TOOTHED SWAMPS - JULY 2013
The toothed swamps which means canoeing along a pike trail.


Time: the beginning of July
Place: somewhere in the borderland between Norway and Sweden
Target: pike on the fly
Means of transport: canoe

Winter plans are executed!
The land that we're going to go through looks more or less like having a bird's-eye view:



There is an empty space in the distance of many kilometres, only occasionally do you come across summer camps visited once in a blue moon.







The plan was that we’d climb the trees and take pictures of bogs but when there we gave up
as all were thin, soaring, dry, brittle, rotten, mossy and sticky with lichen..


The first half was spent reaching the place, transporting the canoe and packing...We lost paddles and a fridge with food :)
Fortunately, not all the food  was lost and the paddles were recovered.

We packed the most important equipment in the company of mosquitoes :)








We start very comfortably, there is a narrow but pretty deep channel along which we can easily flow wielding a paddle.
Moreover, the weather is beautiful, exceptionally warm and sunny.








The problem arises a few seconds later - it's impossible to  paddle when the water level is too low and we have to carry the canoe
with all the equipment over the stones for 3-4 hours :) or pull through rubble and beavers’ dams.












When you feel that it's getting deeper and you can get on board the canoe behind the corner or a few meters forward the game starts again.







The forest’s beauty reflected in a amber  river compensates for all the moments of physical effort.









Trollstua :)







And the next “pebble”.



In time the river gets deeper and we meet low riffles which we don't disturb at all (just behind them we can expect fish).







When the "walks" have ended  the rods and the flies are being used.

The first fish and the first surprise - a cast only 3-4m long, a big fly makes a lot of fuss, after a few pull-ups there is a take up,
then the 2nd cast in the same place - fish on :)
Not big but the first pike makes me happy!










The water is flowing slower and the river is widening.







Late evening we reach a pretty big bend and make a longer stop. There is also a break for a meal plus of course the inherent beer.

A low current brings a deeper riffle - a very promising place.




Here there is no need to wait long for a fish (at least for some of us ;)).





In the evening, we reach a bridge next to a closed and forested road.





Now, we need to find a good place for a bonfire, bring some stones, collect wood, start drying wet clothes, pick a pike invited for dinner :)
and finally lie down on a foam mattress to take a rest with a sparkling still amber alcoholic beverage ;)












Next morning we collect all our equipment, pack all the pieces of junk into the canoe, quickly eat some sandwiches
with instant soup and move on. On the way, we cast our flies almost to the river banks and then try to attract them
closer to the side sometimes successfully :)




We make a short stop from time to time to fish in even more interesting small bays full of water lilies.













A small one with a bonus, after 2 pulls it swallowed the fly half its size for the 3rd time ;)











The next a longer stop in a great place which brings us a few fish.









A few pull-ups,



the strike,



2 jump-ups,



a moment of haul and...



...here it is :)













This one emerged from behind the stone in the background, like a trout. It's a nice one!





A few minutes of walking on the stones and again a bit of paddling to the next place.



















A collapsed bridge (actually a ruin), on a once busy road.
I wonder when and who last sat on this bench and lit a bonfire between these stones :))






Being a bit tired, hungry and thirsty we quickly bring what is needed and light a bonfire...



...and after a late "dinner" (sandwiches with instant soup) and coffee we take a rest for a while :)





Just behind us covered with overgrown trees there stand buildings deserted for many years.
Pay attention to the dates written on the abandoned house walls (already abandoned at this time).








The shed behind the house is lower to the ground although the walls made of wooden beams still look quite good.













In the evening we're fishing the nearby lakes and pools (without much success ;)).

















On our return we eat supper - a pike which unfortunately was hooked by the gills. It's delicious, fried with a pinch of salt and pepper
and washed down with a proper alcoholic beverage ;)












This is called a larva - a bit crooked the great diving beetle taken from the pike's stomach
which was accompanied by even more of a crooked roach.






Late evening,  we hear some strange sounds somewhere in the distance.
At the  start the sounds are feint but with time they become clearer
and more frequent quickly turning our interest and curiosity into some anxiety.
In a split second it crossed our minds that maybe it would be better to pack everything
into the canoe and in the twilight paddle to the island situated on one of the lakes.
However, sleep doesn't allow us to think it over for any length of time and we fall asleep
before we plan anything.
Some unclear squeals, whining, maybe howling...
As it turns out later it was the sound  of a pack of wolves after successful hunting and a meal!
Fortunately, they were far away, on the other side of the water.


It's the last day, we have to move back a little, paddle upstream for a while, and flow into one
of the channels which ends up in the lake where our trip finishes...




A few beams or a stack of rafters is all that's left after mowing the meadows. Actually, such rubble is passed quite often.









The rods are ready all the time of course.





We make a stop before the last riffle, we flow near the river bank, park below small bays, stick the canoe in the grass making a bit of a fuss,
we talk, laugh, pace up and down with cameras... We pick up our fishing rods and start casting.  Within 2 minutes we notice a pike just next to
the bank, almost under our feet, maybe only 4m from where we are "parked" and where our paddles are and where we splashed mud going
along a few minutes earlier. After a while a fly lands near the pike's tail which sits in the water like a log indifferent to the situation.
You'll find out :)
A few pull-ups, streamer is swimming up to its eye level and it takes a sudden and lightning hit!!! Done!
Before the pike realized what was going on it did a few jumps above the surface of the water and went back with a fly in it’s maw.

It's an amazing experience to see such an attack 3m away from my own feet.

One of the last casts with an unfastened safety pin :)






In the end, we were forced to get a bit wet behind this islet as our waders were rolled up and crammed somewhere - we hoped to sneak gently
between the stones through the last riffle but unfortunately we weren't successful and we got stuck in the middle....










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