24

February 2019

By Henrik Bundgaard Bønnelykke

Fly fishing in river Karup

Spring is the time of year when I start longing for those mild summer evenings spent along the River Karup.

I have spent some of my time during the winter months cleaning my rod and reel, lubricating my fly lines and making a few other preparations for the upcoming season, such as filling my fly boxes with newly tied flies. I have also been keeping an eye on YouTube for each and every new video about the river.

Spring is the time of year when I start longing for those mild summer evenings spent along the River Karup.

I have spent some of my time during the winter months cleaning my rod and reel, lubricating my fly lines and making a few other preparations for the upcoming season, such as filling my fly boxes with newly tied flies. I have also been keeping an eye on YouTube for each and every new video about the river.

To me, March 1st is a very special day as it marks the start of the River Karup fishing season. Although I do look forward to the fishing, it actually takes second place on this, the first day of the season. That is because the bright fish haven’t entered the river yet. Going down to the river on the day the season opens is more about traditions and meeting my angling friends, many of whom I won’t have seen since last season. The first bright sea trout are usually caught in early May, although hook-ups with sea trout fresh from the sea might happen as early as in late April. At this time of year, the sea trout’s favourite holding lies are in the river bends. Trying to find and hook one of the forerunners isn’t for the faint of heart. Since the fish are so few and far between, my tactic is to fish my way downstream relatively quickly and not to concentrate entirely on the bends. The whole idea of this rather targeted approach is to cover as much ‘promising’ water as possible. In April and May, most of the fishing for the fabled May jumper is done during the day and most anglers chose to fish with a spinner, wobbler, spoon or worm. That said, however, a well-presented fly can also do the trick in the spring.

To me, March 1st is a very special day as it marks the start of the River Karup fishing season. Although I do look forward to the fishing, it actually takes second place on this, the first day of the season. That is because the bright fish haven’t entered the river yet. Going down to the river on the day the season opens is more about traditions and meeting my angling friends, many of whom I won’t have seen since last season. The first bright sea trout are usually caught in early May, although hook-ups with sea trout fresh from the sea might happen as early as in late April. At this time of year, the sea trout’s favourite holding lies are in the river bends. Trying to find and hook one of the forerunners isn’t for the faint of heart. Since the fish are so few and far between, my tactic is to fish my way downstream relatively quickly and not to concentrate entirely on the bends. The whole idea of this rather targeted approach is to cover as much ‘promising’ water as possible. In April and May, most of the fishing for the fabled May jumper is done during the day and most anglers chose to fish with a spinner, wobbler, spoon or worm. That said, however, a well-presented fly can also do the trick in the spring.

As the days get lighter and warmer, and the first reports circulate of May jumpers being caught in the river, more anglers find their way to the river. Fly fishing is my favoured method in River Karup. I use a 10-foot single handed rod and an intermediate line weighing 16-18 grams. It can either be a shooting head or a weight forward fly line with a short, compact head of approximately 7-7.5 meters. The advantage of the weight forward tapered line is that it is a one-piece design with a smooth, integrated transition from the shooting line to the weight forward head. A shooting head, on the other hand, is attached using a loop-to-loop connection that tends to be a bit annoying when running in and out of the top ring during fights with heavy fish. You can use a 10-foot fly rod wherever you may be fishing on the River Karup – on the upper and lower beats alike. Fish your fly actively Most of the time, I fish my fly actively, constantly giving the fly movement and speed. The easiest way to do this is with a single-handed rod. Due to the scarcity of the coveted first sea trout of the season, fishing actively will increase your chances of finding one because you will cover more water than if you use a more traditional one cast one step approach. For me, this active approach has resulted in quite a few memorable moments – with fish hooked or at least raised to the fly.

As the days get lighter and warmer, and the first reports circulate of May jumpers being caught in the river, more anglers find their way to the river. Fly fishing is my favoured method in River Karup. I use a 10-foot single handed rod and an intermediate line weighing 16-18 grams. It can either be a shooting head or a weight forward fly line with a short, compact head of approximately 7-7.5 meters. The advantage of the weight forward tapered line is that it is a one-piece design with a smooth, integrated transition from the shooting line to the weight forward head. A shooting head, on the other hand, is attached using a loop-to-loop connection that tends to be a bit annoying when running in and out of the top ring during fights with heavy fish. You can use a 10-foot fly rod wherever you may be fishing on the River Karup – on the upper and lower beats alike. Fish your fly actively Most of the time, I fish my fly actively, constantly giving the fly movement and speed. The easiest way to do this is with a single-handed rod. Due to the scarcity of the coveted first sea trout of the season, fishing actively will increase your chances of finding one because you will cover more water than if you use a more traditional one cast one step approach. For me, this active approach has resulted in quite a few memorable moments – with fish hooked or at least raised to the fly.

To give you some inspiration for your next fishing trip to River Karup, I invite you to watch a video I have made. In this short film, I explain some of the angling techniques I use when targeting the river’s big sea trout. You will also meet a fine trio of local sea trout anglers: Allan Klokker, Ole Dich and Morten Jacobsen. Together, we share with you some of our knowledge and tricks.

Tight lines in 2019!

Watch the video here:

Henrik Bønnelykke is 38 years, a fly angler and a fly tier. His spinning rod is also used from time to time. He produces short films for the Internet on his YouTube channel "Fedtfinner". Henrik grew up in Brædstrup, and now resides in Vridsted. Fishing for salmonids is his great passion, and when the season is over at River Karup, he continuous his fishing in the Limfjord. His experience of recreational fishing dates back to childhood, when his father, uncle and grandfather took him on fishing trips. Henrik's first acquaintance with River Karup was around the year 2000, and since then the passion for River Karup has been a big part of his life. The first sea trout he caught on the fly, was downstream “Vristed Bro” at a place called "Telefonpælen". Henrik enjoys all the fish he catches at River Karup, regardless of size, as each fish takes an effort catching. Henrik has always been helpful in providing info about River Karup.


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