River Vindel (Sweden) 


  Image contr. K.& P.Majeran, S.Madera  

From an angler perspective, the course of the river Vindel is split in two different biotopes. Upstream the Vindelforsen (the waterfall in the picture above) where the river is called Vindelän and only brown trout are present. Downstream the waterfall, where it is named Vindelälven. In this lower part there are brown trout, grayling and the mytical Ammarnäs trout.

After the waterfall the river runs across the lake of Gautsträsk. Here, the Ammarnäs trout, profiting of the richness in nourishment offered by the clear water and sheltered by the depth of the lake , grows up to record size. It is a lake trout, well distiguishable from the brown trout for the absence of red spots. After spending the winter in the depth of the lake, it runs into the river during the warmer season.

The strecht we have been fishing was divided in 7 pools all contigous to each other for a lenght of some kilometers. The river is often more then 100 m wide and there is no way to wade across, our fishing has focused on the orographic right side of the river in the Ammarnäs reserve. It is as well possible to fish the Ammarnäs trout far down the river, in other strechtes purchasing the related permit.

A 2 hand rod can be handy to fish the Ammarnäs trout. Not long rods but a 12' 6" seemed to be ideal to focus on this type of fishing, which is indeed like salmon fishing with long cast across the stream and medium sized streamers.

We wanted to fish the large grayling too so we often carried two rods along with us at the river: a 9 ft with 8 WF and a lighter 9 ft for 5 fly line. After a couple of days with rain, cold weather and with scarse fish activity, eventually a steady sunshine started to warm the air and big grayling started rising during the day.

The nicest fish often rose far from the bank, towards the mid of the stream. Gray and brown imitations with wings in CDC or substitute and in size from 12 to 18 has been successfull in many cases.

Not only in the current is possible to chase the biggest grayling. Never underestimate the flat, slow beats. And never fear to go fancy when no dry fly seems to be the right one. The 47 cm grayling above took a big may fly pattern (completely out of season, we were fishing at end of August) after having refused numerous smaller patterns.

At dusk, when the rise of the grayling started fading, we lay down the 5 fly line rod and pulled out our heavier rods and the streamers.

Our preferences at this hours fell on dark to black streamers and tube flies.

A magnificent Ammarnäs trout, notice the impressively large fat fin

It is possible to catch Ammarnäs trout even during the day and there are even some caught on dry-fly.

With the available options of either dry-fly for grayling or large trout with streamers, one has to find the right balance in himself.

Large grayling can challenge the fly angler with distance, precision, delicacy and dragging.

At end of August at this latitude it starts getting dark at around 10 PM. Above, while about preparing a grayling on the open fire for dinner, the last long cast across the current hooks a very large fish.

An Ammarnäs trout of 89 cm. While grayling can be kept, in limited numbers and always based on the local rules of the purchased license, the Ammarnäs trout is strictly catch and release only.