River Lainio (Sweden) 

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by Paul Majeran  

Our traditional summer fishing week takes us to Sweden - far up north, above the Arctic Circle. We intend to try our luck with the salmon of the Lainio, a tributary to the mighty Torne River.


Our base camp is a wooden hut in a husky camp (which obviously is busy only in winter time) near the cosy village of Kangos.


"No country for old men". To get to our dream fishing destination, we have to take a long walk through the woods and meadows, in full gear and in waders. Freeclimbing is inclusive…no extra charge!


After a "wilderness-marathon in waders", we finally get to see the fishing spot - the Onka stretch - or zone 2 - of the Lainio. Breathtaking view, but - how to get down to the water? Where are the most promising fishing spots? Which flies promise the most success?


Luckily, we have a real Lainio expert with us - Lars Munk, our guide, explains the "fishing situation". Although the salmon rest on both sides of the Onka stretch, we can only fish from our side. The river may only be crossed when the water is extremely low.


We find ourselves in the midst of a dream like scenery, in a wilderness probably nowhere else in Europe to be found any more… and we have the long Onka stretch completely to ourselves. This must be salmon fishing paradise!


In order to fish the last stretch of Onka properly, it pays to use the spey cast. The rock in the back not only makes casting a challenge, but wading as well - after only five meters the water gets really deep…which also means that the salmon are not very far away. They are right at your feet, actually, as Andrea has experienced to his surprise. Unfortunately, the salmon he hooked only at a few meters distance got loose after a few tail strokes…but the unforgettable experience remains.


Constant casting makes hungry - so better give the pool, the fish and ourself some rest and enjoy some local snack, like dried reindeer meat ... and marvel at the monumental landscape.


After the lunch break we continue fishing. Endless casts later, the double-handed rod of Andrea suddenly bends - something's on. A grilse? No - a nice grayling around 40 cm took the salmon fly! As we find out, this is not unusual, since the Lainio is also an excellent grayling water.


After the fruitelss attempts at Onka, it was about time for a change of place. The next day we headed to Zone 4, the last "non public" salmon beat down the river, before the long public stretch of the Kangos village begins. The character of the river is quite different here from Onka, but more typical of the Lainio.


Zone 4: finally - a salmon takes the black tubefly, engaging in a furios fight for more then 30 minutes, that seem to last an eternity, performing several jumps and runs down the river...


The fish could be successfully tailed and proved to be a hen salmon of 85 cm. and estimated wight of 6,2 kg ... after a short "photo break" , it was carefully released. May it keep to contributing to the reproduction of the wild salmon of the Laino!


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