FAQ Swedish Fly Fishing Trip
Frequently Asked Questions for Swedish Fly Fishing Trip
Q: Do you have to be an experienced fly fisher to go on this trip?
A: We can cater to all levels of fly fishing experience. Complete beginners are welcome as are seasoned veterans. Our skilled guides will provide all the gear and instruction to help you land your first fish on fly or help experienced fly fishers stalk a big trout, char, or grayling.
Q: Will I catch fish? Will they be big?
A: Yes! Everyone will catch fish provided that you are fishing (you have to play in order to win). There are definitely large trout, grayling and arctic char, though the large one's are often difficult to catch. Hopefully we will be able to catch some big fish and there are large pike that can be caught with spinning gear from a boat in the nearby lake.
Q: What will be the size of our group and how many guides will there be?
A: The max group size is 10 and there will be two professional guides plus myself who can help with teaching fly fishing. This is not a "fully guided" trip (1 guide for 2 people). It is a "semi-guided" trip meaning there will be opportunities for 1 on 1 time with a guide, as well as group lessons, and time on your own to put the lessons into practice. Our goal is to give you the skills you need to catch fish here in Sweden as well as when you return home to your local waters.
Q: This trip is north of the Arctic circle in Sweden. Are there polar bears, seals, icebergs, and igloos?
A: No while the latitude of Jokkmokk is 66.6 degrees north (Ankorage, Alaska is 61.2) it benefits from a warm gulf stream that makes for a much less harsh environment. We will be inland so there are no seals or icebergs (and there aren't any in the sea either, though it does freeze). There are no polar bears or and even the Swedish brown bears are extremely secretive are rarely seen. While occasionally one sees igloos during the winter they are usually as part of tourist activity. The native people, called the Sami, traditionally lived in an earthen and birch building called a Kåta. This area of Sweden has trees (birch, spruce, pine, fir, juniper, etc) and is quite lush in the summer. Temps can soar to the 80s in the summer but do occasionally hit -40F (or C) in the winter. Much of the landscape looks like parts of Minnesota, with lots of small clear lakes and lush evergreen forests. In the Swedish mountains there are less trees and the hillsides are a beautiful palette of colors. Reindeer and moose graze freely, lemmings scurry around, and even eagles can be seen.
Q: Do you have to speak Swedish to get by in Sweden or do people speak English?
A: Of all the European countries that have English as their native language I think the Swedes are the best English speakers. Virtually everyone speaks English and most people are fluent.
Q: When you say "Wild Food" do you mean you will be hunting and gathering all of our food on the trip?
A: While some of the food on the trip will be taken from the landscape during the trip (such as some of the fish, and wild edibles) much of it will come from small reindeer herding and foraging operations (UtsiRen and Essence of Lappland for example).
Q: Are there mosquitoes and are they the size of birds?
A: Yes there are mosquitoes during the Swedish summer and they can be bad at times. Luckily we will be in the mountains where there is often a breeze to blow them away. Bringing clothes that are mosquito proof is a great idea and because the weather isn't sweltering and hot wearing long pants and longs sleeves is not uncomfortable. We will provide mosquito head nets as well in the event that they are bad. On the upside lots of mosquitoes can mean lots of rising fish. The mosquitoes are not the size of birds, they are smaller.
Q: What will the wilderness fishing cabin be like? Does it have electricity, plumbing, Wifi, cell service, and espresso machine? What will the sleeping arrangements be like?
A: Vidar's wilderness fishing cabin is rustic, very remote, (which is one reason why the fishing is good) and has no electricity (but it doesn't get dark out). It has a composting toilet, no cell service but does have an internet modem. There is a traditional wood-fired Swedish Sauna right on the river where we can stay clean by taking hot bucket showers. There is a solar system for charging batteries. No espresso machine but Swedes rank number 6 in the world for the most coffee consumed per capita (the US is number 26th) so there will be no lack of coffee. The cabin has a big dining table for up to 14 people and has 9 beds in 5 different rooms.
Q: How do you sleep when it is light all the time?
A: Most people who live in the far north become used to the constant daylight and have no problem sleeping at 3pm or 3am but it can be disorienting and difficult to sleep for some people. I recommend bringing a face-mask that will block out light. Earplugs are also good in case the sounds of nature are keeping you awake.
Q: I have my own fly fishing gear. Should I bring it?
A: If you have your own gear that you like I would bring it with me. I always find it enjoyable to use my own equipment as I know exactly how it works. If you don't particularly like your gear or don't want to have to travel with it then leave it at home and use the gear the guides will provide.
Q: How much hiking will be involved? What kind of shape do I need to be in?
A: Due to the remoteness of the wilderness fishing cabin hiking will be our main form of transportation. There is a 12km relatively easy hike into the cabin (though we will also have a helicopter that can transport a few people). You should be in good physical shape, able to hike 3 hours while carrying a day-pack on variable terrain. This trip is for active people who enjoy hiking.