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Denmark first half 2004
A few photos to give you an idea of how I spent my domenstic fishing days in the first part of this year
By Martin Joergensen
The grass is a lot greener, I know, and I can't say that I haven't experienced some really great fishing abroad. I certainly have. I keep on traveling to new destinations, and sample some of the globe's great places. But I keep on finding myself back on my favorite beaches, doing what I love most: fishing for coastal sea trout. Other species will sometimes be present, but the sea trout is my darling fish of all.
As you might gather from one of the pictures to the right of this text, I do fish all year. Even the coldest months can offer some great fishing, and only ice cover can keep a real sea trout fisher at home.
The wind is another enemy, but windy conditions does not necessarily mean that fishing is out. It can sometimes, but at other times, a suitable amount of wind can make the difference between an ordinary day and a really great day.
Winter usually looses its grip on the land and water in March. We can have some mild January's and February's, but I personally consider March the first spring fishing month. Some people prefer April, but I find that the abundance of people choosing to wet their first lines in April makes March a better choice. I can have long stretches of fishing water to myself, and still find some good, sunny days with fish close to land.
March is also the month for one of the highlights in my fishing year: our annual trip to Bornholm. This has been taking place for almost ten years now, and is a great mixing of fishing, good food and great fun with good friends.
We are usually 5-7 close friends who rent a luxury summer house and go for a week. Fishing can be everything from a party to a sheer catastrophe. This year's fishing fell in the latter category. We had a few OK days, none really good and a couple of the guys managed to go through a whole week without a single take. That is an all time new low record. But we will go next year again, anyway...
With spring comes the warmth of the sun. The water temperature will rise from the freezing point towards the ideal 10-12 degrees centigrade, which it typically reaches in May or early June.
Sunny days are fishing days. The sun is the factor that sparks life in the shallow water and lure the fish close to the shore where they can be reached with a fly.
Sunny days out in early springs can be so pleasurable. Just being outdoors and sucking in the energy of the sunrays is a blessing. Most anglers will know the feeling of contentment that a day outdoors can give you. Sometimes my fishing friends and I just spend a whole day sitting on the bank drinking coffee and chatting away, only fishing in short periods and not really thinking about catching anything. Suddenly there might be a short instant of activity, a fish might be caught, pictures are taken and things turn off again and doze into to a lazy, slow mood.
The guys I fish with are gear guys. I tell myself that I do not have the tackle fever that they are running, but the truth is that I'm probably as bitten as they are. For some reason fly anglers seem to develop an endless crave for new and better stuff. Trying out rods, lines, reels, waders, jackets and what else there is in an endless progression towards the unobtainable Fly Fisherman's Nirvana: the perfect outfit. There is no such thing as a perfect outfit! Which is probably a good thing, because it opens the opportunity to make the search for it a lifelong compassion.
All that gear has to be justified in some way, and the best way is to go fishing with it. So we go. This year it seems that the pike has become "da new thaing" for fly anglers here in Denmark. Pike are abundant and readily available for catching in almost any lake or peat hole. Everybody has pike water around, and the fish run in both good number and sizes. They are fun to catch and I have personally had great fun with pike over the years.
Other species are on my repertoire too, of which the omnipresent garfish in one and some of the lesser common species such as mullet and ide are others. Focusing on that adipose fin has been one of the weaknesses of fly anglers in all times. You can fish for other fish than salmon and trout, you know.
I find myself tying fewer and fewer flies over the years. lately I have become such a bad, slow and lazy fly tyer that it amazes myself. I fish about 100 or 200 times as many hours as I tie flies every year - if not more. I tie what I need and maybe even a bit less. I tend to tie as simple as possible and only a few patterns.
My stock of sea trout flies are down to Red Tags, Fredes and Copper Camels plus the odd Copper Bully and what else. I'm totally low on dries and nymphs. I rarely use them, and filling boxes with flies a for possible future use, is just not my kind of game. I'd rather go fishing.
I spend my time hunting sea trout. No doubt it's a passion. I would not live without it. If I lost it, I would miss it every day. Even though it's not the most productive kind of fishing about, I still prefer it to many other offers.
This year to date my catch amounts to about 70 fish - not all sea trout, but a good 80% of them is. I lost the fish of my life and caught another one which might very well be the fish of the season. And we're still not half way through the year, so there is a great potential out there.
I can hardly wait...
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