first dark area after the sand, in knee-deep water. So close to shore that it was difficult to actually hit the water when casting out. It was also here, were we hooked two fish that could have well beaten the first day’s beauty: One of the two ripped line from the reel with such a strength and speed that left the poor fisherman standing and wondering what to do…and suddenly, all that left was an empty hook! The second one took the fly in a 2m gap between a big stone and the beach, in wavy shallow water with a lot of sea weed. It must have seen the secondary fly, a “Fyggibassen” first, leaving the main fly tangling around in the sea weeds during the fight. After one minute, the fly got stuck so rigidly that the fish could simply rip free. I could see it standing next to me, wandering about what just happened and then slowly taking off into the deep. Thanks for now, my friend, see you out there!
“FRESH WATER!” is sure enough Jesper’s most favourite claim. And it is so true! As the fish, right now, are in just a very small area, anybody that has passed the spot within the last hour will have either found the fish him/herself or spooked them away by walking right through them. Spots that seemed to be have kept their “virginity” throughout the day gave us most confidence.
From our experience, the fish can be anywhere at this time, in fjords and on the open coasts, some in schools, some alone. The most important thing is to move, move, move and find them. Concentrating the casts really close to shore gave the best results for us. When we found lightly murky and wavy water (don’t forget the sun and onshore winds), this was almost a sure sign for fish.
In terms of the flies we used, the returning champion is the one that Peter Joest (www.twinkleflies.com), a friend of ours makes for us. We call it “The Magic Fly”, as we have for years kept on changing flies several times throughout the day to find the right one. No more of that. This fly seems to be a great combination between Claus Eriksen’s “Pattegris” and a more active fish imitation. When it sinks, the heavy eyes will quickly flip the fly upside down and the hook goes up. As this is the point where the fish will attack in 99% of the times, the hook will sit in the harder, upper part of the mouth, where it usually does not slip out (so much for the theory). It has become our “always on” fly with the bombarda-method, as well as on the fly rod and can be combined perfectly with “Kobberbassen”, fish imitations or worm flies. Otherwise, “Polar Magnus” and of course the “børsteom” flies were giving good results.
To all of you out there this weekend, know how blessed you are, fishing in this wonderful nature, hopefully catching the one big silver one. Sometimes, the incredible luck of a trophy fish is just with somebody else, but climbing up on those cliffs, looking down into the green-blue water, and over the wide landscape, take a deep breath and you will feel like the luckiest son of a gun on earth. Promised.
Tight lines out there