Published Apr 30th 2011
It has become almost a tradition for me to do a small gallery of images from the different seasons in my own fishing, especially the spring, so why not do it again in keeping with this tradition?
We always anticipate spring with excitement and a lot of pressure built up during the winter months, where the cabin fever sometimes can rise to unbearable temperatures. This winter has been particularly long and cold in northern Europe, and the longing for warmer weather and the start of the season has been quite prominent.
The winter lost its grip late, but in the end the season did actually start, and we got to go fishing. Some years we have been out early and gone to Sweden or the Danish island Bornholm to fish for large kelt and bright chrome winter fish, but this year we waited out the Danish spring and went out when the water started becoming warmer.
In my own case and for those that I fish with often, it has been a slow spring. We're fishing for sea run brown trout, and the fishing is highly dependent on the state of the streams and how the fish manage to spawn. This process has for many years been supported by the stocking of fish in streams and estuaries, which has built up a healthy population of fish in the ocean, albeit not helped the natural reproduction. It seems that this stocking has now stopped in favor of helping the natural reproduction, which is all good and right, but unfortunately not able to sustain the same number of fish mostly because the streams on the island that I live on are few and small, and unable to support large natural populations of trout.
The net result seems to be that the number of fish on the coast is dropping, and our success in fishing for them is going down at an equal rate.
Right now it's the big salmon adventure that steals all the headlines here in Denmark. A couple of very large and very expensive projects have reinvigorated the Atlantic salmon stocks in some of the largest streams in west Denmark, and that is of course all fair and fine, but unfortunately it seems to have taken away focus from the coastal fishing, the most widespread and common fishing in our country and definitely the foundation for a healthy national fishing community.
Where I live in the eastern part of the country we have no salmon, no brown trout worth mentioning and no grayling. We have the ocean all around us, and our fishing is utterly dependent on either stocking or reestablishing of some streams for the fish to spawn in. The water for many of these streams is either running in the taps in Copenhagen or to and from farmland where it depletes the natural runs and winds up polluted with nutrients in ditches that lead straight as a ruler directly into the ocean, wrecking havoc with algeal blooms and dead bottoms.
Neither of this helps the already scarce sea trout, and the result is fewer fish, fewer people fishing for them and less focus on the whole issue.
Well, 'nuff whining here.
I did catch my first sea trout this year (a 12 inch fish in mid-April!), and some of my fishing buddies have been doing OK this spring, as have other anglers on our coasts. I hope that it's just a temporary phase we're going through and that the fish will be back plenty and large.
PS: One good outcome from the slow fishing this spring has been a handful of GFF articles. While fishing for a week with some friends I spent a couple of rough weather days indoors shooting pictures and writing texts for a few articles for the site. Don't say that unproductive fishing isn't good for anything!