River Lais (Sweden)
Photo contribution: P.Majeran
Framed by a real wilderness, a stream that with its impressive flow and its fierce rapids offers a primeval spectacle. A beauty that in the 70s risked to be twisted by the construction of a hydroelectric power plant. The opposition of people to the project succeeded in maintaining this valley as beautiful as it deserves to remain.
The rapids are fierce, the slippery stones and holes at the bottom are always in ambush. A river never to underestimate not to get prey of its strong currents. A dead drowned elk we came across, seemed to warn about losing attention and grip in this water.
Proceeding downstream, through gorges and forest, we try under a waterfall that offsets the flat of the running water with a net cut across. It is beginning of July and waters are high, fed by the melting snow. The river here is around 50/60 meter wide. My choice goes for a big dark fly, tied with a large yellow foam head on hook size 8 knapek barbless.
The fly is a bit big but the white gurgling foam calls for visibility. The cast lands at the border between white and green water, the fly is taken by the current a drags downstream. Then something pulls the line and jumps into the current. Here we succeed to land several grayling for the next hour.
Going further downstream the river widens and breaks up in some minors brooks which we found being populated by nice grayling too. The landscape is wonderful and we never get to meet any other person nor angler. Fancied by the scenery and suspecting that also salmons run this water, we spend some time trying out some streamers. But the real dweller of this part of the river remains the grayling.
Moreover some fish is raising where the lake is wrinkled by the incoming streams. Here we catch again lots of grayling either on the surface or with nymphs
With peaks and lows, the grayling are very active and so are we. The endless daylight may take control of one's body, and makes you feel like one may need no rest. Without a reference of a watch the daily rhythmus is stressed by the sounds and the contact with the surrounding nature
The midnight sun is almost hypnotic in its way of keeping enthusiastic fly anglers from resting. One may discover himself fishing around the clock.
The way around the lake is not just a walk, across the forest there is barely a path and sometimes we make good use of the waders by taking shortcuts along the bank. By wading the coves it happens to scared off arm-long pikes, which are hiding in water weeds.
At this end of the lake, there is a good concentration of fish too. Where the course begins again to flow, with smoother currents, big grayling rise where the water is flat or are present in the riffles. We manage to awake their interest with big sedges but it is not easy, the grayling are smart guys and the deadly and variable drifts of the currents, cause many strikes to fail.
The nature is untouched and gorgeous, there is no sign of civilization near by. The fish is wild and plentiful, obviously the cold water provides abundant nourishment to its creatures. One can observe stoneflies, sedges and mayflies in mixed hatches almost the all day long.
To reach the Lais valley we landed in Skelleftea and drove the road 95 direction north west. After the town of Arijeplog turn left direction Laisvall and drive to the end of the road. It is a long way and beware of Reindeers and Elks which may cross the road unexpectatly.
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