Lake Akeleietjonna & Co. (Norway)
Image contrib. P.& K.Majeran
After driving for kilometers on dirt road, we start our walk through the tundra. Our goal is a group of small lakes framed by snowed mountain tops in the Norwegian region of Nordland, about 150 km. below the arctic circle.
Along the path we come across a first pond. It charms us with its contrast of reflected green and reddish algae. We cannot locate it on our map thought, which let us suspect we might be walking in the wrong direction.
The view of river Glomma confirms that the route we are on will be too long for a day trip. Thus we head back and eventually hit the right path.
The path leads now uphill. We make our way through a lushy vegetation that gradually thins out with the altitude. With waders on and loaded with backpacks and tackles we sweat in spite of the chilly air. It takes about a hour of hiking to get in sight of the place.
There it is, a group of small lakes, surrounded by a plethora of even smaller ponds and puddles. We are alone and amid thif plenty of near-by lakes, each of us enjoys the luxury of fishing his "private" water. During the first hour, the initial enthusiasm fights against a cold gusty wind and a complete lack of fish activity.
And then it happens. In the inner lake, the one most sheltered from the wind, the first fish rises to take a dry-fly ! The fight is incredible in proportion to the fish's size, a 25cm trout that does not want to give up. A fish forged by the rough conditions of this extreme climate. The first catch lifts the spirit of all of us.
We all start catching trout on dry-fly, 20 to 30 cm in average size and with an incredible power. Fantastic colours, large intact fins, nothing to compare with the stocked, ailing fish that sometimes we get to see in our poor rivers in central and southern Europe. These are real wild trout in a pristine nature.
It is a "hunting" style of fishing, the trout do not show their position by rising. We catch them by letting our sedges drift along the banks, or casting close to water-weeds.
Around midnights we decide to head back to the base. Before leaving we spend some moments in contemplation, to saturate our senses with memories of this marvelous and rough nature. We pack our stuff and take the way back, unaware that some more fishing is waiting for us this evening, and just around the corner...
... perhaps because of the crepuscular light or perhaps because of destiny, our return route deviates 20 m. lower in altitude. So it happens that we pass closer to a slender, little pond, that, on the way to, we had estimated like too small for hosting fish. Enclosed in a small narrow valley, almost a crevasse, the side banks, sheer drops in the water and looking very much like the remains of a landslip, are inaccessible. But what from the distance looked like just a bit more than a puddle, turns out to be a narrow, deep sheet of water with lots of rising fish!
Needless to say that we immediately agree to postpone our walk to the car and to do some more fishing in this lake. There is a magic atmosphere, protected by the high wall of the crevasse, there is a complete standstill of wind, a mesmerizing silence in this midnight dusk. Here, in this forgotten water, we managed to hook the largest trout of the day.
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