Fyn 2013 day 1

One of the highlights for me was always the spring trip for sea-run browns in the
clear Baltic sea around the island of Fyn in Denmark.
We would usually go on such a trip with 4 to 6 guys but the lack of success and
adverse weather had put off some of the usual suspects in the past.

This year it was the same story, a long very cold winter prompted our friends
to decline the offer to join us on this trip.
In the early morning of April 18th. 2013 only the true believers where ready
to go – thus Tom and myself.
We had the attitude that we would go whatever the weather would throw at us.
The trip to Denmark was pretty smooth, even the Elbe tunnel at Hamburg
was free of the usual traffic jam.

The ride was pretty smooth, we left at 0600 hours in the morning and around 1200 hours
we entered the Kolding area on the Danish mainland.
Since we were early we decided to fish a small Fjord on the mainland first.
The weather was horrible as a strong westerly wind was pushing whitecaps over
the otherwise rather placid Little Belt.
It was possible to fish though although it sure was not easy.

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The water was exceptionally low but still clear enough to give us some hope
to catch fish.
Tom moved inside the Fjord, I would not dare to go there as the bottom consisted
of pure muck where I would sink in right away.
Instead I fished the open shoreline outside of the Fjord and soon had the first
fish on which threw the hook rather quickly.
I had quite some takes and following fish but no solid hookups anymore.
Tom was on a roll as he had found a good spot inside the Fjord where small
Sea-runs had been gathering, he had several fish in a row.

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After a couple of hours we decided to drive over to the island to get the keys
for the house at the rental agency in Middelfahrt.
Since we had not been able to get all our supplies in time we made a quick
stop at the local supermarket to get some food.

We had booked a little rental house in the general area of south of Middelfahrt,
that was where the first challenge came popping up.
Although the navigation told us we were at our destination we could not find 
the house.
It should have been a blue house but we only saw two yellow houses at the roadside.
We drove further along the road but could not spot the blue house so we doubled back.
We got out of the car and looked around and finally spotted the blue house up on
the hill.

The rental was found but now we had to figure out how to get there with our 4WD car.
We drove around trying to find an access road to the house but to no avail.
Finally we spotted one of the locals 
who could only speak a few words English where
to find the road to the house.
He told us more or less that we had to return to the main street to get to the house.

Meanwhile some other locals had popped up at one of the yellow houses and
they pointed out that the small path between the two houses at the roadside was i
n fact
the access road to the house.
When Tom asked if he could drive up to the house using the narrow path they laughed
and said “ you might get up there but never down because there was no room to turn around” 
The only option was to leave the car at the roadside and drag our gear up to the hill.

After getting settled in we had lunch and discussed where we would spend our evening fishing session.
Since the winds came from W-SW we picked out the spot on the northern coast of the island.
As we pulled in the car park we noticed a familiar car, turned out that some of our friends from
The flyfishing club were also on a trip to Fyn – it’s a small world after all.
The spot at the Northern coast 
was a place of fond memories for us but on this day it was pretty dead.
Very noticeable was that the water on the opene coast was a lot lower in temperature than in the Fjord
we 
Fished earlier that day.

There were quite some fisherman present besides us but nobody was catching anything,
there were no bites and no signs of fish.
The only marine life forms besides the birds where two seals that popped their heads up far.
out to the open sea.
We called it quits after sunset when the temperatures really began to drop fast.


Fyn 2013 day 2

More or less rested we started day 2 at 0630 hours.
I had come up with a nickname for the house = hobbit house as everything was so small,
I barely fitted in the bunk and had to watch my head when moving around the upper floor.
Still the place was perfectly suited for two fisherman.

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After a good breakfast we decided to fish in our backyard which was a sheltered Fjord.
I had fished that Fjord on one earlier occasion and although I did not caught anything
then I liked the place because it looked great and had a hard bottom = easy wading.

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The wind was still blowing in force but came from the left-hand side making casting still possible.
Pretty soon I had hits on the fly and managed to catch a few small sea-run trout.
Tom had no luck and was struggling with the seaweed as he was fishing with an intermediate
line where I was fishing with a floater.

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At the previous day I had fished with the 8-weight rod due to the strong wind but had switched now to the 7-weight rod.
My to-go fly was the Fluff, a pattern I got from the book Baltic sea flies by Martin Joergensen.
My version consisted of a Partrigde CS54 saltwater shrimp hook, some lead wire and a hackle of brown polar chenille.
The Fluff was really simplicity itself but it looked good in the water, it pulsated when retrieved and looked just like a shrimp.
The fish liked the Fluffen and so did I.

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We took a break from fishing in the afternoon and headed to our house to get something 
to eat. 
Tom wanted to go back to the mainland to fish his precious small fjord and I just tagged along.
This time he managed  to get three fish from the Fjord, I got two fish.

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Fyn 2013 day 3

The wind had shifted from W-SW on day 1 to W-NW on day 2.
On day 3 the wind was blowing from various directions.
After breakfast we fished again near our house but this time the open coast near our rental.
Conditions where not favorable as the strong wind of the past days had kicked up the sediment 
and washed off some of the clay of the cliffs.

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So the water was murky but further out we could still spot the seaweed patches we usually
sought out to fish.
We walked up to the beach to see how far the murky water reached.
At first Tom wanted to immediately leave to look for cleaner water but I mention
that since we were there anyway we should backtrack and fish for a while.

