River Mandal - "I hate to ask you, but do you want to go salmon fishing for a week?" The voice of GFF partner Partin Joergensen's friend Ole sounded sincere enough and Martin went with him to Norway to fish for small salmon. But the outcome turned out to be a lot larger than standard grilse. - Global FlyFisher

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River Mandal



A promising stretch
A promising stretch
This is a classical salmon lie: deeper water cuts under the opposite bank leaving some calm water for the fisher to stand in. A few large boulders create turbulence and shelter down there. The fish will be moving right outside the seam between the fast and the slow water. We saw many fish here, but felt nothing.
Above the fall
Above the fall
Fish would occasionally break the water above this fall, but fishing the extremely smooth water is rarely easy.
Anxiously waiting
Anxiously waiting
Every cast is made in expectation of a fish. Watching the line sweep downstream becomes almost like meditation after a long day of fishing.
B+B Tube
B+B Tube
A simple blue and black tube fly. Hence the name.
B+O Tube
B+O Tube
Black and orange - and very simple. This fly can be varied however you please regarding colors.
Beautiful morning
Beautiful morning
Fog lifting and sun about to rise over a beautiful pool on the Manddalselva in Norway
Big fish, small fly
Big fish, small fly
This large male took a small red double salmon fly.
Blueray shadow
Blueray shadow
A variation of the notorius Sunray Shadow, which is known to entice salmon all over the world.
By the tail
By the tail
The easiest way to land these fish is by grabbing their tail. Do not do this to fish, which are to be released again.
Coned
Coned
The cone head makes any plastic tube just heavy enough to penetrate the water and sink slightly even in current. On this short tube it adds a harmonic front as well as weight.
Copper & Herl
Copper & Herl
The small doubles call for sparse dressings and few materials like on this pattern named after two of its four materials.
Downstream in Zone 2
Downstream in Zone 2
A look downstream in Zone 2, where the number of fishers is limited to 2-6 per pool.
Flies in the bench
Flies in the bench
A bunch of old flies, lures and hooks are stuck in a bench as a testemony of the season almost gone.
Flybox 1
Flybox 1
The box contains from the top left: B & O's, B & B's, B's, Blueray Shadows, Orange Divers.
Flybox 2
Flybox 2
This box contains across from the top left: Coned's, Foxes, White Winged Red Tags, SHCZCDNTM's, Copper & Herls, Yellow Small Alley's Shrimps, Red Butts and Orange Small Alley's Shrimps.
Fog over the pool
Fog over the pool
The last mist of the morning fog is about to disappear over Manddalselva in Southern Norway
Getting ready
Getting ready
Getting ready for the morning's fishing. Water levels are significantly down due to the regulation that takes place because of the electricity production.
Line on the water
Line on the water
This fisher was not a particularly good caster, but the angle was perfect, and the line did straighten in some of his casts.
Old boat
Old boat
This old boat forms a nice forgorund to the river. Waves occasionally splashing against its hull kept on sounding like leaping salmon.
Ole landing
Ole landing
Ole landing a nice 7 kilos (14 lbs.) male salmon
Orange Diver
Orange Diver
The Orange Diver owes both its diving abilities and its color to the orange Bidoz brass tube. This short and heavy tube gives a perfect base for a brightly colored salmon fly, that fishes deep.
Orange Small Alley's Shrimp
Orange Small Alley's Shrimp
These small flies are the typical choice for summer fishing for salmon.
Poetry in motion
Poetry in motion
Casting with a two hand rod is pure poetry. The moves are easy to learn, cost little engergy and both look and feel good.
Red Tag... ehr, Butt... eee... Behind
Red Tag... ehr, Butt... eee... Behind
A mini version of a generic pattern that must have caught salmon on all the northern hemisphere. This one is tied on a small size 10 double salmon hook and has a fairly long wing to compensate for its tiny size.
Selecting a fly
Selecting a fly
This is a situation that repeats time after time on the river: looking for the fly that will hook the big one.
Shallow run
Shallow run
A shallow run followed by some deeper water and a neck. A possible holding place for salmon.
SHCZCDNTM
SHCZCDNTM
The Short Heavy Chicago-Zürich-Copenhagen Delayed Nutria Tube Muddler is a variation of a pattern I have tied for many years in all kinds of styles.
Sign
Sign
There were signs all over the Manddal River indicating where to park and where to go.
Simple Fox
Simple Fox
This simple fly consists of two materials only: the Arctic fox for the wing and a dull brown hen hackle.
Stones
Stones
The old road along the river is well worth a visit. Many of the beautidful places in zone 2 are accessible this way.
Strange flyfishing
Strange flyfishing
This flyfisher - yes it is a fly line - has obviously not planned ahead. Should one of the plenty fish in the tailwater from the generators strike he will have a lot of trouble landing it. he is as close to the water as he can get!
Talking
Talking
We met a local old timer on the bank of the river who rode his bike to watch the fish, currents and fishers almost every day.
The boat
The boat
An old boat still in service. These wooden boats are used for 'harlingø or trolling the depper and more calm pools.
The end
The end
Here ends the road for the Manddal salmon. A large man made barrier forms a wall they cannot pass. Notice the sign.
The Fox
The Fox
A wet fly pattern seen in many variations. Here adapted to shape a small salmon fly.
The man and the hen
The man and the hen
Ole caught this large hen on the last evering of our stay. It weighed in at 6 kilos or 12 lbs., which is way above the average 2 kilos or 4 lbs. of this river.
The pool
The pool
This large lake-like pool was located just below a rough fall. Such a place is a typical holding place for fish waiting to pass the rapids, and true enough: we saw many jumping fish in that lake.
Two hand caster
Two hand caster
Most people will fish with two hand rods, which are perfectly suited for the large river, the running water and the potential catch.
White Winged Red Tag
White Winged Red Tag
A small sample of a universal pattern that has caught most of what swims. This one is tied salmon style on a small double hook.
Yellow Small Alley's Shrimp
Yellow Small Alley's Shrimp
Another small salmon fly along the classical grub lines.
Zone 4
Zone 4
The upper zone - zone 4 - is fished by few people, which leaves room for the few that do.