You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2007.

Like all island nations, seafood plays a major role in the diet of Danes. Sole, halibut, cod, salmon, eel, herring and mackerel are just some of the common eaten species, especially during the festive season. A glance through the window of a fish store is always interesting. Not only does it give you an idea what is available seasonally, it allows you to make comparison in prices with fish that are sold in Canada.

The items on the left side of the window are mostly eggs from various saltwater species. Cod eggs are regularly eaten over here. Tuna cutlets were available at 200 Kroners (CAD$40) per pound! 1 piece of atlantic salmon (approx. 150 grams) costs 55 Kroners (CAD$11)!! It’s not cheap to enjoy seafood here.

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It was ridiculously windy over here as usual. We fished briefly just after lunch. This sea trout swallowed the 15 gram lure, cleared the water twice, made a few long runs and kept us scrambling on the rocks to find a good landing spot. It was not exactly the nicest fish. The locals call these “black fish”, which are post spawners. They are pretty common even in fjords and harbours this time of the year. Oh well, I sent it back after a couple of photos. Bring on the silver ones please.

This year is coming to an end. After browsing and sorting through hundreds of photographs, I have chosen my 12 favorites, one for each month of 2007.

January: Danish sea trout
This fish was by-caught in a Danish stream while fishing for european perch with a large streamer. The fish was most likely a recovering post-spawner, but it sure took the fly hard. The gigantic mouth is a typical characteristic of this predatory species that engulfs anything that comes across its path.

February: Winter bull trout
After returning from Denmark, we ventured to the Squamish River as usual for winter bull trout on a snowy day. This fish took a large flesh fly surprisingly as I walked and tossed through this fast run.

March: Islander reel
March was a sad and unproductive month in 2007. Beside a few small kokanees and one blind winter steelhead, we ended up sightseeing during most trips. This frog was very willing to pose with my new silver Islander LX 3.4, which has been a fantastic reel to pair up with the 6 weight.

April: Lake cutthroat trout
This was my biggest cutthroat trout to date on a rather breezy, wet day just after ice-off.

May: Spawning rainbow trout
During a trip to Leighton Lake in Interior BC, I took some time to visit the nearby spawning channel and watched dozens of rainbow trout staging and fighting for territory.

June: Slippery and wiggly
Although small, peamouth chub are abundant in the summer and great fun for those who want to learn how to fish. I brought my friend chester out on a sunny day and he managed to hook a few of these.

July: Say ah!
Yes, they are hated, but those who have not tried fishing for them would only underestimate their strength. Check out the razor-sharp teeth lining along the edge of that large bucket!

August: Wet wading in a warm evening
A warm summer that involves wet wading along the Mighty Thompson where hungry bows seek out surface flies can almost be defined as paradise.

September: Fresh pinky!
This was Erin’s first salmon ever. Notice that all the scales are intact on this pink salmon. They are always this fresh when passing through the Fraser River mouth.

October: Sneaky coho, conquered at last
This fish was especially memorable because I had just lost three other coho salmon in a row during this outing with Randy from Ultimate Sportfishing on the Harrison River.

November: Late freshies
Salmon fishing usually tapers off in November but fresh coho salmon are not as difficult to hunt down as most believe. This was one of twelve fish that we were able to brought to the net during a mid-November outing.

December: Beach patrolling
Now we are back in Denmark, seeking for Baltic sea trout along the Danish chalk coastline. Perhaps you will finally see a fish posing in front of this background in January 2008.

Make sure you guys check out some of the other pictorial features that we have put up in the photo gallery this year.

Today’s announcement

Stealth Fishing has just introduced a new “traditional series”. There are two sizes available – 23 grams (pink top) and 28 grams (orange top). The new traditional series floats have been extensively tested and are super tough.
 
Check them out at www.stealthfishing.com

Enjoy stuffing yourself with the turkey and the stuffings tonight!

A large high pressure has hovered around Denmark for over a week now. You would think that translates into clear, sunny sky. Instead, we just had dense fog and subzero temperature. The weather is expected to turn in the next few days as the high pressure moves on, meaning we will be back to milder but typically windier weather once again. Ryan, Lars and I took adventage of the last calm day by visiting the local beach.

