Published Apr 30. 2013 - 11 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 28. 2021

Byske's Baltic Salmon

The river Byske runs in the northern part of Sweden in a thick forest landscape. It is definitely one of the best salmon rivers in Sweden and the size and profile of the river is ideal for fly fishing.

Byforsnacken - A fly fisherman makes a cast in the bright daylight in a pool called Byforsnacken
A close-up - Close-up of a Baltic salmon.
A 15 lbs salmon - Jerkko Ahtinen caught this nice 15 lbs salmon from Häggholmselet pool.
Pasi Visakivi

I will show here some of my favorite images from an excellent Swedish river called Byske. I have been fishing that river for over 10 years and nowadays it feels like my home river even though I live in Finland. I fish Byske only once a year so my experience of the river is somewhat limited. Fortunately there are many good guides available on the river side when someone visits Byske for the first time.

Byske runs

in the Northern part of Sweden in a thick forest landscape. It is definitely one of the best salmon rivers in Sweden. The size and profile of the river is ideal for fly fishing. Salmon fishing concentrates mostly on lowest 50 kilometers or 30 miles. The pools are quite easy to reach because a road follows the river all the way and on the first 10 kilometers even on both sides. The character of the river varies a lot. In some parts of the river the currents are really powerful and an agile fly fisherman should be very alert when wading in the river. Other productive fishing pools are calm and run smoothly to please those who prefer easier wading.

The salmon fishing

season usually starts in May when the first fresh fish come from the sea. Before that you might catch a salmon that has stayed in the river throughout the winter. Depending on the weather, the best time for salmon fishing is normally in June. The season's biggest fish are usually from 33 lbs to 40 lbs. The average weight for salmon was a very decent 15,65 lbs in 2011. In addition, Byske is also a very good seatrout river.

Silent moments - Silent moments on a salmon river might result in a lack of concentration. Better keep your eyes on a pool instead of your wading boots.
Heavy current in beautiful landscapes  - An old fisherman fishes on a heavy current in beautiful landscapes of the River Byske. Some pools are challenging to wade and every angler should be very careful when wading in these places.
The river - A landscape by the River Byske.
River impressions
Pasi Visakivi

Salmon fishing in Sweden

is inexpensive which is rare when we talk about good quality destinations. In Byske you can fish a full week for the price of a daily permit many places in Norway.

Clear water - The water in River Byske is clear most of the time. The brown shade is mostly caused by the color of the bottom.
A happy moment - A happy moment with a good friend and a 15 lbs salmon. Angler Jerkko Ahtinen on the right got some help in landing from Markku Kemppainen.
Releasing - Baltic salmon ready to be released back to the river.
Pasi Visakivi

In comparison

with Atlantic salmon the Baltic salmon is not very surface active. You will see them on the surface but they will not take the fly very willingly near the surface.
For effective fishing, a wide variety of different sinking lines are necessary. Because of the lack of space in many places, the fishing is most effective with double-hand rods.

Thick, bushy and colorful

hair-winged tube flies are commonly used on Byske. One of the most famous patterns is called Den Vanliga. The modern version of this fly is dressed with a thick and colorful fox hair wing. The original version looks totally different with a natural colored squirrel wing and a gold tinsel body. Of course there are a lot of other salmon flies that are widely used in Byske. Every angler has his or her own favorite patterns.

For the season 2013

there will be a new restriction which forbids the killing of any salmon before June 19th. The idea is that the early runners, which are usually some of the largest specimens, have a good chance of reaching the best spawning grounds on the upper part of the river. Once again a great improvement from the local river keepers, who are very aware of the condition of the river and ready to make changes if necessary. Needless to say, it is very important that all anglers check the current fishing regulations carefully every year before they wet their fly lines.

Selecting a fly - A fisherman  is picking a fly for rainy weather. His serious face reflects the difficulty in picking the right pattern. If you ask me he is about to make a mistake…
A beaver - A fearless beaver swims in the lower part of the River Byske.
Two hand rods - Double hand rods and shooting heads are widely used on Byske. An angler is about to shoot his fly to distant honey holes.
On the water
Pasi Visakivi
Zone 1 - Nice view by the river Byske in zone 1
Hostel Gästgiveri - Hostel Gästgiveri in the middle of the town Byske. It has been our homebase for over ten years. Excellent food, friendly staff and very reasonable prices. What more could you ask?
Ready - The gear is ready for action on the Hästhagen pool.
From the Byske
Pasi Visakivi

Unlike in Finland,

Sweden still has many productive salmon rivers suitable for fly fishing. Swedish rivers are also the most important reproduction areas for the Baltic salmon. During the past few years the Swedish government has restricted considerably the professional net fishing both on coastal areas and on the open sea in order to protect this precious fish.
Baltic salmon are pursued by many and unfortunately over fished in the Baltic Sea area where they spend big part of their lives. The European Union has tried to get some improvements through in all of its member countries with a Baltic Sea coastline, but still way too many salmon end their days before having had a chance to spawn. Another serious threat for the Baltic salmon stock is the fact that many spawning rivers are basically destroyed by man. Finland is a sad example of this - there is really only one river (Tornio) where salmon can reproduce. Fortunately, there are still many rivers left in Sweden where the Baltic salmon can reproduce and where the stock can handle a reasonable fishing pressure.

On the beautiful Byske,

many experienced salmon fly fishermen have experienced the fight of their lives with these big and powerful silvery creatures called the Baltic salmon.

At the end of the road - At the end of the road there is always a salmon pool. At least on our beloved Byske.
One more pool
Pasi Visakivi


Pasi Visakivi - an article about the author of this article
Pasi's photo Gallery on Google+
Contact Pasi - - For those of us who love The Byske River and safeguard its future as fisheries, natural resource and cultural heritage
River Byske hopmepage (in Swedish), with a little info in English
Byske Gästgivargård also in Swedish and not that impressing. Contact them through mail on
Byske Cabins rents out cabins along the river and has info on the city and the area.
Byske Sportfishing Museum is a small museum with expositions about fishing as well as a small cafe.


In plain English :),...

In plain English :), just plain great. Yep, a motivator for sure.


The Benscoters
Deadwood, Oregon


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