Saturday, 30 July 2016

Wilderness Grayling...an Adventure! Part 2

The first day flashed past from waking up in a lovely cabin with a soft bed to the helicopter trip out to the tundra and setting up camp with a few hours fishing time and the capture of my first Arctic Grayling.
After a few hours rest as it wasnt a deep sleep thats for sure with constant light streaming through the side of the tent and getting used to lying on an air mattress again, it takes a bit of getting used to again.
I remember whilst in the forces I could sleep anywhere, now slightly older and used to more refined surroundings it would take a few days to get back into the swing of things but that was all part and parcel of the adventure and opening your eyes in the morning to Aija standing not a foot from your face waiting for you to get up soon brought me back to life and where I was again.

A nice relaxing day with a few steps to the river for the morning routine of washing, yep no wash basins and hot & cold running water, it was back to basics and a good strip wash in the rock pools by the river, boy was it brisk, and you had to be quick because if not the mosquitoes were on you, lets just say I had a few bites where I would rather not talk about.

Emilia was an excellent guide & host and soon rustled up breakfast and it wasnt too long till we were standing around or sitting on rocks with hot coffee and continental breakfasts chatting about what the plan was for the day ahead.

There was no pressure to do anything we all discussed what we wanted to do and set off in all directions, I opted for walking the bank and fishing as my preferred method whilst Mani & Felix opted for some boat fishing with Emilia.

I moved downstream at a leisurely pace through the tundra birch and boulders to a pool that looked right for fish and spotted a rock sticking out the water which I decided to head for.

Easier said than done as the water clarity made wading very easy but you would step onto a rock which looked just about at a manageable depth but it was slightly deeper than you though, a few times I nearly went over by misjudging the water depth.

A few moments later you could see the fish in the fast water some rising to sip the small midge & other insects from the surface, some staying deep and foraging between the rocks. Now what fly that was the ultimate question as I had tied so many to give me the best scope, but I had a few that I wanted to try so opted for a green bodied dyret.

It wasnt long before the fish saw it and I was catching a good few smaller grayling, which fight just as hard and give great accounts of themselves by tail walking across the surface and giving fantastic acrobatic fights, with the odd bigger fish thrown in for good luck which as I had experienced the previous day give arm wrenching accounts of themselves in the fast water.

The coloration in the pictures come nowhere near the beautiful colours captured by the naked eye when you first capture these fish, the turquoises & blues truly beautiful.

The pool produced a good few fish before it finally went quiet and I moved back to one of the main small islands, scattered all over this particular part of the river.

It wasnt only the fish which were showing their natural beauty but also the vast array of wild flowers, moss's, insects and other small animals which call the tundra home.

Cloud berries

Wild flowers



Felix, Mani and Emilia had also done well with several good fish landed by everyone and it was great to see everyone catching.  Lunch came and went as we relaxed around a fire built by the riverside and cooked on it, whilst brewing fresh coffee from the crystal clear water that surrounded us, it certainly brought back happy memories of my younger days and rekindled why I loved fishing and everything associated with it since a very early age.

Cooking the Lunch, all big kids at heart, but loving every minute of it.

Back to the fishing after lunch and more fish, with Mani & Felix taking it in turns in the dingy with Emilia and myself pool hopping the day soon drew on and before we knew it, it was past 6pm so back to camp and sort ourselves out, have another very delicious and fresh meal cooked by Emilia and some chill time to do what you wanted, Mani opted to go back fishing whilst the rest of us sat around the fire with a few beers before I headed off for a Tundra walk along the natural oddity the local folk call the wall of Finland.....A natural bank of sand and stone about 40ft high which runs through the Tundra for over 40km's  and makes a great vantage point to see in all directions for several kilometers.

Looking back towards the camp.


small stream running adjacent to the bank, also containing fish

There is so many memories that it would take forever to write about for each day but they were all so different, from the first day familiarizing ourselves with this particular part of the river to heading out on the boat downstream and upstream in search of new pools on the days following, each an adventure in its own right and very rewarding with many fish caught by everyone.

Emilia with a lovely Arctic Grayling


Looking for the rising fish with the help of Aija

Hooked up

Grayling on the Dry Fly, nothing finer.

What it lacks in size it makes up in beauty.

I had asked Emilia about the whitefish present in the river as I had always wanted to try and catch one on the fly and she smiled, tomorrow's adventure.............to be continued in the final part of Wilderness Grayling....an adventure!

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