There are no fish to report once again unfortunately. We spotted some large rainbow trout that escaped from nearby farms as we waded through the weedbeds. A few followed the fly, but none committed.

The photos pretty much sum it up – Foggy, grey, cold and fishless. These almost look black and white.

Yesterday we took a trip into Copenhagen. It’s a pretty routine trip really, because we are only ten minutes by train from Downtown. I took some photographs along the way.

The main modes of transportation around Copenhagen are bicycles, trains, metro and busses. If you live anywhere within 50km from Copenhagen, then you can get around with ease on a train. The waiting time is usually short, because a train goes by a station once every ten minutes on weekdays. Travelling time is in fact faster than a car, without the stress too.

The Central Station in Copenhagen was packed with travellers who were making their way home for Christmas. This is the main stop to all the small towns in Denmark as well as major cities around Europe.

As usual, a giant Christmas tree stands at the main square in front of the town hall.

Pigeons gathered on a statue, tucking themselves tightly for warmth.

Nyhavn is probably the most popular tourist location in Copenhagen. Its colourful buildings and old boats are too often featured in postcard photos, which tend to give people the perception that all of Denmark looks like Nyhavn. This harbour is filled with both locals and tourists in the summer, when canal boat tours and outdoor cafes are available. In the winter months, it is not as exciting. Christmas market runs in December, which is usually likely attended by locals, but it has its own charm.

One more day until the feast begins. Merry Christmas everyone!

Well, after three outings since our arrival last week with only a couple of tugs and a lost northern pike to show, it is getting rather discouraging. Temperature has been dropping, which means the little amount of fish around are even less active now.

We live in the central part of Copenhagen, where bakeries can be found at just about every corner. It is a sweet adventure for the taste buds everytime you step into one of these. The Danes take their baked goods very seriously.

Today we had a change of scenery. I was guided by two local avid beach fishermen who are constantly chasing sea trout. Sea trout, or migratory brown trout, is a rather fascinating species with a complex life history. As adults, they spend time feeding in the fjords or ocean and return to their natal streams when spawning. This is somewhat similar to pacific salmonids, except the timing of return is irregular. Some may choose to stay in the marine environment for an extra year until condition favours spawning. As a result, the size variation of fish caught on the beach is quite significant throughout the year.

Henrik and Lars decided to take me to a new location where I have not seen in the southern part of Zealand. Apparently the fishing during the week was good for some locals, who managed to land up to 25 fish on spinning gear. It means nothing really, since sea trout are constantly on the move. They follow the food source and seek out pockets of warmer water during the winter months. Well, appparently food and warm baths were further away from the beaches today, because we did not hit a single fish. The key was to cast into the darker weed patches, retrieve, and take one step and repeat the process. This ensures that the entire beach section is thoroughly fished. It’s basically steelhead fishing, except with a million gallons more water.

I managed to take some photos of the coastline, which is quite typical around Denmark. Notice the clay erosion on some of the small cliffs. It is an ongoing process caused by rain, freezing and melting.

Today’s announcement

BERRY’S FLY TYING CLASS 2008

Sign up now, for our 4 week, fly tying class.

Beginner class specializing in trout patterns. All tools and materials are supplied and included in the course fee (tools are on loan). The class fee is $ 100.00 and payable in advance of the class starts date. All students enrolled in the class will be eligible to purchase all fly tying materials at 10% off regular price for the duration of the class.

The next classes are slated to begin on Friday Jan 11th, 2008, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm here at the shop. Class will run through until Feb 1st, 2008 (last class).
 
This class will focus on Trout flies to get you ready for ice off!

– Class size is generally from 6-10, depending upon enrollment, minimum 5 people.
– Instructor: Matt Suzuki
– Flies covered include:

  • Tom Thumb
  • Half/ Full Back
  • Wooly Bugger
  • Doc Spratley
  • Hare’ Ear
  • Mickey Finn
  • Pheasant Tail Nymph

Sign-up by visiting Berry’s Bait and Tackle, phone 604-273-5901 or email support@berrysbait.com.

