SEA TROUT FYN My favourite lures
spring and AutumN SEA TROUT FYN
GUIDE SERVICE VANDPLEJE
#ISSUE 2022 - SEA TROUT FYN
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Havørred Fyn magazine 2022 2022
ooking back on the year that has passed, it is clear that there have been many positive developments in the Havørred Fyn project for sea trout on Fyn. A new strategy will be rolled out for Seatrout Fyn, with continued focus on nature, restoration, sustainability and better sea trout fishing on Fyn. This is something that most readers of this magazine will support and benefit from. At the same time, the new strategy period means that the direction of focus has been determined and that the plan for the coming years is now ready. It is also worth mentioning that 2021 has seen the return of sea trout fishing tourists to Fyn. It is great to see that our coveted coastal sea trout fishing is once again making people catch what we call “the fishing fever”, a condition many of us are familiar with!
Havørred Fyn has worked hard towards this objective in 2021 and was also successfully able to hire a volunteer coordinator. Our choice was Søren Knabe, who has previously been the chairman of Vandpleje Fyn for more than 12 years, so
this means that a strong profile has become part of the project. Søren will be responsible for river and stream restorations by volunteers, the volunteers who help out with electric fishing and will help to organise the voluntary smolt surveillance team. These are all very important and indispensable tasks that are highly dependent upon the dedication of our volunteers. "I see it as one of the most worthy of my tasks to bring the previously highly active Gravel Gang back to life. Voluntary efforts have always played a major role in the fishing of parent fish for Havørred Fyn's smolt releases, and it is important that the volunteers (and Fyn’s anglers' associations in particular) become equally active when it comes to the restoration of rivers and streams. We will work hard to ensure that we succeed,” announces Søren Knabe. Finally, do not hesitate to reach out to Søren if you want to help us to preserve and support Fyn’s sea trout stocks. These efforts will be required for many years to come.
Havørred Fyn continues to make good pace and we are still working towards restoring even more of Fyn’s river and streams, with a view to improving aquatic environments and growth and spawning opportunities for the island’s sea trout. Again this year, we received several applications for support towards the restoration of rivers and streams. Fyn’s municipalities have been awarded grants for two feasibility studies and 11 realisation projects. Havørred Fyn is battling away at getting one project underway each month in Fyn’s municipalities, and there are some very positive signs. At the same time, we also hope that even more sea trout fishing tourists will arrive on the shores of Fyn. They make a big contribution towards supporting the project and ensuring that we still have a reason to exist, above and beyond the restoration of Fyn’s rivers and streams and the smolt release programme. They contribute to our local economy and, like our local fishing enthusiasts, they treat the sea trout with great care and return the majority of their catches to the sea. They are valued guests, who we should all welcome. We hope you will enjoy reading the articles in this year's magazine, and we cross our fingers for another good year, with lots of sea trout catches on Fyn.
Happy fishing out on there on the coasts of Fyn! The secretariat, Havørred Fyn
Publisher: Sea Trout Fyn / www.seatrout.dk • Editor: Martin Porsborg Hemrich• Print run: 14.150 Published in Danish, German and English versions • Layout: O. Gade - Print: Johnsen • Translation: MSC Translation • Photos: Sven Riber Hougaard, Johannes Arlt, Johannes Radtke, Chris Halling, Martin Porsborg Hemrich, Jan Hald Kjeldsen, Omar Bo Gade, Jack Schultz, Niels Vestergaard, Niklas Haugegaard Albrechtsen, Morten V. • Cover: Johannes Arlt
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Å – THE OLD DALUM PAPER FACTORY
MY SUMMER FISHING DIARY
MEDIEVAL CASTLE TO FISHING LODGE...
FAVOURITE LURES – SPRING AND AUTUMN
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FROM GERMANY TO FYN TO BECOME A GUIDE
>> FYN FYN’’S SEA TROUT ELDORADO: 12 MONTHS A YEAR
Odense Å – the old Dalum paper factory During the summer of 2020, Odense Municipality removed one of the old dams in the Odense Å river, , next to the old paper factory in the Dalum district. Odense Å is Fyn's longest river and the one that moves the greatest volume of water. 54 km long, it is Denmark's 10th longest river. Odense Municipality had, for a number of years, worked towards a complete removal of the dam, which constituted a significant barrier to fauna. At the same time, this would mean that a stretch of approx. 3.6 km of the Odense Å river was affected by the dam due to river stagnation, which meant that the river resembled a lake more than an actual river. A channel had previously been cut into the dam as a fauna passage, which has been used by a number of fish during their upstream and downstream migrations, but the dam’s approx. 2.6 metre height was still preserved. Therefore, 3.6 km of potential spawning and rearing areas laid
hidden away at the bottom of the reservoir zone, so we also had to assume that there were passage problems at the dam itself, especially for downstream migratory juvenile trout (smolt) in their migration from rivers and streams to their spawning areas at sea. Based on a number of studies of how dams impact migration, DTU Aqua has estimated that 30% of smolt are lost at dams to delays and predators. The sluice system was an integral part of an old railway bridge that linked the paper factory's factory areas on both sides of the river. When the rapids were constructed in 1990, the dam height had been equalised by constructing a rapid downstream flow of the sluice system for the entire width of the river, with a rapid upstream sluice system located between two sheet pile
walls with overflow edges. The 2020 project simply involved removing the dam and restoring the river to its naturally flowing state, with potential to achieve a good ecological state and ensure unhindered passage for all aquatic organisms. In addition to the obvious benefits to sea trout, the re-establishment of the river's natural flow with gravel beds, eddies, sandbanks, hollows and much more varied physical conditions, will also make it possible for this stretch of river to become a habitat for e.g. thick-shelled river mussels, which are found both upstream and downstream of the project river section. Thick-shelled river mussels are an endangered species with protected status from the Habitats Directive and we have a special duty to protect and improve conditions for the species.
