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Old 07-21-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default The stench of skunk across stillwater

As many of you all know, I'm about 4000 miles from my usual haunts, slaving away in Sweden. There's a lot of water around me, but the majority of it is foreign to me: stillwater. Granted I now live between two Great Lakes and I am also very familiar with fishing saltwater, but large freshwater lakes are an entirely new fishing locale. I've only spent time fishing their tributaries.

This is the view from where we were located the other day:
Click the image to open in full size.
The lake is quite cold, holding grayling, char, salmon, trout, pike, whitefish, sculpin, and other species. I don't have access to any form of floatation unfortunately. I have spent the great majority (read: all) of my time getting skunked here. I may have had one or two bites, but these are overshadowed by the snags. I have yet to see a fish larger than my thumb, and even the thumb-sized fish are more than happy to stay off my hook. I have had offers to fish some moving water (Hallelujah!) which I have accepted, but I really would like to catch a grayling while here, but anything to put a bend in the rod, besides a friend helping to remove some line memory, would be amazing.
A lot of these guys are seen on the water:
Click the image to open in full size.
Unfortunately, the wind hasn't slowed enough for the water surface to be calm, so trying to see rising fish is very difficult. I have also had trouble narrowing down where the best shallows are for targeting schools of grayling (or other fish). I will hopefully be making another trip into town soon to bother the guys at the Jönköping Fiskecenter as to where I should be heading. Unfortunately I only have limited vehicle access so that tends to make it more difficult, and it seems that most the good fishing is on the other side of the lake (the one which holds the grayling is called Vättern, it's huuuge).

I'm not sure if this is a cry for help or just a request for general tips on fishing stillwater from shore or a pipedream that someone who has fished this body of water will come across this post and know what to do, but it's certainly one heck of a report gone pear-shaped... I'm not used to getting skunked this severely, it's driving me loopy!
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Depending on the latitude of the lake they can seem almost devoid of fish. various species move about freely and in doing so keep themselves in the proper thermo-cline that they need. Food availability is another consideration, although the may fly pictured would suggest readily available food there is no doubt something more satisfying if you don't find fish gobbling the may flies.

Wind on a large lake will sometimes dictate the location of the majority of species also. I used to fish the north end of Seneca Lake at Geneva NY. when there had been prevailing winds from the south for a day or more. The wind drives the chop which in turn creates a regular food boom that will be driven to the shore where the chop terminates. During the 'food boom' days you could expect to find even lake trout in some pretty near shore environments because of the shear quantity & diversity of food. When I say the wind drives food I'm talking about everything from dead and dying forage fish to insects. We sometimes don't stop to consider the extent of constant life and death that takes place daily on a large body of water and until I actually saw this phenomenon myself I had never given it a thought.

I didn't discover it on my own, a fellow at a marina on the south end of that 35 mile long lake told me to go up north to have a look. Perhaps you'll have the good fortune to meet up with a local who will clue you in to where, how, and when you should be fishing. Until then I wouldn't let not catching fish tug at any confidence you've gained at this. There are times when the only way I might hope for a fish would be if I went to the market in town and bought one. Sometimes we figure things out, sometimes we have help, and sometimes you just gotta leave without either ever happening. That's just the way it is at times.

Ard
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Have you prayed to the mayfly god yet? I strongly suggest you do if you haven't. This video will give you a good idea of how to perform the sacred ritual:
.

I really hope you get on to some fish soon.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Loopy?...You might just be on to something there..Those fish just may be partial to there own brand of equipment, (you are fishing a loop reel right?)..Ahhh, there's your problem. In all seriousness, you sould probably head into town at your earliest possible conveniance and have a chat w/ the local fishin' store...Probably would be a great help, especially if you bought some goodies...Mention this forum also, and the fact you will be refering many people,(3000 hits a day) to their area....Might just do a world of good.....good luck bro....Did I mention I leave for Belize in 6 Days....WOOOOOT!
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

hope your luck changes AJ, cant offer much help
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

I thought i noticed that oh so familiar scent in the air here in Oregon.

Bummer gator. Well, at least you are fishing and fishing someplace very pretty and far from home waters. Did you consider hiring a guide? If i was in your shoes i think i might have. I bet someone on the UK sister site would have some good advice, or have even fished the area.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

I scanned the sister site a bit, did not find a whole lot. And if I wasn't painfully devoid of cash, I would have hired a guide. Next year I likely will, but this year I will continue flogging the water alone Damn weddings and real life for ruining my fishing budget...
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Yes....such is the life of us international travelers...
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Yeah, but something tells me you won't be having the same trouble in B-leezy. Man, I wish those were the flats I was fishing, I might be getting rejections instead but at least I'd have a clue!

Here's another photo of some of the lake insect life (or in the case of the husk, what was once life):
Click the image to open in full size.
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Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

Last edited by gatortransplant; 07-22-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: The stench of skunk across stillwater

Holy cow AJ!!

Your hand in the first picture looks way too cold but in the second, it looks either totally frozen or else fresh out of a bottle of formaldehyde.

Take care of yourself over there and keep a bottle of Finlandia handy at all times!
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