Well, we ventured out to the fishing ground for the first time since we arrived in Denmark a few days ago. The weather was surprisingly mild, sunny and CALM. Persistent wind can really drive you crazy on this island nation at times. Today, we could cast in all directions without worrying about being blown around. The glassy water surface was also relaxing to look at. We visited a river where we have fished regularly. It produces sea trout, northern pike, european perch and a few other coarse fish species. Today, the target species are the three predatory fish mentioned above. Fishing can be good in the winter. The temperature is low, fish are not as mobile, so only big food items would tempt a strike.

Cost of fishing this river is much higher than what would cost to fish in BC. Beside the CAD$30 annual license, a day card that costs CAD$15 is also required.

Anyway, perhaps it was the nice weather, the fishing was not exactly spectacular. The first few hours were unproductive. Once the river was shaded in the afternoon, I managed to hook a small northern pike, which managed to wiggle itself into the weeds. I was able to pull it out, but the hook popped off when I carelessly horsed it to shore in the end.

We also explored a new section of the river, where I missed a few more good takes. Just when we were about to call it a day, I somehow foul-hooked a poor bream, which gave me some of its snot-like slime before I sent it back to the drink.

Beach fishing for sea trout tomorrow. Perhaps we will have better luck there.

Today’s announcement

Thomas at TNT Marine is looking to see what kind of interest there is in a jet boat association for the Fraser Valley and southwestern BC. As number of jet boaters grows significantly each year, there seems to be guidance needed for newcomers and people who have been boating for years.

Jet boating is becoming more and more popular each year, we have noticed that a lot of people are not only using their boats for fishing but for a little bit of everything. He will be having an open house at TNT MARINE on January 19th 2008 at 3:00pm.

This will be a trial to see how many people are interested in forming an association. You can email Thomas at thomasr@t-n-tmarine.com if you are going to attend, or just show up.

Our Nordic exploration has once again begun. Each winter, I spend December and January in Denmark to spend the festive holidays with Nina and her family. The food is usually the highlight. There will of course be some fishing for species that are not found in Canada. Stay tuned for future postings, as I will update throughout the trip when interesting places are visited, good food is eaten and fish are caught.

Our Lufthansa flight from Vancouver to Frankfurt was long but uneventful as usual. We departed and took our time to get through the clouds as snow fell in the Fraser Valley. We remained fairly low when crossing the Okanagan valley, so we managed to get some good shots between clouds.

Energetic passengers, prior to departure.

Flying over the coast mountain range.

Dinner arrived. We sat on the third last row, so sure enough we didn’t get a choice between two entrees and ended up with pasta.

Yum...

Nina did not seem so impressed.

I saw Northern light for the first time as we flew over Greenland. Too bad the camera could not capture the view.

Breakfast seemed much better.

Circling around Frankfurt before landing. It is one of the most heavily used international airport in Europe.

The landing of the big bird was smooth, despite of heavy wind.

Stupidity began once we pulled up to our terminal (second plane from right in the photo below). A SAS MD-82 (the tiny one hiding behind the our big airbus in the photo) pulled up beside our plane as we were getting off. That was our next flight to Copenhagen. It was so close, yet so far away. We were sent onto a bus that took us to the main tranfer area, where we went through passport check. We then followed the signs and ended up between two terminals, where I took the photo below. We continued to the terminal on the opposite end, then were guided to an underground tunnel that went below all the airplanes and took us back to the original terminal, where our next flight sat. The entire trek took over 30 minutes, leaving us hot and thirsty.

The second flight is always easy, because it only takes just over one hour between Frankfurt and Copenhagen. The pilots always seem to race through this route, the actual flight time is always much shorter than expected flight time.

Sea of clouds above the Baltic Sea.

A girl can always shop after travelling for 15 hours.

So here we are, crammed into a rather small apartment. Our first fishing outing will happen tomorrow. Perhaps there will be some catches to report.