Technically, the project was completed by initially lowering the water level by removing the locks in the sluice system. The downstream rapids were removed by digging them up. The work was done over the summer and made easier by a low water flow in Odense Å, which was a prerequisite for the completion of the work. The river was diverted over to one side of the watercourse profile as the sluice system was being demolished on the other side. The river was then diverted over to the other side and the process repeated. During construction, the stone upstream rapids section of the sluice system was used as an access road to bring construction materials to the sluice system. After demolition was completed, the original stone rapids were dug up and the river profile was adjusted.
The railway bridge's end support and two bridge pillars remain. During autumn 2021, the railway bridge will be rebuilt as a cultural-historical rail track on the former factory site. This work is being done under the supervision of Odense City Museums. It has been calculated that the project would cause erosion and unnatural levels of sand motion as the river "settles" back into its natural state. A sand trap has been established approx. 500 m downstream of the project area, which will be emptied regularly for as long as is necessary. Current status in October 2021 is that we expect that the sand trap will need to be maintained for at least 1-2 more years. The river restoration is funded by LIFE (DKK 1.9 million), Havørred Fyn (DKK 1.2 million) and Odense Municipality
(DKK 0.9 million). The reconstruction of the railway bridge is funded by Odense Municipality (approx. DKK 4 million) The implementation of the project is an important step towards giving Odense Å a greater natural value and ensuring the benefits of the numerous projects that Havørred Fyn supports throughout the Odense Å river system. There is, of course, good reason to celebrate the realisation of a project of this scope, but there is no reason for us to rest on our laurels. Three major river blockages still remain in Odense Å and require further efforts. Jan Hald Kjeldsen, Odense Municipality
Fishing guide book: 117 Fine Funen Fishing Spots Fyn, Ærø and Langeland offer kilometre upon kilometre of coast just made for sea trout and sea trout anglers.
ore than 1,100 kilometres of coastline await, with scarcely a single metre where, at some point, a sea trout cannot be caught. But where do you start? Which are the best fishing spots for different seasons? And what about the wind and the current? How do they affect various locations?
"Buy the book from your local Fyn fishing tackle store" 8
nswers to these and many other questions can be found in our guide book to guide you to 117 brilliant fishing spots around Fyn, Langeland and Ærø. Several of the islands’ most experienced saltwater anglers have contributed to the book and share the benefit of their fishing experience. The guide book is full of inspiration for the seasoned trout angler and the novice alike. Good maps and accurate descriptions make it easy to find just the right fishing spot – depending on the season, fishing method and wind direction.
Book contents: »
» » » » » »
117 coastal spots on Fyn, Langeland, Ærø and the numerous smaller sea trout isles. Aerial photos of every single fishing spot bring a brand-new dimension to fishing. 15 detailed maps with depth contours. The best season and wind direction for each fishing spot. Useful tips about tackle, strategy and how to fish all year round. Useful knowledge about the sea trout. Guide to sandbars, reefs, troughs and other coastal features. 10 fascinating tales from some of the spots described in the book.
My summer fishing diary I love summer fishing for sea trout on the shores of Fyn! There is so much variety and so many things to experience, just like in all the other seasons.
One of the advantages of being a young high school student is that you get a summer holiday and more time to explore the various different aspects – both night and day. This article is from my diary about all this great fishing I get to do and is about my experiences, including of course “the Fyn variant” from coast to fjord. So sit back and enjoy this article. From difficult fishing to success. Wednesday 14/07/2021
Successful sea trout fishing adventures are usually the only ones people share. And I too confess that this is also what I normally show and write about. There is of course a good reason for this, because it is precisely the actual catching of sea trout that seems to be the most definitive, interesting and instructive. The reality of this pastime, however, is not simply a matter of cracking the code, after which fishing (and thus actually catching fish) becomes a matter of ease. On the contrary. It takes hard work – both when actually casting flies, but also while wandering along the shore in waders, fishing rod in hand. This season's summer coastal sea trout fishing has been successful until about a week ago. 2021 has been another year during which I have learned lots about summer fishing – especially during the gloom and darkness of the night. From mid-May until the beginning of June, I had some good and effective fishing with a cigar fly in the rough flowing water
on the shore. The cigar fly is in no way a new invention. Far from it! I have added my own little twist, which has resulted in far greater chances of getting a bite and landing a fish that decides to take the fly. Over the last few summers, I did a lot of fishing traditionally, using cigar flies at night. When tied onto a normal single hook, the fly seems inviting, but the number of fish that stick around is pretty unimpressive, so this year I have tied an equally inviting variant as a tube fly, so that you can instead mount small treble hooks to the end of the fly. Seeing such a big change in my night fishing and a change in fortune that gives a more successful catch tells me that sea trout fishing is not just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It also tells me that you can constantly optimise your fishing with some simple solutions. In this case, this meant a significant change to my hooking and landing. It's about fishing at the right time, but very much about fishing right!
