Published May 17. 2000 - 18 years ago
Updated or edited Apr 30. 2017

Garfish on a flyrod

Belone belone - Danish inshore species

The garfish come in May

Every year in May and early June, Danmark is visited by millions of migrating garfish on their way to the spawning grounds in the shallow, brackish water of Denmark and the Baltic Sea.
Garfish whose latin name is Belone belone (Danish: Hornfisk, Swedish: Näbbgedde) is not the same as its American name brother, which is known from fresh water. Our garfish is a pelagic salt water species, long and slender, beaked with dark blue-green back and silvery bow.
Garfish are normally caught on a spinning rod using small lures or a float and bait. While this can be a very efficient method, it's not one tenth as much fun as catching them on a light fly rod.

Use light gear and small flies

A standard light stream rod 9 feet and 5-6 wt., a floating Weight Forward line, fairly short leaders approx. 3 meters (9-10') and small colorfull flies (size 12-16, which is small for a salt water fly) like the small adapted Chillimps and you're on. The fish are active, eating and mating in the middle of the day and sunny weather and a light wind makes them very active. My favourite spot has shallow water and a sandy bottom with small patches of weed. The fish will swim past me in short distance and casting can be limited to less than 10 meters (30 feet).
A golden rule when using a spinning rod has always been to retrieve very fast. Lures have to break the surface, it's said. Don't transfer that rule to flyfishing. Slow and gentle is the method here.
The fish are great fighters and even though they avarage 0.5 kilograms (1 lb.) they are great fun to catch; long fierce runs, leaps and dancing on the tail. They are delicious to eat too.


The result of an hour or two with a fly rod: lots of fish and lots of fun.

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