On this day, Tuesday, 12th oh June, we are going to finally meet Stig from Byske Fishing Guides, in the center of Byske, around 7:30 p.m., and start our guided tour of Byske.

We took no rods and gear, having in mind to learn as much as possible about the river and the history of the places.

Stig is a huge hearted man, that shared with us not only the best spots, but more important, the joy of being there, the feeling of being welcomed, the feeling of belonging.

It opened up the river for us. I cannot say enough how important was the guiding with him and his advice for our trip. It was the key finally opening the door for newcomers on this beautiful river.

We started the tour on Zone 1, Stig pointing us the Zones, Pools and the hot-spots in the pools, making it easy for us to learn to read the water through his experienced eyes.

And yes, he teased us with the photo of an amazing salmon around 14 kg caught by some of his friends the day before.

We than moved to Zone 2, where he showed us what became my favorite spot on the whole river, a huge mixture of huge boulders, rapids, runs and pools with enough place to share for at least four rods.

Right when we got to that place, a fisherman in the water made a perfect cast into the neck of a pool and we assisted to the first live battle. He hooked a very nice fish, that started to run downstream towards the furious white water below (as the almost always do on Byske), and finally came off after about 3 minutes of adrenaline.

Sweden 3 – us 0.

We were on the guided trip for only one and a half hours and already assisted to the first live battle.

We were of course pumped with endorphins and were gazing at the pools that ere inviting us to jump and cast.

We made our way towards Zone 3 where I saw the most epic pool of all, with a huge shark-teeth shaped stone jumping from the water on the opposite shore. It was really like the perfect spot to fight the salmon of a lifetime.

After visiting another 2 great spots on Zone 3, we made our way from there to Zone 4 close to Fällfors, where Stig showed us some of his favorite places. Hard to fish, hard to land salmon, but beautiful.

And suddenly, lord and behold, it was raining. I mean seriously? You can hire a guide that even brings the rain. How cool is that? Not to mention all the stories that pumped us with enough adrenaline to endure what was about to come.

The spots were so diverse and so different from each other, that we made countless notes and saved tons of hot-spots in our mind just about to dream a whole year through.

Although it was late in the night, we were running around Stig like rabbits on cocaine, until finally we reached the last spots and I drove Stig back to Byske.

The game was on. Now we had the door open, and it was up to us to use it.

Wednesday, 13th of June

Unfortunately the weather was not playing nice. Next day it was again sunny as hell, water dropping an the numbers salmon entering the rive desperately low. We were watching daily the water levels and catch reports, just to see to our despair that I was getting close to my 3 blank salmon season.

Against all odds, pumped with stories and hot-spots in our heads, we rigged up and rolled out the salmon fishing armada.

Being utterly disappointed about salmon not willing to take the flies I have tried so far, on Tuesday, waiting for our meeting with Stig, I tied 3 flies on small nr10 double hooks, with the thought of my daughter, Cezara. I gave the first one to Thorsten as a good luck charm, and saved the other two for me, both of the exactly the same.

The inspiration in the pattern came from the stories about challenging conditions in summer, about the advises I got over the years, specially before my trip, received from Peter Henggeler, a good friend of Göran Andersson, and at most from the book about fly tying CDC from my good friend Roberto Messori. I mixed his theory about incorporating in a fly just trigger points instead of whole elements, and came up with a joyful little thing mixing copper, green, elements of a Green Highlander, Phatagorva and paying attention to tie it as sparse and airy as possible.

I called the fly Cezara and put all my hopes in it, being determined to concentrate more on presenting the fly correctly and with the right speed.

We fished different zones, me and Thorsten chasing silver on Zone 2 and Silviu with Vlad trying Zone 1. And off course we tried everything. Different lines, speed, flies…..it was all in vain.

Around 14:00 everybody went home, leaving me alone on Zone 2. I dozed one hour or so and started fishing again.

Around 17:30 I spotted a nice place where I could almost feel that there was salmon hiding. I decided not to fish the whole pool and let the salmon see the fly 20 x times until it drifts before its nose but rather cast directly 2-3 m upstream from the hot-spot and confronting the fish with take it or leave it. It was fascinating, it was like pocket fishing for trout, and it raised my adrenaline levels again, being already fairly down because of the monotony of going through pools one step after another.

This was way more fun. The second cast I felt the first take. I was 100% sure it was salmon, in that body of water it was impossible for a grayling to rise. It hit the fly 10cm under the surface and left me with shaking hands having to sit down on a boulder at the side of the pool.

I decided to move away and made myself a coffee, enjoying the strong aroma of the italian Espresso and thinking with closed eyes what I need to do next.

I let the time run, and when I moved towards he pool, half an hour later, a sudden silence filled the air. I think I was sort of speaking “in the zone”. I stripped the correct amount of line, checked the brake, stretched the leader, made only one cast 2m above the spot and sped up the fly way more that I would usually do, taking the tip of the rod over the bank and striping fast.

The take still raises my hair on my back. The force and determination of the salmon taking were breathtaking. It moved so fast and strong that I can only watch the line tearing the water downstream.

I remember what Stig told me and toward the end of the pool I managed to turn him upstream and the fish ran closer than one meter before my feet, furiously running upstream again. I could almost see the spots on his flanks. I was alone and thinking about the best way to run with it or land, when after a series of short runs, I was left with the tip of my rod pointing towards the blue skies if Sweden.

I was so drained I couldn’t do anything. Didn’t know what happened. Playing the movie back and forth in my mind, I cannot remember doing anything wrong. I played the fish fast and hard, no doubt. I was almost drained of energy, when I decided to see where did broke off. I was curious if it was the connection between the tippet and the leader or between the leader and the fly. The tipped I was using was 0,40 with a breaking strength about 25 lbs.

I was still not able to stand and with shaking hands I pulled the line in. To my amaze, the fly was on….and upon close inspection, the right hook was bent to almost 90 degrees.

I felt sick and dizzy. I remember before the trip asking in the shop which hooks are the best, and buying them with the confidence that they will be up to the challenge. I estimate the fish about 100-110 cm….

I called Thorsten to pick me up, I couldn’t deal with this anymore.

The good news was that I changed my strategy, started fishing more targeted, focused on the spots, tied a fly that was working and lost a big fish.

I got home and was able to slide some food down my throat. Drove to Skelleftea and bought two packs of double hooks. Tied the same fly again on hopefully netter hooks….pushing my luck.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!