Change in temperature Friday 16/07/2021
Fish behaviour has changed a lot in the last week, and I think this is due to the high 30+ degree temperatures. The weather forecast shows that these high temperatures will continue, which is not exactly an encouragement for a hungry sea trout fisherman! For many days in a row, the fish have been smaller, and the variation in my approach to night fishing was modest. The odd fish would swim by every now and then, but there was nowhere near the amount of activity that I had experienced the weeks before. Something interesting happened last night. I spent all day yesterday mulling over my last few trips to see if the otherwise unwelcome heat could be used positively. What else could be to blame for the lack of active sea trout at favourite spots? I ended up concluding that the lack of variety in my chosen summer spots, the time of day I was fishing, and the choice of bait had been significant factors on my previous trips. Maybe it was due to a lack of active fish? I decided to change spot as soon as possible after midnight if the fish did not show up. I had a theory that the cool night hours would slowly get the fish on the move later at night. At 10pm I started up the car and my fishing buddy and I drove off to a spot we have known about for a long time but had not yet tried – again with a view to trying something new and different. I know from previous trips to other spots that it is usually after midnight that the fish come out to play in the hottest part of the summer. The first two hours were therefore about getting to know the new spot and keeping an eye on the hunting fish. There did not appear to be many of the latter. As the hour passed midnight, and we had not seen the remotest sign of fish, all we
could do was to get back to the car and head for the other spots we had written down. After quickly searching a few other nearby spots, we headed back on the country roads. Our belief in our "project new fishing spots" began to falter. But there was just one last spot to try. Most people will know this – not the spot itself, but that feeling that you just have to test one final spot before heading for home. In fact this was a spot that was not at the top of our list. This was a spot that does not usually spring to mind as an ideal place for night fishing – but we had to give it a try! We reached the spot at 01:00. The sky was cloudy, and it was hard to distinguish water from sky in the dark. The first thing I did was to check the waterside for something to catch and tried to come up with ideas about what to put at the end of my line. As I stood there, keeping an eye out for the shrimp and small fish that dwell in the bladder wrack, a couple of small rag worms swam fairly quickly into the light from my head torch, followed by even more. We knew right away that this was the right place to spend the rest of the night. The
red worms swarmed in multitude, right up at the surface, often leaving a V-shape behind them. This immediately brought to mind the cigar fly, which has a very similar shape and gait in the water to the red rag worms. I had tied the selected cigar fly specifically to have to tempt sea trout in a swarm of rag worms just like this. The fly was small, with a disc in front to push water. Hopefully that particular cigar fly would stand out among so many other worms. It was of course (!) the right fly to choose. It did not take many casts before the first fish had been up sniffing at my home-tied cigar fly on the surface. I could quickly feel how strong the fish was and sensed that I had a tough fish at the end of my line. It came quickly to the surface after the counter bite, followed by a fine trail towards the stronger and deeper water currents further out. After a few minutes, we had it in our net and we were a little surprised to see that the fish was totally coloured and with jaw hooks, just as we would have expected from an autumn fish. After catching such a fish our enthusiasm
knew no bounds. We were sure that we would have a couple of fun hours with lots of fish – and we did. A few casts after the last fish, another sea trout found the cigar fly, and this fish was significantly larger! It came completely out of the water, but unfortunately only briefly thanks to the tight line. It was a big one… Luckily there were several fish actively chasing the worms in front of us. We ended up catching six fish and losing a few before 03:30, when the last (by the way perfectly shiny) fish a little over half a metre long slid into our net. Now it was time to go home to bed and a good night's sleep after yet another night packed with excellent fishing memories.
Daytime activity is increasing! Saturday 14/08/2021
The weather is now getting colder, and the sea trout are becoming more active during the daytime, so I have to change my methods and active fishing hours again. The temperature has dropped to 20
degrees and the weather is rainy, windy and grey. On days like these, especially during the late summer when coastal water is still warm, I am very appreciative of the strong winds and waves, because this often means that there are more active fish. The spot where I typically find fish at this time of year has strong gusts of wind, dense forest, sand reefs, and spotted “leopard print” sea bed. It is a little like the spring “bathtub” style of fishing. The tailwind causes insects and other small animals to be blown out onto the surface of the water where sea trout can often end up taking them. In addition, the wind pushes the low warm water that is close to the coast further out, so coastal water temperature can often be a little colder and packed with a little more activity. For this special situation,
I fish with a foam beetle cutter fly and a floating shooting head, on a #5 or #6 fly rod. It's no secret that I fish with a fly rod most of the time. Right now in the late summer, I sometimes make an exception and bring a spinning rod, rigged with a sand eel jerk minnow in a rod holder on my backpack, while I search the water with my fly rod, of course. I do this because I often see sand lance or other small fish far out on the outer reefs jumping free of the water while being pursued by sea trout. These fish are not always within fly rod casting range. This allows me to get my pre-rigged spinning rod out of the rod holder in just a few seconds and cast a line out to the fish. I sometimes find this both effective and rewarding!
Late summer fish in the fjord and the mud holes Sunday 22/08/2021
The vast majority of my summer fishing takes place on the open coast, as I already mentioned. However, when we get later into August and closer to autumn, I switch to slightly different spots. This means that the fantastic fishing in the fjords can be the way to catch beautiful, shiny fjord trout – or the sea trout that are already well on their way to taking colour and becoming ready to swim upriver to spawn. Especially now during the late summer, I catch fish that seem slightly coloured at first glance. When they find their way into my net, they turn out to be fish that have been swimming around in the fjord all summer eating molluscs. They therefore have
a golden brown and often completely orange, attractive flash along their bellies, yet still barrel thick with loose and shiny scales, as we know from the shiny coastal trout. The water temperature is still warm, but do not let the heat fool you! The nights are cold and quickly take a hold of the shallow water. When this is then combined with a little wind, I experience that it is especially at the beginning of the day, before noon, that there is really plenty of action in the very shallow, cool fjord water. Today, my fishing buddy and I set off on our first trip of the year to a small fjord, hoping to catch our first mud bottom sea trout of the summer. We didn’t leave as quickly as we had hoped, and it was already a little over 09:00 before our waders were in the water. The weather forecast had, for
once, promised grey weather and colder temperatures, with a fresh tailwind. We got into the water, and it took only a surprisingly short amount of time before the first fish was in pursuit of my fly. This was in an area where we had only wanted to try a few casts before wading across it as it was very shallow; well below 30 cm in some places. It was no small fish, so I suggested to my buddy that he tried a long cast over the same area with his spinning rod rigged with a bombarda set-up. And at almost exactly the same place, he hooked a fine half-metre long fish that took his shrimp fly. We got the fish into the water's edge and quickly released it, in the hope that more sea trout of the same calibre were in the area. The first fish was far from alone, and it was almost as if the fish were all in the same area, spread out rather than swimming in shoals. From my experience, this is typical of late summer fjord fishing. I got many gentle bites and several times I think it is lumps of seaweed. I soon realised that this was fish nibbling on the fly and changed to a smaller, slightly more naturally coloured fly; a grasshoppergreen, simple and bushy fly with no weight, tied to a size 6 hook. This is a big hit with the fjord trout! Soon after the change, I got more bites and hooked several fish; both coloured but shiny fish – a good mix, the way we like it best. Despite feeling that I have cracked the code, my buddy is still doing a lot better than me with his spinning rod. He catches more fish than me – bigger ones too – on a fly identical to mine. The green colour was a big success today, and it is indeed one of my favourites for this kind of fishing. It is a rainbow pig variant. This is a fly that works well for coastal and fjord fishing all year round and is one that I always have in my fly box. I fish with this one – and almost all other flies – with a #6 9.3´ fly rod and a floating line, because it gives me the opportunity to make long stops and fish the shallow water without having to pull in too aggressively and quickly. I find this incredibly effective, especially with the slightly more natural flies. When fishing on a little more hard and open shore with strong winds, I sometimes use a #7 rod and intermediate line, but that is often a
rarity as a #6 and floating line also do well there with loaded flies.
