bike packing, Fat Bike, ride report

Rough trails and shy fish.

Bike fishing by the Norwegian border.

I grew up by the sea, where the river comes down from the mountains and reaches the bay of Bothnia. Since i was four years old summer and weekends were spent sailing between the 1200 islands of our beautiful archipelago. Despite having a strong connection to the sea i never was much of a fisherman. I never was interested, can´t really tell why. All of my friends, both from way back and new i soo in to fishing and been trying to get me hooked, especially fly fishing. I´ll guess summers is to short for one more geeky outdoor hobby. Also it would hurt my bike budget severely. Apparently fly fishing is more then a rod and a hook. But i must say, fly fishing has been on my radar. Not just to catch fish, i like the silence and the mindfulness that i´m guessing appear when swinging that rod in harmony and perfect pace.

So when my very dear friend Andreas who is a hardcore fly-fisher man asked if i was interested in a weekend of bike fishing, who am i do say no?

We set off a thursday in end of July for a four day bike packing and fishing trip. Our goal was an lake called Ikesjaure located very close to the Norwegian border in the mountains of Arjeplog. This is south of were i usually ride when going up inte the mountains but still above the arctic circle an above the tree line. I´ve been here before but not as far as Ikesjaure. As i remember, the trials were pretty nice. It´s funny how your memory fools you sometimes.

400km drive to paradise

We set of in the morning on the 400km drive to the mountains. There is a rest stop by the road just by the border to Norway where the trails start and our plan was to get to Ikesjaure in the evening the same day. It´s not a long ride about 20 km, but the terrain is rough and we had to go up first and then down a valley and cross some stunning glacier rapids. After that a 10km climb trough some mosquito birch woods before we were out on the plains again.

Since this is a bike/fishing trip the idea was to set a base camp and make day trips to a bunch of small lakes that according to my fly fishing expert friend Andreas. We made it to Ilkesjaure and let me tell you. This is one beautiful mountain lake.

We actually manage to squeeze in a few throws after setting camp. Since this was the first time i ever tried fly fishing it was more of practice night to try to not screw the line up.

During the following days we packed our bikes light and explored the area. This is a super nice way of doing bike packing. Go far up in the mountains, set base camp and go explore.

So what about fishing. Yes, i managed to get the pace right and i really enjoyed the almost meditation like feeling of trying to get the perfect throw. But the fish stayed in the lake.

One of the most memorable things about this trip was the eastern shores of the big lake. It has kilometers of beautiful sand shores. It´s wierd and amazing to get far up in the mountains and find this.

Shores of Ikesjaure

We spent two nights by the lake but decided to head back for to try some ponds on the way back. We had amazing weather and the mosquitoes made us feel loved and welcome in the nights.

We had a lovely last night and went for some evening fishing. And nope, still no fish for me. Still it´s lovely to hang out in the mountains, roaming around just enjoy the silence, cooking outside and hanging with a good friend.

All together it was an awesome weekend. Fly fishing is sweet and i can totally understand that you can get lost in this very nice hobby. But i just can´t do it cos It would probably mess up my bike budget.

To sum things up:

Did i get any fish? Hell no!

Will i do it again? Hell yes!

Thanks Andreas for a great adventure! Lets do it again!

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