Earlier in the summer I had started to explore Swedish waters (citation: holarctic musings). I had gotten wind of two sister rivers, the Långan and Hårkan, situated in Jämtland (a county that borders Norway and is below Lappland), that promised trophy browns and grayling. You pay per river in Sweden, so you need to find outfitters like this (BEST CABIN EVER).
The first 24 hours were slow, we had a few rises, a couple hits, but nothing landed. Good thing it was berry season and we had brought supplies. Of note to the SS&S readership:
Chorizo Ost - don't ask, just do.
Unknown berry, maybe a current - you can cook off the toxins right?
Steak with haloumi
Joe eventually kicked things off and it wasn't long before we all got in the action:
The majority of grayling were >30 cm (I landed one above 50), but the browns were tiny. There was however A MASSIVE brown that kept jumping right in front of our cabin. We have no photographic evidence but we all caught glimpses of the fish that became known as 'white juan'. I inquired about this behaviour with the outfitter and he said something about parasites and the fish trying to knock them off by repeatedly jumping out of the water - never heard of this before.
In typical SS&S fashion, we turned our locally procured provisions into humble meals that were accompanied by river water. I quite like the taste and texture of grayling as the meat reminded me of a heartier walleye.
We left with a rare sighting of a feral reindeer - apparently there is a healthy forest dwelling population of escapees in this area.
This winter was busy - I built an 8 wt fly rod, organized an international workshop on conservation genomics, and interviewed for a couple jobs - all of which I will post on in the very near future.