One of the better ones 28/08/2021
I awoke early this morning to grey skies. There was drizzle in the air, a strong wind from the north and the temperature crept up to 16 degrees. With these conditions, it would not take long before I was standing in the fjord once again, but the fish did not really want to participate. This made no sense in relation to my experience, but that's just fishing for you sometimes. After three hours of intensive fishing in the slightly deeper part of the otherwise shallow area, I started to get ready to go home having put back only a few smaller sea trout, with no sign whatsoever of a bigger fish. Even though I had decided to head home, I could still not help but try casting my line out over the shallow water. I had actually decided to skip the shallows on the way out because I did not believe that there would be fish so close to shore. But there were! After only very few casts, I hooked this beautiful and shiny sea trout in excellent condition. It was certainly not without a struggle as this one really did not want to end up in my net. Time and time again I got it just close enough, got the net off my back and was ready to land it. But each and every time it pulled 10 metres of line out from the reel as if it were nothing. My forearm was as worn out as the sea trout before it finally fell into my net. But into the net it came. One of the better ones! By Sven Riber Hougaard
ONE DAY’S FISHING IS NEVER ENOUGH! If you intend to hunt Fyn’s sea trout over several days, there is good news for you and your fishing buddy: Stay in an authentic angler’s cottage and get more fishing time by the water.
long the coasts of Fyn, Ærø and Langeland there are more than 30 certified accommodation establishments, all making us anglers, in particular, very welcome. That means they are aware of the things that matter to us. The accommodation establishments have local knowledge of the fishing; they can assist with procuring certified sea trout guides, fishing licences, you can dry and store your gear and even hire fishing boats and kayaks – and much more besides!
ALL THESE ESTABLISHMENTS CAN BE FOUND VIA
AND YOU WILL RECOGNISE THEM BY THIS SIGN:
HAVØRRED FYN PARTNER
From medieval castle to fishing lodge... The dream of a luxury fishing lodge Fishing Lodge Fyn has a completely unique and historic setting that tells the story of 700 years of Danish history, while at the same time providing the facilities that well-travelled fishing tourists demand.
abroad in 2019. Guests at the lodge have primarily been sea trout fishing enthusiasts, but there have also been many visits from “fishing newbies” and families looking to share fishing and nature experiences.
Three fishing guides from Fyn: Niklas Haugegaard Albrecthsen, Claus Eklundh Christensen and Kenneth Birler met up in 2018 for an informal discussion about fishing and about tourism on Fyn for amateur fishing enthusiasts. In their everyday lives, each of them run their own businesses on a professional basis, providing guide services, fishing courses and a hotel with restaurant, respectively. They soon came up with a common vision of a unique and luxurious fishing lodge on Fyn, yet with the ambition that Fishing Lodge Fyn should be financially accessible to most people. The idea bore fruit and Fishing Lodge Fyn opened its doors to fishing guests from both Denmark and
With Broholm Slot castle as a backdrop and base for the fishing lodge on Southeast Fyn, the history of the lodge dates all the way back to the year 1326, which will surround guests in an atmosphere that simply does not exist anywhere else. With financial backing from LAG, the frameworks and services required by visiting anglers from all over the world have been created. One of the castle's former libraries from 1850 has been converted into a large wader and fishing tackle room for the safe storage and drying of tackle after hours of fishing use. For visiting anglers who have not brought their own fishing tackle, such can be rented when staying at the lodge for a
fishing trip. Fishing Lodge Fyn is on South-east Fyn, just a few minutes’ drive from the area’s very finest fishing spots. The islands of Tåsinge and Langeland are close by and, thanks to ferry departures to completely unique islands, this is the perfect destination for anglers seeking opportunities to fish regardless of wind direction and season. Fishing Lodge Fyn offers stays ranging from quarter to full board, spiced with delicious local food and drink experiences, all served in surroundings that are both beautiful, and historic. You also have the opportunity to take advantage of our guide service, both on shore and on our specially designed boat, which is sailed by an experienced fishing guide with extensive local knowledge. Our fishing guides use well-known, tried-
and-tested techniques with both spin and fly gear, while at the same time constantly testing and developing new and exciting techniques, which we actively test and share with our fishing guests. You can be sure of a great outdoor fishing experience with our certified Sea Trout Fyn guides! The castle is comfortable, not too big and offers rooms which are all different and uniquely authentic. Guests will find themselves comfortable and at ease sharing their fishermen’s tales, and there is little doubt that “the sea trout that got away” will grow bigger and bigger as the night grows long. Fishing Lodge Fyn has hosted several angling events and fly-binding evenings, film premières and talks/presentations with room for 60-70 visitors. Fishing Lodge Fyn is surrounded by a moat and has its very own castle lake, where there is good pike fishing. As one of our guests, you can therefore end your day of coastal sea trout fishing by catching perhaps your very first or largest ever pike, just outside your room at the fishing lodge. The success of a fishing trip depends not only on the number of fish caught. Rather, it depends on a combination of the extensive package offered in the wild, where Denmark's most unique fishing lodge, the wind, the water, the fishing, the wildlife and sense of shoreline community all come together to create the best fishing experiences…
A FREE COPY OF... ...this magazine is available at these fishing stores in Fyn:
A FREE COPY OF THIS MAGAZINE... ...is available at these European “sea trout friendly” stores: Are you a fishing store? Would you like to expose this magazine: Write us at: email@example.com
Vandpleje Fyn Good sea trout fishing on the coast starts in rivers and streams.
