Single or double for Ammarnäs trout?
The trout population in Ammarnäs is something well known in the fly fishing genres. I have been a keen angler for this fish since the last three seasons. They grow big and are stunningly beautiful to watch. Like with every other fish, the big ones are always hard to catch and here there are only big fish being caught. The average size of the fish is about 70 cm. I have some equipment that I prefer to use and over these years I have used both single handed rods as well as double handed rods and I have caught the most of my Ammarnäs trout on a double hander. Here I will cover what's necessary to think about before you start packing down the trout rods and head over there.
First of all, you must ask yourself honestly and I hope you don't take this as offensive. If your casting skills are good enough to consider the question. If you are in favor of using a single hand rod and swinging some small streamers with that you should continue using that in the pursuit of catching big trout here as well. The same thing if you are a salmon angler and used to handle double handed rods, then you can use your double handed skills well here too! Usually, the questions I get about the subject don't come from those salmon anglers. It is more usual that a trout angler lifts up the subject so I will use the angle from that perspective here. But I will also look at the actual benefits of using a single hand rod and tell you what double handed rod lengths and line weights that is the most useful, so you salmon fisher should stay along as well.
Recommended single handed equipment: 9-9'6 foot seven or eight weight. Large to mid-arbour reel with room for plenty of backing. Slow intermediate line.
My single handed setup: XO 9'6 #7
250 meters dackspun thin backing
Benefits of a single handed rod
On most places, you have plenty enough room behind you for a proper overhand back cast so you don't have to worry so much about trees behind you. The delicate presentation of a smooth overhand cast is hard to beat. When casting it is a problem that the flies tend to be dried out when casting so you need to pull it down below the surface to get it to start fishing properly and that is not so good of course. Of that reason you need to fish a little bit heavier weighted flies and not to overuse fox hair, deer hair, bucktail or other materials that tend to float when dry. Instead, I like to use materials such as lacerdub, craft fur and faux bucktail.
Sometimes the leader break of a big fish and that is a negative aspect that you can't use a too strong leader on a seven or eight weight line because of the risk of breaking the fly line before the leader when you get stuck in rocks. I never use thicker nylon than 0,34mm on such a light line. Some places will benefit of the nice and quiet presentation you can't do with heavier gear, just think of the comparison between landing a 17g wf line on the flat surface compared to the twice as heavy shooting head.
Some places will almost be impossible to fish if you can't do an underhand cast and still reach a good distance. I don't like when people fish with too light gear for the target fish and that is why I recommend the thickest tippet possible but no matter what you will get a hell of a fight on a single hand rod.
My double handed setup:
0,70 nylon as shooting line
Ace head float to clear intermediate 33g
Benefits of double handed rods
With this heavier gear you can cast more evenly, each cast you can measure how long you want to cast and it is easy to reach the biting spots. The trout is easier to fight when you can more easily be in the driver's seat during the fight. Your flies doesn't dry out like they do after a lot of false casting and remains wet. This means that you can fish traditional hair wing and muddler flies in a good way.
It is necessary as I mentioned before to master the casting technique and do casting silently you will benefit from using it in most cases. It is common for people to use a double hander because of their benefits and may be able to reach a little bit further than with their single handed rod but completely forgetting all they know about fishing. It's like a zombie apocalypse like Louis Cahill describe in the Gink and Gasoline article here.
Why not sinking lines?
The vindel river is a rather small stream and the fish tend to rise to a fly. Also sometimes even for a dry fly or mouse. When the stream widens and slows down further down towards Kraddsele there is a possibility to fish intermediate and sinking lines.
Other good thing to bring?
- Headlamp, from the beginning of August and forward it will start to be darken during night. only use it when you are not fishing.
- Stripping guards
- Camera to capture both northern lights and fish.
Book a trip?
You can try this fishing in our new package trip Trophy Trout
Magic Head-Fly for Night Fishing
Here is a useful pattern when night fishing for big trout in Ammarnäs or Tjuonajokk. I think it is a bit odd compared to what most people fish with in rivers. My favorite way to fish this fly is in a deep and slow pool. Preferably with a floating or slow intermediate line in late August, when the nights turn really dark. The aggressive movement of the fly will be a very visible silhouette towards the sky. This fish above is caught in Ammarnäs the summer 2015 ...Read more
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