The Elusive Big Char

There was almost no wind when a red and silvery belly flashed in the depths of the water before me. The blow came straight after and my hand clutched the rod hard. The fly line cut through the surface of the water while the springy carbon fibre rod had to work hard to sustain the weight of this colourful char.

I was back! The evening before I had a really big Char elude me all night. I had tried all my favourite flies, both above and below water. But this Char was proving tricky. Once again I stood motionless with my Belly-Boat keeping my eyes fixed on the “throw distance” to the Chars food path. The first caddisflies had already begun to emerge and soon were hovering inquisitively around the Belly-Boat. I let the fly land a bit to the right of the last ring and a few thrilling seconds ticked away before me but to my disappointment I was found outwitted again – this char was not going to be fooled so easily. How many flies had I now dropped down in front of the char? yet all had been unsuccessful! Once again I changed my fly, and lay out my fly in the Chars direction and to my delight got a hard tug straight away. I saw a glimpse of the silver and deep red before the char turned down towards the depth of the lake with my fly whilst the carbon fibre rod was clamped into a deep bow. The power of the fish increased followed by tight and lightning-quick breakaway attempts until the breaking point when the fly line cut through the water. The pressure on my springy coil was immense but thankfully the char soon began to tire. Rushes were getting shorter and shorter and I could finally start to bring in a bit of line on the fly reel. Eventually, I could see a silvery red belly and the white lines on the fins. The small landing net was not much help when I tried to net this char lady on more than 6 kg. Its freedom soon followed after a moment of admiration and a tear of joy for this giant which had eluded me for two nights. I sat for a long time by the campfire and looked out on the glassy lake. The desire to go home had not yet set in. Instead, I crawled down under the blanket in the tipi and fell asleep with the fire crackling its spirit and with an aching wrist.

I was at peace – Örjan