andpleje Fyn is a voluntary organisation associated with Fyn's angling clubs. Vandpleje Fyn is responsible for the aquatic management of rivers and streams, aiming to improve spawning conditions for sea trout and following up by ensuring optimal conditions for fry in freshwater rivers and streams as they grow. This is achieved by laying out spawning banks and concealment stones in Fyn’s lovely narrow streams. Vandpleje Fyn participates in the collection of parent fish during late autumn. The fish we collect are massaged to extract eggs and semen, which later become the smolts that Havørred Fyn eventually releases into estuaries. When smolts are released during the spring, Vandpleje Fyn is once again ready to take care of the small fish in the first
days of their life in the wild. Fish-eating birds are scared away from the flocks of smolt for the first three days, after which they naturally spread out from the release site and have to fend for themselves. Other tasks include flushing out siltedup spawning banks in the watercourses, planting aquatic plants or “laying out
dead wood” as they call it. Tree trunks are placed in the streams to create variety and become occupied by a host of river insects, who use them as places to live. In short, Vandpleje Fyn does a lot of smaller-scale river and stream restoration tasks of the type that can be done with tools such as shovels and rakes or small machinery.
Denmark has committed to ensuring that all watercourses included in Denmark’s so-called “water plans” are in a good ecological condition by 2027. Even though Fyn is already ahead of other parts of Denmark, there still remains plenty to do before this goal is achieved, however. Some readers are probably asking “and why might an organisation like Vandpleje Fyn be so important?” To find out the answer to this question, let’s take a trip to the coast and try to catch some sea trout. This is where the answer lies to the question of why the condition of small streams is important.
Fishing and the hunt for the dream catch
I have always been fascinated by the notion that you can go out and catch sea trout in shallow coastal waters with fly or spin. This remarkable species of fish is found close to the shore and can be enticed into biting all year round. “Fantastic” is the word I use to describe sea trout because every year they travel an incredible journey between salt water in the sea and fresh water in the narrowest streams.
I have been on that journey for over 25 years and not once have I become bored or felt cheated of a sense of excitement and fascination. I fish for sea trout on the coast, and when they head off to the streams to spawn during the late autumn, I follow them, not with my fishing rod, but with my camera and a sense of humility. I know where the sea trout's favourite spawning banks are, where I can quietly observe the trophy fish I dream of catching on the shore. I would never dream of fishing for
them here in the stream, but instead allow myself to marvel at their play and fights. One late November afternoon some years ago, I thus found myself moved to tears, as I observed a pair of sea trout at play on a spawning bank in one of Fyn’s narrow streams. This was mostly because this was probably the largest pair of sea trout I have ever seen at play together. Both fish were “on the right side” of 6 kg and I watched them quietly for more than half an hour as they buried their fertilised eggs into the spawning bank.
The tears in my eyes were of course due to the amazing experience I was privileged to see. I was absorbed in a “bubble” of respect for the fish and felt humble and honoured to be able to observe something so incredible right up close. It may well have been that this was the very moment that it dawned on me that I had just witnessed one of the most important natural phenomena to me as a coastal fisherman; spawning sea trout in a stream, whose fry will eventually find their way to the salt water, where I would be able to catch them. The equation in that calculation is actually rather simple. If we have no sea trout spawning in our streams, we have no sea trout fishing on the coast. The quality of Fyn’s coastal fishing is therefore entirely dependent on the conditions in our many small streams. I felt as if I owed a debt to the sea trout. Sea trout have given me so much in the form of amazing moments on the coast for many years. They have allowed themselves to be outwitted and caught by my flies. They had been at the scenes of my greatest victories and had also played a part in my greatest defeats. How, though, could I help the sea trout as a coastal fisherman? How could I pay back some of the angling debt I had now owed? It turned out that there was a simple answer to that question, so I am now part of Vandpleje Fyn and take part in the voluntary work they do in the streams. It has brought me closer to my absolute favourite fish and has given me an even greater respect for sea trout than I ever had before.
For the sea trout!
The scene is a sweaty July afternoon. The pile of spawning gravel seems vast, as I stand here with the other eight volunteers with wheelbarrows and shovels. We are laying out new spawning banks in a watercourse on Fyn and topping up the gravel on old worn-out spawning banks. This hard physical work is a summer activity. We wait until all the fry are safely away from the existing spawning banks before walking around them and preparing them. We see no adult sea trout in the stream now and it seems to be almost deserted and quiet. We fill one wheelbarrow after another with spawning gravel and trundle them out into the stream. A newly established spawning bank like this is a fine sight to behold. And the sea trout show so much gratitude. If we lay a spawning bank in July, it will already be in use by sea trout as early as next winter. We all agree that we will return then to see the results of our work. Seeing sea trout spawning on a spawning bank you have helped to build is the ultimate end to the summer's hard work. This is the exact point where the circle is completed and many of our first-time volunteers finally fully understand the importance of the work that Vandpleje Fyn does. The spawning bank has now been laid, but our work is far from done. Along the shore of the stream are large sacks full of stones ranging in size from clenched fist to football. Putting spawning banks into streams means that you must also ensure that the new fry in this part of the river
has places to hide. This is the only way to see the full benefit of the new spawning banks. It is tough, sweaty work, but the job is done in a few hours. We leave the spot to rest and recover until the adult sea trout arrive to inspect our work sometime in November. By then I will be back on the coast of course, eagerly trying to catch the sea trout who have decided to skip a year of spawning. I love fishing for sea trout. Sea trout are the reason why I have never lived anywhere other than on Fyn since the day I was born. I can fish for sea trout all year round here. I owe such a debt to sea trout, but I have found a way to repay just a little of it through Vandpleje Fyn. I always fish for sea trout on the coast, but our rivers and streams are where all our great coastal fishing is created. With no good streams, we have no good sea trout at the coast. It is a simple mathematical equation. This is the same equation upon which Vandpleje Fyn bases its work and which means that we have to take extra care of these small waterways in our landscape. Luckily that is what we do, because this is the only way that Fyn can retain its status as the sea trout capital of Denmark.
Happy fishing out there on Fyn’s coastline! Chris Gregers Halling. Chairman of Vandpleje Fyn.
