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Archive for December, 2008

Tough fishing in Denmark

Published on Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Since my arrival in Denmark just under three weeks ago, I have put in around 30 hours of fishing and all I can say is that the result has been disappointing beside the few sea trout that I connected at a slough over a week ago.

Miles of coastline have been covered and they have not yielded a single bite. The sub-zero wind chill hasn’t made the experience that enjoyable either. Fingers were constantly numb and the breathable waders have been too breathable. The scenery has been pretty nice. Crowding is definitely not a concern. I can fish for miles without seeing a single person. Perhaps everyone else is just smarter and staying indoor and getting drunk during these dark days.

While walking in anckle-deep water along the beach yesterday, I startled a sea trout that was easily in the 5 or 6lb class with my foot. It was resting in the shallow thick algae bed just several feet from shore. That pretty much ruled out the “no fish” theory.

Wind is the biggest nemesis for beach fishermen. Luckily, being on an island, we have the option of choosing the side of the island where it is not facing the wind. Occasionally the wind turns and strengthens in the last minute, which spoils the entire day’s of fishing, like today. The above photo was taken from the south end of Køge Bay, with Copenhagen in the far background. Køge Bay can be clearly seen when you fly into Copenhagen. The fishing is supposed to be pretty productive, at least from the photos of sea trout that I have seen. These sea trout have much larger girth than fish produced in other parts of the country, probably because their diet is mostly herring than shrimps.

I became so bored from the beach fishing, I started taking underwater photographs of snails.

The weather has constantly been overcast, which is not that unusual in Northern Europe. The poor lighting makes the short winter days even shorter. From first light to last light, I have about six hours of opportunities to find a fish. A few days ago, the sun finally showed itself for the first time since I arrived. I took a shot of the sunset from a beach near our apartment.

Although the days have been fishless, the food has been very good as usual.

Chilliwack River steelhead fishery

Published on Thursday, December 11th, 2008


The Chilliwack River offers a good winter steelhead fishery between December and April. Unlike the fall salmon fishery, these fish are much more difficult to catch due to the lower abundance. I’ve put together a thread in the discussion forum for those who are interested. Throughout the season, we will once again provide updated river condition as well to save you from driving out when the river is not fishable.

I cannot keep salmonids away

Published on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

We are finally back online after struggling to gain internet access in Denmark for several days. The temperature in this part of the world has been hovering between 0 and 5 degrees, but it is much colder than that when the wind chill factor is added. Mixing the cold, short, fishless days and internet-less nights, it can really drive a cyber fisherman toward insanity.

Last Monday I took advantage of the drier (but not milder) weather by heading to a slough that I have visited often in Denmark. The cost of fishing at this particular waterway (for both local and foreign anglers) is 75 Kroners per day, which is roughly around CAD$15. With such high cost and limited daylight during the winter months, I always wanted to get an early start to get my money worth. These additional daily charges certainly make anyone appreciate the relatively free angling access that is available in British Columbia. On the other hand, there are advantages when high daily usage fee is applied. Crowding is definitely not an issue anytime I want to fish at these locations. In fact, I rarely see another angler when I am out fishing. Land usage is also not abused as the designated fishing areas are rented from farmers. There are specific rules on where you can park your car, walk, and wet a line.

Armed with my light spinning rod that I have been using last month for bull trout back home, I was hoping to catch a few european perch. Some often raise their eye brows and look with disbelief when I inform them that I am targeting species other than salmonids. Salmon, trout and char are nice to look at, but spiny-ray species are just as cool in my opinion.

European perch, also known as redfins, are closely related to North America’s yellow perch. Their similarities end at the physical appearance. European perch are not always abundant, but their average size is much larger. Fish in the 1lb range is common, while trophy sizes between 2 and 4lb are encountered from time to time. Perhaps it is the availability of feed that yields these larger specimen. Perch in this part of the world inhabit lakes, rivers, sloughs and estuaries. They feed heavily on small minnows known as roaches and shrimps. The presence of northern pike may also play a factor. If the population of perch is thinned out, then more food is available so larger fish are obviously produced.

No perch were found after five hours of searching! This doesn’t mean that no fish were caught. I ended up finding species that I did not really want to catch in the first place. Sea (searun brown) trout, Salmo trutta, are not only targeted in the ocean but also in sloughs and streams when they enter to spawn. The freshwater fishery is similar to the steelhead fishery in the Pacific Northwest. The timing for fish at their prime shape is usually earlier, between late June and early November. From November until January, a mixture of fresh and spawning fish are found, therefore they cannot be kept but encountering them when targeting other species occurs regularly.

The first sea trout surprised me when it grabbed the spinner and exposed itself on the surface. It looked to be over 10lb and the line broke like silk after a few headshakes. I was baffled as not much pressure was put on the line. It turned out that I had mixed up the spools and used 4lb test main line instead of 6lb test.

By the end of the day, four sea trout were interested in my spinner. At the last location, one fish grabbed the lure with no hesitation on the first cast. Once released, I proceeded to hook a bigger one on the second cast! The first fish seemed to be freshly arrived from the ocean, while second fish was starting to enter its spawning phase.

Here are some photographs taken during the trip. Perhaps I will have some perch photographs to show next time.

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