Swedish Lapland : Baltic Salmon Fishing
Expedition in northern Sweden Part.2
The first half of our adventure ended on a sweet note. After unsuccessfully exploring the Byske River, we’d headed north of the Artic Polar Circle to meet with Lars Munk in Kengis Bruk, on the Torne River. The hours spent on this mighty piece of water had allowed us to catch our first Baltic salmon of the trip. Above all, they’d allowed us to connect with the local tribe of fisherman around a fire.
Since our arrival, the difference between night and day had been almost imperceptible; both were grey and filled with rain. The river had risen twelve inches, at which point Lars told us if the water level were to stabilize and drop slowly, we would experience some of the best water conditions Kengis Bruk has to offer.
The morning of our departure for the Lainio River, a golden sun emerged over the horizon line, shedding light through the trees onto the Torne. After seeing nothing but grey gloomy sky’s on the water for three days filled with rain and leaky waders. Everything seemed to good to be true as we made a last minute decision to spend one last morning swinging flies through the vast runs of Kengis Bruk.
Our decision was quickly rewarded with some of the best salmon fishing we have ever seen. Each drop seemed to produce another salmon. It was mid-June, prime time for the early run of Baltics. Big salmon fresh from the Baltic Sea in numbers like we had never seen before, with seasonal runs of over 100,000 salmon. We couldn’t possibly be in a better place at a better time.
Fishing Lainio River
The following part of our trip brought us even further North to Pinetree Lodge. The lodge rested nearby the Lainio River, a large yet shallow tributary of the Torne River. Once again we were gifted with some of the finest water we had seen. Lars Munk had brought us to his home base at Camp Onka. It wasn’t long before Charles landed his most beautiful Baltic of the trip. As lines tightened hearts raced. Exploding with euphoria as reels peeled out line and salmon abruptly broke the surface. We celebrated the catch with yet another round of sausages by the fire, a fine whisky, and memorable stories from our past.
“Spread that on your face guys, there is nothing better against mosquitoes.” Lars gave us this bottle of Beck-Olja, Sweden’s favorite mosquito repellent. Made of pine tree tar, it’s also Sweden’s favorite wood varnish. It burns your skin a little and smells like concentrate bonfire, but it keeps the bugs away!
Last stop : Jockfall
Our trip ended at Jockfall on the Kalix River. There we celebrated Midsummer’s Eve, the moment of the year where the daylight hours start shortening. The night became one everlasting sunset as we fished late into our final hours on the water with Calle, Ted, Ronny, Andreas, Jay and a few other friends.
Calle managed to lift one last salmon before our eyes. Shortly after he lifted his Lemmel Kaffe from the fire one last time. Our trip had been concluded. The bags were packed, the gear sorted, and the van loaded. Off we went to the Luleo airport, back to our home base in Quebec City.