My favourite lures – spring and Autumn
y name is Jack Schulz. I am 43 years old and was born and raised in central Odense. I now live on Tåsinge with my wife and three children. I am a trained locksmith, but I make my living by selling fishing tackle and advising people about
sea trout fishing. The shop where I work is called Odense Jagt & Fritid. I have spent the last 27 years fishing obsessively for sea trout on the coasts of the Danish island of Fyn. The first many years were mainly spent fishing every stretch I could find on
Odense fjord. When I was old enough to drive a car, Hindsholm became my “home ground” for the next 20 years. These days I mostly fish near where I live, so mainly on the islands Tåsinge and Langeland, just south of Fyn.
a triple hook to one ring and the line to the other. This is one of my favourites. Metal spoon blink lures are made by skilled lure makers, who have bent the spoon lure countless times to make it move exactly as desired. The system that spoon blink lures are based on is one that I absolutely love – and so do sea trout, apparently. In my opinion, a metal spoon blink lure is the most effective lure you can use on the coast. My favourite is the white stripper. This is an unpredictable lure that moves through the water in a crazily chaotic manner. My other choice is a good old-fashioned MoreSilda, which is the exact opposite to the stripper. This is an s-bend metal spoon blink lure. This means that it moves incredibly beautifully and calmly through the water, with a completely uniform motion.
Spring on the coast is the top season for me personally, with hungry winter fish that head out from Fyn’s streams and bays to devour whatever they can catch, and it is precisely this voraciousness that is key to trout fishermen like me. Generally, I find that when I encounter fish during the spring, they are very keen to bite and are not particularly fussy about our choice of lures. The fish often move around in larger
or smaller shoals, so when you finally find them, you will often hook more than just a single sea trout.
In this section, I will tell you about my favourite spring sea trout fishing lures.
Metal spoon “blink” lures, i.e. a lure
that is made of pressed steel sheet, with spring-loaded rings at both ends, to attach
These have gradually become a big feature of every tackle box owned by Fyn’s anglers. I think this is mainly because they can be cast far and that they are comfortable to fish with. For me at least, a thru lure has nothing in common with a blink lure. As far as I can tell, these are pirk lures. Basically, they are a perfectly ordinary cod pirk in a low-mass casting for fishing in the shallow waters where sea trout often find their prey. My favourite thru lure is called the Hotshot and is available in various different configurations. This variation of a thru lure moves in a very similar way to
the stripper. The 15 gram Hotshot is my personal favourite. It moves the best, casts well and catches a lot of fish.
A good old-fashioned super-lure. A wobbler’s greatest strength is probably that it moves high in the water in connection with both slow and fast reeling. It can outperform everything else in the early spring when the waters can still be cold. While we are on the topic, now is the time to start talking about the fly and fly fishing. To me, the fly and the wobbler belong in the same category; “boring” lures, which can be deadly to sea trout on a cold spring day. My favourite wobblers are “Den Stive” ("The Stiff") and Salty, which both weigh 12 grams. These two lures in particular have the features I need on a cold spring day. When the fly rod is used, usually a piglet is tied at the end of the bait.
Autumn on the coast and by the fjord is
an extremely exciting time of the year. Sea trout go into spawning mode, change colour and are transformed into the most beautiful creatures. This is an amazing transformation where the fish go from being shiny like polished steel to looking like exotic fish from another part of the world. Their behaviour also changes a lot and they are not as willing to cooperate as they are in the spring. They do not eat very much and respond more to provocation than to appetite. They are often found in eerily shallow water, and every year I am still surprised that a cast towards land in 25 cm of water will often give a good catch. The vast majority of fish you catch during the autumn can be seen in groups behind the lure, just before they bite. This visual theatre makes autumn fishing something altogether special!
In this section, I will tell you about my favourite lures for autumn sea trout fishing. I am probably a bit boring in my choice of lures because I use the same ones all year round. However, I would say that the Stripper is at the end of my line almost
80% of the time during the autumn. It provokes a reaction more than any other lure in my tackle box and can, as already mentioned, be the deciding factor. I think that fishing should be simple. By that, I mean that there is no such thing as a lure that can conjure a fish out of the seaweed that is not there. Fishing is first and foremost about actually finding the fish, and the more water you fish, the greater your chances of finding them. Sea trout fishing is actually pretty simple but can sometimes be hard work!
I don’t actually think that colour is all that important. I am far more convinced that the movement of the lure itself can often be the deciding factor. The white aces. White is the colour I can best see in the water when I am fishing, so I therefore believe that this is the colour that is most visible to fish. When fishing long stretches along the coast, it is important to choose a type of lure that will draw attention to itself. We often fish over dark beds in our quest for sea trout, so white is therefore a good contrast. Fish, like us, can easily see the lure from a long distance. White stands out and is a completely unnatural colour, which (at least as far as I can see) is a huge advantage. I have rarely experienced that natural colours are better at finding fish than unnatural ones. Sea trout prey like sand eels, shrimp, cuttlefish and the like are all camouflaged, so sea trout and the other predators find it difficult to see, find and ultimately eat them. It makes little sense to me, therefore, to camouflage lures or flies too much, because this is just making things harder for ourselves than they need to be. Jack Schultz
CLAUS EKLUNDH CHRISTENSEN
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OMAR BO GADE
From Germany to Fyn to become a guide From tourist to professional guide in Fyn, the telling of a special story. “vintage” rubber boots in the water. Angry with my dad to not have a pair of proper adult waders for me. When suddenly a nice fish took my lure! After 5 minutes of fight and shakings in the water, my dad landed for me a nice silver 55 cm sea trout. That was the start of my love for sea trout fishing and the waters that surrounds the Island of Fyn.
The following years my family and I stayed and fished on Fyn every easter and sometimes in the summertime as well. I spent all my time in the water, and I got to know the Island more and more. I always spin fished, and after fishing with the spin rod for years, I started fly fishing taught by my dad. I was absolutely amazed after catching the first sea trout in that way. Since then, fly casting and tying my own flies improved every year, and I caught a good number of beautiful sea trout.
