For the last five days we have been fishing with a group on Huseyjarkvisl River chasing sea trout and salmon. The night before we started a storm hit the south coast, remains of the hurrican Cristobal. The morning we travelled up north it seemed we were tagging along with the storm that moved up north across the country. It brought a lot of rain on the south coast, rain that I had hoped would hit up north as well. As it turned out we only got the wind but no rain.
Our first afternoon session fishing we landed 2 salmon, 2 sea trout and loads of brown trout in a group of 4 anglers. Not the best of starts but sea trout were big and so were the salmon. Water was low and the wind was fierce.
The following full day the wind was still blowing and showers of rain were intermittent throughout the day but nothing that brought the river up. Not like we hoped. We caught 5 salmon and some sea trout but we started noticing that there were not a lot of sea trout in the system. Not like we had expected. In the junction pool we saw fresh sea trout jumping but they refused everything we offered.
The next full day the weather improved. If you can say that. It became nice to be fishing in but not good for the fishing. Sunshine, no wind and high temperatures and we saw the river drop even further. Fishing slowly took a turn to the worse with an all time low the last morning when we caught nothing.
The result for 5 days fishing was 10 salmon landed, some 15 sea trout and about 30 brown trout ranging up to 55 cm. Biggest salmon was 89 cm and the biggest sea trout 78 cm. We lost a very big sea trout that bent the hook and got away. Fish estimated at about 15 pounds at least. But hey... when you lose them they always become bigger... right?
Some really big sea trout were showing here and there in the river and the outlook is good for when the rain comes.
Photo: One of the sea trout we landed, 70 cm cock fish on Laugarstrengur Pool
Recently I wrote a story about a tagged salmon that we caught again, a month after it was caught and tagged. Here is another one but this time it is about a sea trout.
In early April, a friend and I were fishing on Huseyjarkvisl River chasing sea trout. We were armed with a tag gun to tag the fish we would catch to see if they would be caught again and to get some idea about how much they grow and that kind of thing.
On April 4. we caught a sea trout of 53 cm in the lowest part of the river, in Pool 29 to be exact. We tagged that fish with a small tag containing a serial number and released it back into the river. On August 18. a 60 cm sea trout was caught in Gullhylur pool, almost at the top of the river. That fish had a tag in it's back with a serial number. The anglers looked in the catch book to see when and where this fish was tagged and it turned out it was that fish we tagged on April 4.
So in 4 months and 14 days or so that fish grew 7 cm. You can tell by the picture that it returned to the river at least a few days ago so one can only assume that it spent the summer at sea and has returned to the river for spawning. According to the lenght vs. weight chart for salmon that fish put on about 700 grams of weight during the summer (which is a little less than I put on). If we assume that fish survives the winter in the river and next summer at sea we can hope that it returns in 2015 as a 67 cm fish. In 2017 perhaps it will be an 81 cm fish. Who knows? Not me but I like to assume. I like catching 81 cm sea trout. In fact I love it. I love fishing on Huseyjarkvisl where I have the chance of catching big fish, be that salmon or sea trout.
These are all speculations at best without any scientific proof to any of this but all I know is that if I take that fish and wack it on the head, fillet it and fry it it's not going to grow anymore. That is for sure. It's not going to spawn and maintain the stock of sea trout in the river. That is a given. Maybe we don't need all these fish spawning but who is going to be the one to control which fish gets killed and which gets put back? The anglers? NO! Google "Tragedy of the commons".
I like sea trout fishing. In fact I love it. These fish are amazing in my opinion and I hope I will spend the rest of my life trying to understand them and find ways of catching them. The sea trout on Huseyjarkvisl have given me the biggest thrill of my life and I've hooked some big ones that I never saw. That just ripped line off the reel before breaking my leader somewhere in the deep of the river some 100 meters downstream of me. I've also been there to help a client land a 96 cm sea trout. God knows how old that fish was.
It is my strong belief that catch and release works. I am going to continue to advocate it for the rivers I represent and love. Certainly we will continue to C&R on Huseyjarkvisl River and do our best to maintain the strong stock of sea trout in the river. Long live the sea trout!
Photo top: That tagged sea trout caught recently (Photo by veidimenn.com)
Photo bottom: That 96 cm sea trout caught in May 2013