We carefully waded out and reached a sandbar where we could move along 
the beach.
Tom managed to catch one fish on this stretch, I had no contacts.
The trouble with the murky water was that the fish would probably have difficulty
finding our flies but more importantly we could not really see how the 
consistency of the seafloor was.
We found out when we wanted to head back to the beach.

Fact was that at some point the sandbar connected to the beach.
We were far from that point however as we noticed that we had to pass the 
so called bathtub
– a deeper through that runs parallel to the beach.
We made it safely to shore though without too much problems.

The next stop would be further south at the open coast.
As we walked to the beach we noticed that the water looked really good.
Very clear with the perfect leopard bottom consisting of sand and boulders/stones covered with seaweed.
Looks where deceiving however was we both covered a large distance fishing
without getting any contacts.

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No action meant that we had to get on the move again and thus continued our
trek to the south.
The destination would be a very interesting stretch that boasted both shallow and deep water.
The eastern shore of the beach was covered by a large patch of murky water.
No other anglers where present which might have been a sign.
We stopped anyway and walked out to the southernmost point of the beach in search
of cleaner water.

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Further out the water was indeed cleaner and soon we had the first contacts with trout.
Tom landed several fish, I only got nibblers.
This was the first spot where I actually found some live critters amongst the seaweed.
Small shrimp where moving about in force and I spotted a few ragworms swimming in the surface.

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Allthough I found my ragworm fly pretty convincing the trout thought otherwise. 
I got only nibbles, insult to injury was the fact that a trout took a live ragworm within rods length from me.
In the mean time Tom has taking a nap on the beach as all the hard work had tired him out.

The highlight of the day for me came at midday when a harbor porpoise decided to hunt close to the shore.
I was the first time I had seen them so close to shore and this time I was ready with the camera.
The porpoise made two runs along the beach so there was ample time to enjoy the sight.

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We still had bites at the end of the day but action was slowing down.
The easterly winds had almost died down completely and the Baltic sea resembled a mirror.
I headed out to the shallower part of the beach and noticed rings in the surface.
 

The trout where probably picking up shrimps from the surface.
I re-rigged with a small red tag fly on a size 6 hook and waited for fish to come within casting range.
A ring formed on the surface and I made a cast to it.
It took two strips to get a strike and so I finally ended the day without being skunked.

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Tom had his share of evening luck and so we could head with satisfaction back to our base.
It had been a great day with lots of action.


Fyn 2013 day 4

The last day of our trip was a travel day meaning that we could only fish for a limited time.
After breakfast we cleaned the rental and pondered where would go.

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Tom had the idea to visit the narrow part of the Lille Baelt near Middelfahrt
I mentioned that the chance for big fish would probably best there but the basic chance
of catching something at all would be the Fjord right near our rental.
Since the Fjord was right in our backyard it was the place to hold our last fishing session
on Fyn. The wind was now coming from the east and increased during the day.

We waded out to the belt with seaweed in the Fjord and started to fish.
It did not take long before I was into my first fish.
I saw the silver shape in the surface and noticed it was a small fish, the hook came out
though after a short while.
The next cast immediately resulted in another bite and yet again the fish came off.
Tom mentioned I should check the hook but a close inspection of the red tag fly I fished
showed that the hook was in perfect working order.

We moved further to the Western end of the Fjord where the water became deeper.
There I got another hit on the red tag and this time It was a big fish.
The fish did not jump but pulled pretty good, when it came close I noticed how big it was.
Figure I was telling Tom that the Fjord would probably hold a lot of small fish, well there where big fish present as well.

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As the fish came close Tom wanted to take some pictures.
Since we had left the landing nets in the car figuring we would only encounter smaller size
fish we know felt a bit stupid.
So I managed to get a hold on the fish and put it partially in the stripping basket so I could
get a better grip on the fish.

Unfortunately the fish had some reserve energy left en made a successful attempt to get back in the water again.
The tippet was snagged behind one of the rod rings and snapped as the fish made a quick escape.
Tom estimated the fish around 65cm and boy it was a fat fish.
I could kick myself for this stupid action but as they say “shit happens”.

After the incident I went further to the west of the Fjord while Tom made a run for the 
shore because the cold water got at him.
On this morning we entered the Fjord at high tide, soon I was into water that was
Too deep for comfortable fishing so I also made a short break at the shoreline.
Tom had moved out into the eastern part of the Fjord that was shallower and he soon got into some good fish.
Although he was very far from my position I could see that the big fish he was battling
put up a spectacular fight, the fish came several times clear out of the water.

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As Tom was catching a series of fish around and over the 60cm mark I caught
a small fish and had some following fish.

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In the afternoon it was time to go home so we packed in our gear and told ourselves
That this had to be the best spring trip to Fyn we had ever witnessed.

The wind battered us the first two days but the places we visited had mostly some 
action going.
The water was still cold but temperatures varied very drastically.
We measured 4 degrees on the open coast, 6 degrees in the Little Belt and 8 degrees in the
sheltered Fjords.
Since the winter had been so long and cold we did not expect to see the usual inhabitants 
of the seaweed like shrimps and small fish but at certain locations they were out in
decent numbers.

When we compared which flies we used we came to the conclusion that it was probably
more important to find fish than to use a certain flypattern although they where always exceptions.
We where quite content about the amount of takes we had felt and wondered why the
fish where so hesitant to take our flies.

I think I learned a lot again on this trip and look forward to future visits to Denmark.