After finishing the high school in Germany in March 2014, I wanted to fish for a couple of days for sea trout, but I didn’t know where to stay. Sleeping in a tent was too cold and summer houses where only possible to book for a full week. So, I asked Claus Eriksen – which I was lucky in meeting several times at the coast during fishing around Fyns Hoved – if he could suggest a good place to stay. He answered right away and suggested a new place: Denmark Fishing & Outdoor Lodge.
y story on Fyn began fishing on a small reef during a summer evening 16 years ago. My family and I stayed in a cabin for a week, and me and my father went out fishing every single day. My father is a truly passionate fishermen, and
he were taking me fishing any time and everywhere possible.
That first day 16 years ago, I clearly remember that I was standing with my
To make a long story short; I booked a room there. I had a fantastic time and was not only hooked to sea trout fishing, but now also to the amazing atmosphere at the Lodge. Being among other experienced
fishermen all day, staying at a cozy and comfortable place while enjoying delicious Italian cuisine, was for me an unbeatable combination. I met fishermen from other parts of Europe, and I felt like home. Driving back to Germany, I thought that I had to show that place to my father. I had a good excuse to come back again soon. So just a couple of months later I
semester holidays. In this period, I got to know the spots on Fyn even better than before, and I was taught how to guide in a professional way. Omar took me out with guests every time it was possible. I was staying in the only accommodation in Denmark that was working full time in hosting and guiding sea trout fishermen
sounds funny, I know) and this number of years of experience were paying off on well-chosen spots! So, all three were able to catch some decent sea trout. The sparkling and happiness you see in the eyes of a person who is catching the first sea trout on the Danish coast is the same. A young kid or a 75-year-old gentleman from England. And that’s exactly what
convinced him. I returned to the Lodge with my father for three days stay and he was absolutely caught by the Lodge – just like me. One year later, I decided to contact Omar Gade, the founder of the Denmark Fishing Lodge. Asking him if they could need some help from a young, motivated fisherman – he remembered me, and he replied positively. That was the first step into my future work in the fishing business. From that point on, I came from the middle of Germany to the southwest part of Fyn, to stay and help at the Lodge two months every year, during my university
coming from all over the world – there was so much to learn for me!
fascinates me in being a guide; Everyone is the same at the coast and reacts very similar with a sea trout at the end of the line. One example for the younger generation; a guiding trip with a German family. The two kids, 10 and 14 years old, just started fly fishing, while the parents were spin fishing. The result of the day was a big win for “Team Kids”. Even though they were “only” casting 10 to 12 meters, they were catching some fish between 40 and 50 cm, while their parents just caught some smaller fish. And the above-mentioned happiness was obvious when the two boys caught their first fish.
After days and hundreds of hours as an observer and assistant guide, I finally got the opportunity to take first group of fishermen to the coast. Three older gentlemen from the south of England. They were very classy and “old school” fly fishermen. One of them was even fishing a double hand with a DT-Line. Even if I tried to convince him, without too many pressures, it was not possible to win him for a single hand rod. Combined, they had not less than 150 years of experience (which
A fishing tip from me. Not rarely I see or catch fish in knee deep water. Staying as close to the shore as possible and covering the water you wade in with a parallel cast is very important. You don’t want to spook a big fish relaxing or feeding in less than 50 cm shallow water!
started fishing. Guiding here on Fyn is very challenging and stimulating for me. Compared to other destinations, here a guide needs a huge number of hours and years of experience to get the necessary knowledge of the many kilometers of waters we have.
Before you get to the happiness of the guest, the harder part of being a guide must be done; bringing people into fish, where the fish are in that exact moment. Many different things as season, water temperature, weather, tide, current and others needs to be considered. The day must be used as efficiently as possible. There is no time to fish on spots with bad water conditions or no fish around. Next point is that these well-chosen spots need to be fished in the right way. That needs to be well explained, especially to people who are new to the Danish coast or just
Ok… Now it is time to get back to the story of how I ended up being a fishing guide on Fyn.
After finishing university in 2019, I was proud that I got the offer to work full time at Denmark Fishing Lodge. I didn’t need to think long about taking the job or not, and in May 2020 I finally moved to Denmark.
At the Denmark Fishing Lodge, we build
up a whole new Lodge, entirely designed and built for fishermen. Same concept as before, with the same interior atmosphere and charm like the former one, located on Helnaes in the period 2013 to 2018.
After long days, building up the new Lodge, we still found some time for short evening fishing sessions to one of the many good spots around here in southwest Fyn. The nearest spot to the lodge can even be reached by a 5 minutes’ walk. We today call it our “home pool”.
In August 2021 we finally opened the new doors for fishermen from all over Europe and the rest of the world. As I am writing this article, in September 2021, we are already daily hosting and guiding several fishermen from different countries. People are catching good numbers of fish and the
same old spirit is transferred to our new location. During the season I am spending many days out guiding on the coast. Just two weeks ago I was guiding five days in a row. A fly fisherman from France, who lived and fished many years around Boston, USA. His main fishing there was for Striped Bass on the Cape Cod. He never fished in Denmark before and was really amazed after the first day out we had. He found many similarities to the fishing and the nature over there. We had a good number and size of fish every day and he will surely come back to Fyn.
All these many interactions with different people from different countries, age, and mindset, makes it so interesting and various for me to work as a fishing guide.
Hope to see you on the coast!
Jan Nachtigal Guide hos Denmark Fishing & Outdoor Lodge
Fyn’s sea trout Eldorado 12 months a year Is there one season you could call peak season for coastal sea trout fishing? Absolutely not, at least in my opinion. Peak season is pretty much all year round for coastal fishing.
Is there one season you could call peak season for coastal sea trout fishing? Absolutely not, at least in my opinion. Peak season is pretty much all year round for coastal fishing. For sure, most of the tourists we see fishing for sea trout along the coastline of Fyn come here during the spring and autumn. Old textbooks tell us that precisely this period is meant to be peak season for catching these coastal, beautiful fish right. Sea trout are active all year round, however, so there are plenty of good reasons for you to start considering whether to visit Fyn during any of the seasons of the year.
