- - - - - -
A+ R A-

Crazy is as crazy does !

  • Published: Thursday, 02 February 2017 12:18
  • Written by Matthew G. Hauge
  • Hits: 1168

20170202 05Some people will classify both Sonia and me as crazy. Sonia with her severe arthritis and diabetes has to be extremely careful to keep her blood sugar count just right, and her arthritis gives her a challenge in tolerating pain and at all being able to handle her fishing gear. Most of the time she uses my modified balalaika rods as these are easy for her to hold, and operate. A regular rod is a huge challenge for her. Still, if she could, she'd be out fishing every single day of the year. 
I have tried my share of extreme fishing that would scare most other anglers away, such as fishing from an inflatable canoe at open sea, Fishing trout during a storm with a buddy, from a canoe on a small lake, and night ice fishing in -40C
But nothing comes up to exploring new waters in remote places. What defines a spot as remote will have to be a question of your starting point, and our destination this time was just about the question of starting point and route chosen to get there. Some times the fastest route is absolutely not in a straight line between A and B. 

Sonia HolmWednesday evening Sonia calls and tells me she wants to go to a lake called Gröningen. We where these several times last year, and Sonia was there at least ten times, taking 1-4 friends with her every time. All of them locals with the same fishing habits as hers, to catch as much fish as possible, and take absolutely every single little fish with them home, either they eat the fish them selves, leave them on the ice for the fox and birds, or to feed their pets. Gröningen had not been fished hardly at all for about ten years, and the perch had grown to very nice size between 500g and 1,5 kg, but the lake is small, and when spring came, Sonia had her boat put there. The first few fishing trips gave her and her friends some really nice fish, but as the season progressed the fish got fewer, and smaller, until they only caught small fish. Perch grow slowly, and a 1 kg fish is often 10 years old or even older. I told Sonia that she could just forget going to that lake, and reminded her what she and her friends had done to the lake last year. She got quiet and asked me where I suggested we go. Why not try Granremen. it has probably not been fished for at least ten years. Oh yes she says I fished there only a few years ago, and it is impossible to catch fish there during the winter. the fish don't bite there.  I laughed, "When did you fish there last, then ?". I hear her shout to her husband "Arne when did we sell the cabin ?". " In 2007 I hear him reply". "OK, I guess it is ten years then, she says. should I come and pick you up at 08:30 ?"
The next morning she picks me up at 08:30 sharp. On the way out she tells me about a pond that is between Granremen and Östingen, the next lake in the river system. She tells me how wonderful the fishing was there when she and her husband went there many years ago. He normally never goes fishing with her as he is only interested in hunting. Usually he's off with the snow scooter preparing the scooter trails. They are both seniors, and they love the outdoors. Sonia loves to hunt, go fishing and picks berries and mushrooms. Arne sticks more to hunting, and preparing the scooter trails for the local scooter club. Due to her diabetes, Sonia needs to have someone go with her when she goes fishing. I enjoy her company, and she is a really good fishing companion besides the fact that she takes up everything the catches. For this reason I have a few spots that I keep for my self, but I am happy if she can show me some of her fishing spots before she can't get out any longer. 

Snow ScooterWe stop at the drive off down to the lake, unload the snow scooter, get our gear in the sled behind the scooter, and set off down to the lake. Sonia tells me that she doesn't think that the guy who owns this place goes fishing. He bought the place for hunting, and although the hunting grounds are private, the lake isn't, also, Sweden has a law stating that anyone can go anywhere there is not farmed land. The lakes in the area are all regulated by a fishing administration so our yearly license for the local fishing administration applies for this lake as well. Well out on the lake Sonia points out three spots where they have tossed brush in the water to create shelter for small fish. The big fish hunt around these shelters, so the first and closes one is a good place to start. 
I make holes for us, and start getting my gear out when I hear Sonia shout. Less than a minute after she got her line in, she was on to fish. A nice perch lands on the ice. we both continue fishing but it seems quite dead, so I decide to try a couple tip-ups. I barely get the first tip-up set when a nice perch takes the bait. Not many seconds later my second perch hits the ice, then a third, and a fourth. After that the fish stopped biting for a while, and this is when Sonia suddenly wanted to go to the pond she claimed was between Granremen and Östingen. "It is only a short distance through the woods. There is a small tractor road that starts by the end of the lake and leads right to the pond".  Blue eyed I believe her, as she is not the kind of person to lie to me, but this time she must have not remembered the trip to the pond. We do find the tractor road, all overgrown and with a couple dead trees across it. We manage to toss the trees to the side of what was left of the road, and follow the road until we got a little way up from the lake. Suddenly the road ends, and we reach a stony field with some sparse trees popping up to about three meters tall spread over the area. large rocks are everywhere, and not enought with this, but the huge plows that they use when foresting have been here, making the terrain quite difficult to drive. At the end of the "field" we see a tight forest. Sonia claims she can see the pond from where we are. "It is just on the other side of the forest", she says.
CupcakesWe can't find a way through the little forest, and ahve to turn back. Before turning back I ask her if we shouldn't go back to the lake and continue fishing perch. "No, lets drive around the forest. I know the pond is on the other side". At this point I am starting to believe she doesn't knwo where the pond is, so I check the terrain, using the map funtion in my Deeper app. I find the pond, but it is only a stone toss from Östingen, and far from our location. We've only gotten about a third of the way to the pond. Still Sonia wants to head on, so I obay her orders, and drive around the small forest. Around on the other side there is a big swamp. It is of course frozen and easy for us to drive over, but the real obsticle is on the other side of the swamp. To our left the river between the lakes runs, and it has open water and large stones sticking up. On our right there is a forest with very stony terrain, and on the other side of the swamp, straight in front of us is a large hill covered with rocks, and the grooves in the soil from the huge plows they use to turn the soil before planting new forest. Sonia is determined that we go over and not turn back, so I just have to try. Somehow we do manage to get over the top, but not without tipping five times, all of which Sonia ends up in the snow, and one where not only Sonia is tossed off the scooter, but me as well.  We also end up running over a few 10 foot tall pines before reaching the swamp on the other side of the hill. We finally get to the pond which is only a stones toss from Östingen. Sonia claims she didn't know that or we'd drive to the pond by going back up to the road, and following the road to Östingen, and go over Östingen to get to the pond. 
Where are the fish ??Before dropping our lines in we make time for a cup of coffee, and a snack. My spouse sent some cupcakes with us, just perfect to get the blood sugar up again after our crazy trip through the forest. While I was worried every second of the trip in regards of our safety, and trying not to get stuck way out in nowhere, Sonia was giggling and laughing every second of the way. She didn't even stop laughing all the times she got tossed off the scooter, and was lying struggling on her back and trying to get up again. 

MapWhen we started to fish again we learned that it is not always profitable to go on wild goose chases. We didn't get a nibble in the pond, even though I did see fish using my Deeper, so we decided to head over to Östingen, and try there. I get a small perch there, but nothing more, so we head back to Granremen. this time being sensible and taking the road from Östingen, up to the main gravel road, and back down from the main road the way we had gone in the morning. I find that two of my tip-ups had been hit, but besides the line pulled out on them, and the bait fish gone, there was nothing on the hooks. We try fishing for a while but get only a few nibbles before heading home again. Last thing Sonia says before dropping me off is that we do have a lot of fun and do a lot of crazy things on our trips, and that tomorrow she'll have to refrain from fishing, because her arthritis will certainly keep her in bed with pains after today's activities. I have to get ready for a trip this week end anyhow, so I can't go fishing.