Brown Spey Shrimp

This fly is meant to be camouflaged in its environment. Here along the Swedish coast kelp grows everywhere. The theory is that the fish should discover the fly, not see it from miles away. I believe that wary fish, that easily gets scared, will not eat a fly if it finds it suspicious. Even though neon pink and orange shrimp patterns with flash dubbing and fluorescent colours undeniably works, I find it that this theory works better. The fish should not be interrupted from its “searching mode” by something strange. This is something I believe firmly in, especially when fishing for wary large trout in clear low water.

Project Dammån

This particular water is a relatively well known for holding large migrating trout. The water itself is a 40km long river running down from Höglekardalen down to Ockesjön/Storsjön and Kvissleströmmarna. It is sensitive to rain and air temperature changes. When it rains the water gets greyish. When you still have the runoff from the mountain snow the water level can be high, difficult and dangerous to fish. Felt shoes are a must here. No rubber sole (Vibram Sticky Rubber etc.) , no matter what the advertisement says or how many spikes and cleats you install, gives you a secure grip. Don’t take a chance on this one. One trip my felt shoes cashed in its chips, and I was left with my rubber sole ones and a wading staff. I fell 4-5 times and it only ended with a sore hip for some weeks. It could easily have gone much worse.


All fish migrating is lifted by hand over the powerplant that obstructs the normal waterway. Due to this all fish are recorded and all data are made publicly available. Average fish is just under 2kg. The manual handling goes on during the season and off season they open the passage, and the fish can pass freely. I really hope they install an automatic fish counter here instead. I understand that the manual lifting is a bit of a tourist attraction and all, but to get a correct count over the whole season would be amazing.

There are plenty of hot spots but holds relatively little, but big fish. To be on the move is one of the keys here.

My favourite condition to fish this water is when the water is low and clear. Perfect conditions are when the temperature is rising, or stable at high. This triggers these trout to migrate. The higher the temperature the more aggressive these fish become. I used to book a cabin up here in advance, but after having bad luck with the weather a few trips (it takes 10hrs with car from my home) I don’t anymore. I just prepare camping equipment and check the weather forecast. If I see that the weather is getting warm, I go. If its cold, there are other places to fish…

When the water gets really low and clear, and the trout have nowhere to hide I have found them sitting in the deeper holes. You can sometimes see them fight over a hiding spot, especially in stretches of knee deep water with a few holes. Those holes are golden, especially on the shady side…
So, this year I’m having an idea. I’m going to divide at least one of my trips to Dammån in three. Equal parts night, morning, day and evening fishing. Im going to try out 3 different techniques, which on of them is sacrilege to me, but, Im going to do it anyway.

  • One will be fishing with #5 line floating high on the water film, on the drift with a long leader and small natural coloured tubeflys with a small double or triple hook.
  • The next will be fishing larger streamers, minnow imitations Kelly Gallup style with a full intermediate line downstream.
  • And the last one. The ugly one. Weighted squirmies with an indicator. I just must. I do not want to. But I need to see the result.

The whole point of this experiment is to challenge my own beliefs on what works and what does not. Three different ways. Let’s see which works the best and maybe, different techniques on different times of the day will work better.