What triggers a take? Is is the size of the fly, the depth, the speed? Is it the weather or the time of day? Is my leader too short or too long, am I too loud near the water?

Lost in thought, I stand again on the Mörrum River, and look into the same waters as some 25 years ago, when my dad told us stories of legendary flyfishers and the silver king of this river, the salmon. He told us in a way which still makes my own childrens’ eyes shine bright more than 20 years later. Since that day, the Mörrum River has been the river of legends to both me and my brother.

It took all those 20+ years, until I had the opportunity to fish the Mörrum River for the first time during my summer holidays in 2017. Finally stepping into one of the legendary pools felt magical… But although I fished very hard, and on the second day an entire 14 hours without a rest, I did not have a single take. Fish were there, I saw them leaping high out of the water, but I failed.

This year, thanks to a business trip I had to do, I am able to fish the Mörrum again. One year later, one year more of experience, one year more of earned self-confidence (and you do need a lot of self-confidence to fish for Baltic Salmon!), I have a second chance!

Water levels are very low after a dry and hot summer, so I first go to the local fishingstore, the “Fiskeshopen Mörrum” directly within the “Laxenshus” to ask the staff for recommendations concerning flies. Filippo, a young Dane, is very helpful and recommends a small KHK-fly.

I soon realize that it is quite busy at the river… in some pools stands angler after angler… too much for me, so I walk on to find less frequented pools further upstream. When I decide to return to my car around noon, the “rod forest” has cleared up, and not much later I am completely on my own in Vittskövle Nedre. Fishing on my own feels good, I am able to concentrate better as I do not have to look permanently for others… and my mind wanders… here I stood a year ago already, same spot, same goal. What makes a salmon take?

Suddenly a tug goes through the line, I set the hook and when I realize that this is the moment I have been waiting for, the fish is already shooting off like a rocket, pulling line so fast I have hardly ever seen on any fish! As the fish continues downstream I have to follow quickly as the fish tries to swim around a bend, where my line could suffer badly… I am still wondering how I managed not to slip on the slippery stones. Suddenly the fish turns to rush upstream into the deeper water.

Here is a lot more space and less rocks and roots where my line could get tangled. Here is the perfect place to drill and land the fish… but I die a thousand deaths with every run and every leap. “Imagine it is a small one” I keep telling myself like a mantra to calm myself. But finally, I grab him by the tail, and it is done! A beautiful female salmon, flawless, lies in the shallow water in front of me. It is not a small one, and my measuring tape tells me 95cm! I take a couple of pictures and release the fish into the pool.

With a smile I return to my car, I am done for today, and still cannot believe it! A Mörrum salmon! A legend!

The next morning is very relaxed, my blood has cooled, and I fish many pools I have never visited before. There are so many good spots on this river, and fish is everywhere….  In the evening I am lucky again and catch another salmon. This one is a little smaller, but just as beautiful. I am done, I am now addicted to these fish, and I will surely come back!

Honestly, I still don’t know what makes a salmon take, but patience helps!

Many thanks to ADH-fishing for letting me use their licence, without you I would not have caught a salmon so soon. Thanks especially to Steffen for recommendations concerning tackle and lines!