Orkla 2022

 I have been visiting Svinsjøen section on Orkla since 2017, fishing there for atlantic salmon. It is long (3 km) and variable part of the river, in verdant nature and with relaxing fishing atmosphere. During six years, I have spent there almost 40 days - this June I added three more. 

My first stop on all trips up north from Oslo is Bolleland in Espa.  Six-pack of bollers is essential. 

Along the road Fv607 next to Storsjøen stands this 16 m high den store stenen (The big stone). It is supposed to be the 3rd largest free standing stone in Norway...
As usual, I am spending a night near Kvikne on the left bank of upper Orkla.
In these parts of Orkla there are no salmon, just very nice trout

and sheep.
Early in the morning I am driving the remaining 100 km. I go straight to the river and after 4 hours I got a nice small male salmon (63 cm, 2,5 kg) in Handbaggan. 

It is great fish to take with and it goes into the freezer. It also means that I cannot fish more that day because of local fishing rules. I like it because i can relax.
Emilio came for a short visit and it was nice to see him after two years. He got a big salmon (almost 9 kg) a couple of weeks ago here, when the conditions were amazing. Now it is really hot (almost 30), but the water level is OK and the water is cold (10,5). Several fishermen are complaining that there are no fish in the river...hmmm, it is time to check that. Second day I walked all the way up to Melan. Older man from Lorenskog hooked a big fish there yesterday, but it escaped. I was there alone, casting and not thinking at all. Suddenly a kick and a big salmon (around 80 cm) on the hook, far away, on the opposite side of the river. It was riding up and down, fighting, getting tired, I had it near the land in a small bay, but there was no net nearby and i was not able to take it out of water. Suddenly, my spinner hooked out, the fish was free, a few lazy moves in front of me and went away. I was happy, because it was obviously a female a lot over the size limit and i would have to let her go anyway. Later I found out, that one hook on my triple hook broke when landing a fish. 

Third day, after fishing ca 6 hours, I was walking back to camp and decided to do a few desperate casts in Sagholen. My back was in pain, so just a few casts. Suddenly, a kick and a big salmon again...crazy. It was very well hooked (too well) and it took only a few minutes to land it. As it looked like a male and was bleeding, I killed it and carried it to the camp. Hard work. 
In the camp, both Karl-Heinz and Tobi thought that the salmon might not be wild one, but escaped one from a farm. Damaged fins indicated that. However, Johny, the main local authority, inspected the fish and his verdict was - wild fish. 90 cm long, 6 kg heavy. And gender? Unfortunately it was female. As the size limit 65 cm for wild female salmon was introduced this season on Orkla*, I was not allowed to keep it and it was delivered to a canteen in a local retirement home.     
*it is possible to keep one male over 80 cm during the season; all female over 65 cm must be released (if killed they must be delivered to local community), max 4 fish in total can be killed by one person during the season; salmon from farms must be killed (so they are not mixing their DNA with wild fish) and can be kept.  

Midnight in the camp...nights are very short in June. 

Resume - during three days of intensive salmon fishing I got 3 salmon on the hook and landed two of them. That is more than enough. But most importantly, as every summer, I met KarlHeinz and Margret on their regular 7 weeks trip across Sweden and Norway. It is a pity I had to kill that big female and I have a bad feeling about it. If I do salmon fishing ever again, I must be more careful

Femundsmarka weekend

Finally, my late-winter weekend in Femundsmarka. I was speculating a lot where to go to ice-fishing for artic char, and at the end I decided to visit the lake we were ice-fishing with Tobias in December 2020. This time, I was sleeping in the tent in Båtstø camp next to the Femund lake. Minus 15 in the night, plus degrees during the day. Great to have the possibility for hot shower after a long day on the ice. 
The view from my tent over Femund lake. 
I like early starts. Waking up 4:50, drilling first hole on Volsjøen at 6:50. I was the first one on the ice and I expected a busy day, as Båtstø camp had a special ice-fishing offer that weekend (cabin + scooter transport + lunch for nice price).  
It was nice to have some views, as in December 2020 we did not see much around. 
And 11 hours later, I was one of the last ones on the ice. 
This is the reason why people come here to fish. A possibility to catch a big beautiful røya. This one is not mine, another fisherman, who was sitting next to me, got it around lunch time. For sure over 1kg of beauty. 
I was not so lucky/skilled, but at the end I got at least one nice fish (around 400-500g). I must say, that compared for example with Savalen, it seems much more difficult to get a fish at Volsjøen. Last year we got only 2 char in two days in two people (the story is here), this year 1 fish in one day by myself.  And most of the others did not get anything. But the lake is beautiful, the weather was amazing and there are big fish swimming:) 

Icefishing near Oslo

I love icefishing arctic char (siven, røya). This winter we did not travel to our favorite destinations such as Savalen or Femund and instead I focused my effort on Nordmarka near Oslo. It is not so easy here as in northern parts of Norway, but it is still possible to get some nice fish. There are several lakes, especially near Hakadal, that are known for relatively good char fishing. Best time is right after the lakes get frozen (end of November till Xmas). It means that the days are short and early start is required. And it also requires to be familiar with the places where char are gathering (called "varp"). Luckily, local guidebook provides good maps with such places. 

My goal was to get at least 2 blank (not spawning) char. I made 5 trips and got 6 fish, max was 400g, which is OK. I also met David, a fisherman from Czech republic, on one varp, which was great. Otherwise, there are typically local old men fishing, riding to the lakes on their e-bikes. They usually got more and bigger fish . But I am satisfied, as now I know what to do better next season:). Here are some pictures...

Early morning on one of the varps on Elvannet

Varp on Langvann, where I met David (we spoke Norwegian and English and after a few moment we realized we are from the same region in the Czech republic)

blank char from Langvann. Super tasty
always good to be on the ice

artic char is so beautiful
always good to have a company
I tried also Øyungen lake and got a few smaller char there. It was very cold day...

I got them under this rock, on mormyska (unexpected) from depth of 7-8m
And after Xmas, it is time for perch (okoun, abbor). Here we are with Tobias on Store Skillingen

good lake with bigger perch and some pike as well

and I made a trip to Rottungen as well...very good lake indeed. And now I am looking forward March  trip to Femund!

Some pictures from around

November is mostly not very nice month here in Norway.  Still no winter, but cold and sleety, darkness soon during the day. But there are nice moments every day around:)

on my way from Vestli metro station to our place on a border between Oslo and Nittedal district

every morning immunity combo

It is still possible to catch a fish. Left one is meat from Femund trout, right one from Nordmarka. 

my favorite lake in Nordmarka

on the way to my favorite fresh fish shop in Vinderen

Drøbak, a small town at Oslo fjord
is a former trading town (e.g. with salt)
and the old part has its charm

is it mostly a "summer town", but autumn looks nice there as well
and back to Oslo...a view from a platform at Sinsen metro station
and this is the place where I work
Sofienberg church in Rodeløkka

Quick jump into full autumn

Autumn (end of September) is magical time in the mountains around Femund and Engerdal. Probably my most favorite part of the year in the area that I like a lot.  
Weather forecast for the weekend was great, so I hit the road and went for a quick trip. I picked up a lake (Hognsjøen) on the map and drove. 
After 280 km I found this perfect camping place
and finally, after several months, put my tent again.
Morning view from the tent was magical.
No time to lose. .. lets hike up to the lake
Very nice lake indeed. I got a beautiful trout there and lost my biggest ever so far.
I will come back!