Four national rivers and countless tributaries and thousands of streams from mountains to coast, more than 30,000 lakes and a coastline of over 1,500 kilometres – Swedish Lapland has room for a few more fishermen.
– Five thousand characters? About trout? How's that going to work?
– Ok... I thought that someone with nothing but fly fishing on his mind would be able to do it. What about four thousand, then?
– No, no, NO! I meant how do I describe my relationship with trout when so little space is available!
If a fish, or a catch, is to be a story, the fish has to be out of the ordinary, preferably bordering on dangerous. And if the story is to become a classic, the fish should be as big as a whale or the...
The Canadian brand Hooké started out of the urge to tell a story about fly fishing. Today it’s become a growing movement along rivers of the world. And in Swedish Lapland the team seems perfectly rooted – spreading the vibes of fly fishing.
Laplanders traces the portrait of those who live by the rivers of Lapland in Northern Sweden. Their quest for the Baltic Salmon is one every fisherman can relate to: an ever-going search for the next fish, and the only certitude is the efforts that will be needed to reach it. This film is an immersion into the life of those who chase, document and protect the salmon in the land of the midnight sun.
The salmon run
Every year thousands of salmon runs the wild rivers of Swedish Lapland, and every year fly fishermen run after some of those. This is one of those runs.
The University of Uppsala was partly funded by profits from the salmon fishing in Edeforsen rapids (near Harads and Treehotel) in the Lule River. The profits from salmon fishing were also used to found the city of Luleå. In fact, up until the 20th century salmon, not steel, was Luleå’s main source of income. In 1949 110 tonnes of salmon were caught in the river. These days you’ll probably want to head to the Byske, Kalix, Torne and Vindel Rivers instead, even if the fishing is good downstream from the Bodforsen rapids.
A sweet-water chameleon and almost every sport fisherman’s dream. The trout can adapt to all kinds of environments as long as the water quality is good. There’s the anadromous, or sea-run, kind that spends its life in the Baltic Sea and then rises up the rivers to spawn. There’s the brown trout version that stays in small bodies of water and just adapts its size to its habitat. And there’s the version that lives in lakes and runs up the rivers to spawn during autumn, and they can get as big as you’d like. The Swedish record, 17 kilos, is from a lake in Swedish Lapland.
It’s said that the grayling gets its Latin name from smelling vaguely of thyme, thymos, when it’s caught. The large, shimmering dorsal fin – often known as ‘the sail’ among sport fishermen – is the grayling’s distinctive feature. And it’s also a real mood enhancer for us fishermen, because there’s always a grayling in the mood for a bite. And if you find one you’ll find several. Grayling live in shoals. It’s present all over Swedish Lapland, from the sea to the mountains. A one-kilo grayling is a trophy, but many weighing in at over two kilos are caught every year.
Fishing journalists often refer to the arctic char as ‘the Greta Garbo of the mountains’. Partly because of its beauty and partly because of its temperament. There’s no other fish that can make mountain fishing go from one extreme to the other the way this Lady Camellia does. One second it bites anything. The next there’s absolutely nothing you can tempt it with. Among chefs the arctic char is a sought-after table fish. It’s a little bit fattier than other salmon species and therefore there’s less risk of it becoming ‘dry as a bone’ when you fry it.
How to catch a Baltic salmon in Swedish Lapland? That’s the 100-dollar question for many salmon fly fishermen. But there’s some good news. It’s getting easier. A lot easier. During the last years, salmon runs in the wild Swedish Baltic rivers have been heading in the right direction. Read more
Ammarnäs is a Swedish community of 95 inhabitants (in 2005). The village is a gateway to the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, is located on the Kungsleden hiking trail and home to some of the biggest trouts in Sweden.
Places still exist where there's no point asking for the password for the wifi. Places where you leave your mobile behind to spend some quality time with others – or perhaps with yourself. The Sámi eco-lodge Geunja and the camp in Tjuonajokk are two of Swedish Lapland's finest.
One of nature's most beautiful displays takes place during a couple of weeks every summer. A mayfly called Ephemera vulgata hatches and every single fish in the lake go crazy when presented with such a feast. For us fly fishermen this is simply the time when we cease to sleep.
Jess McGlothlin is a writer and an outdoor photographer, from Montana, USA. With clients such as Patagonia, Orvis, and The Flyfish Journal her work has taken her to several remote destinations in the world. This is her take on the stunning arctic light as a photographer.
Abisko National Park, in Swedish Lapland, offers some of the best conditions in the world for northern lights watching. The unique climate of the area keep the skies almost clear, and the light pollution is next to nothing. And here, you also find the Aurora Sky Station.
In Swedish Lapland we keep honestly prepared food from local produce close to heart. That comes quite naturally since nature’s pureness and lots of great ingredients surround us. Welcome here and taste all the goodness of nature that has over centuries adapted to life in our subarctic environment.
In Swedish Lapland, nature plays an intrinsic role in our life and work, and the people here are highly sensitive to the small details of the changing seasons. Therefore, it seems only natural that the Sami people describe eight seasons instead of four.