There are absolutely fantastic coastal sea trout fishing opportunities during winter chill and summer heat. Follow me through these two seasons, which textbooks so seldom refer to as “peak season”, but which offer incredibly exciting fishing opportunities and catches that may well surprise you.
Denmark may not be the coldest place in the world during the winter months, but you can certainly feel the chill in your fingers, regardless. Actual snow is rare here, but with temperatures near freezing point and a biting wind from the west,
wet fly line fingers will be cold enough to remind you that winter has indeed come. I have headed to the fjord, because this is where sea trout can often be found during the cold period. Shallow fjord waters heat up faster in even the weakest sun. Tiny shrimp and amphipod larvae are awakened by even the slightest rises in temperature. Fjord water is often also less saline, which suits sea trout well when the water is cold. Many enthusiasts report bonanza fishing in the spring, but fishing is so superb in the winter that it is actually the time of year when I experience the largest shallow water shoals of foraging sea trout. Swimming in large shoals, they inspect every patch of
seaweed in the shallow waters in search of food. If the water surface is calm, you will often be able to see this as they migrate along the coast. But there is also more out here than just the shoals of ordinary fish. At the outer edge of such a shoal you will see a large shadow moving around. This is not part of the shoal but stays at a constant distance of four to five metres from it. This is a sea trout of an altogether different size than the ordinary fish in the main shoal. All summer long, this trout has roamed the open coast in solitude, feasting on herring and sand eel. It is “taking a year off” and will not be spawning this year. It has instead headed into the fjord, where the water is nicer, and food is more accessible. It has roamed alone all through the summer and autumn, but now encounters shoals of smaller fish and will often stay close to them. This trout does not join the shoal, but often stays very close to it. Catching such a winter spawn “skipper” like this is a wish that is very high on the wish list of every coastal fisherman. At no time is the sea trout finer than right now in the winter cold. The trick, of course, is to get it to bite without catching the ordinary fish in the
shoals, who are also rather keen. Winter is the real bonanza period, so you can head for Fyn in the coldest time of the year and still be sure of a catch. Some excellent fishing awaits; perhaps even the best sea trout catch you will ever catch in your whole life.
At this time of year, most tourists who come to Denmark are here to enjoy the light sand and lovely water of Denmark’s beaches. The beach is packed with happy holiday guests who will later enjoy the light summer nights in summer cottages or on the camp site. Not many people think about sea trout fishing in the summer heat, but when the last visitors depart from the beach around 22:30, it becomes a haunt for a different kind of visitor. These visitors come here in the darkest hours of the day, and they come here to hunt. As for large sea trout, there is no doubt that most of my large catches were made during summer nights.
Midnight in June
If you never see this for yourself, you will never believe it to be true. The surface is reflective like a mirror, but
there is constantly something that breaks the calm of the water’s surface; sea trout; lots of them. I have just checked the fly in my hand and am scouting out the surface of the water, when a fine sea trout catches some prey on the surface just five metres in front of me. As I start my cast, another fish turns slightly to my right and before I release the line, I see two more fish to my left. The sea trout have gone into a feeding frenzy in the huge worm swarms that often occur on a warm night like this. The fly returns to the top of my rod again. No bite. And I stand still for a moment and listen. Suddenly I notice hunting sea trout absolutely everywhere. Some of them do full turns right at my feet. They are so absorbed in their own hunt that they are oblivious to my presence. A fish catches a worm in a quick turn just 15 metres out. It's a big one. It makes a loud surface splash and sounds to my ears as if it is a lot bigger than many of the other fish nearby. I cast my fly out in the direction of the splash and quickly reel it back in again. Fast-moving bait, that’s what sea trout like during the summer. They will chase small, fast-moving prey and will ignore anything that does not look like prey that might get away. Three casts later, this
wily sea trout has still not responded to the fly but reminds me it is still here by making another loud surface splash, as if to demonstrate that it is still there and still has an appetite for more food. It is almost as if it is mocking me with the words “Hey there! Fishing rod guy! I’m right here! You don’t seriously think you can catch me, do you?” I cast my fly out to the fish several times; but there is still no reaction. 12-14 casts later it has still not followed the fly out of curiosity, not even one single time. Once again, it breaks the surface. It is still mocking me, and the glow of my frustration must have been brighter than the ever-present bright streak on the horizon. I cast my fly yet again, supporting the fly rod under my right arm. I wind the fly line with both hands. Like little windmills in a fresh wind, my hands wind and wind and the fly moves so fast as it passes the spot where the fish has appeared repeatedly. And there it is.... I just manage to sense a wave of water pressure in pursuit of the fly, as the bite falls hard. As the sea trout turns its snout outwards again, I am in no doubt whatsoever, not even for a second. This is the wily trout I had seen,
and it appeared to be even bigger than I’d thought. These summer fish are really really strong. They have built up a good muscle mass from the many nutrients that are available at this time of year. The fish quickly empties my line basket and continues outwards towards deeper and safer water. I have tried this many times, as the magic of summer nights has enchanted me ever since I started fishing on the shore. There is no other time of year when you see more sea trout than right now. Even the normally large fish-eating sea trout now come to the shallow waters to partake of the nocturnal feasting. Eventually, even a strong adult sea trout must give up the fight, however, and I place my catch on an inverted small dinghy at the water's edge, as an owl hoots in the woods behind me. A curious fox nearby watched the battle before continuing its own hunt. A marten on bird's-nest raid raises its head as if to congratulate me on my fine catch. The night is buzzing with life and exciting experiences, and even though I am the only person on the coast right now, I never feel alone.
Danish summer nights are just simply enchanting.
The sea trout season is all year round
As a fishing tourist, you probably mostly visit Fyn during the spring and autumn. But next time, consider coming outside the tried and tested peak season. It is peak season for sea trout all year round here on Fyn. Running into a large flock of hunting winter sea trout with a trophy fish at the edge of the shoal, or standing in water up to your knees on a summer night surrounded by ferocious sea trout as they hunt, are experiences that will be hard not to boast about when talking about your fishing adventure on Fyn with your fishing buddies back home. And Fyn’s sea trout are ready to welcome you all year round.
Chris Gregers Halling Angler and Chairman of Vandpleje Fyn
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