Europe, Sweden and Blekinge


I have received mails from all over the world and therefore I think it's best to begin with a broad geographic presentation of me and my fishing waters.   

First I would like to present Europe. 
Yes, you Americans, this is how it looks! 
Quite a few countries isn't it? 
More than you thought and some you didn't even know existed, I'm sure!

Tune in the Scandinavian countries in the north. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Well, I suppose Iceland belongs to us too.


Take even a closer look at Sweden down below. Put the finger at the south-east corner and there you will find me at Karlskrona.

Here is some facts from Encyclopedia Britannica about Blekinge which is a län (county) and landskap (province) in southern Sweden, between the provinces of Småland and Skåne and the Baltic Sea. It is the second smallest Swedish province, after Öland. The coast is much indented, and the low, undulating interior slopes up toward the Småland Plateau, where it ends in a forest belt of birch, pine, and beech. That's where I live, by the way, 20 kilometers north of Karlskrona in the famous village of Gagnekulla. 

 Blekinge was ceded to Sweden by Denmark under the Treaty of Roskilde (1658). Intensively cultivated, it is known as “the garden of Sweden.” Potatoes, a leading crop, are used as a source of starch and alcohol as well as for food. Steel and textile milling, stone quarrying, and the manufacture of industrial and home equipment are important industries. Karlshamn is the chief commercial and industrial centre, but Karlskrona, a Swedish naval base since 1680, is the administrative capital of the county. Area 1,127 square miles (2,919 square km). Pop. (1990) 150,615; (1997 est.) 151,692.

I can also add the fact that the Mörrumsån and the village of Svängsta belong to Blekinge.

The former a small river that holds both large sea trout and salmon. It's world famous at least here in Sweden.

The latter Svängsta, is the home of ABU. And let me strongly point out (especially to you Americans) that it has nothing at all to to with Arabic or islamistic activities!

Instead it stands for AktieBolaget Urfabriken which means a company that started out as makers of watches and taximeters. ABU is the home of the Ambassadeur reel and other fishing gears. It was founded during the 40s, was sold to Garcia in the 70s and now it is a small member of the Berkley group, I think. They used to make some really good stuff, at least. Now I don't know but the Ambassadeur reel is still manufactured here in Blekinge.
I mostly fish in the Baltic Sea. it contains brackish water and pike. And that's what my website is all about. Our friends the pikes. Before we go any further, please take a look at the Bothnia Bay. I miss the name on the map but probably I will refer to it occasionally in the diaries. This large bay you can find in the north of the Baltic Sea, situated between the north of Sweden and Finland. The Bothnia Bay is the far end of the bath tub that one can say all the Baltic is. It's got to do how the tide is regulated here and that's an important factor in my fishing. "The tide blows forward and the tide blows back". Don van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) didn't say exactly that but close enough.

Karlskrona (the crown of King Charles) is or rather was a naval base. It was a perfect place because it was sheltered from a ring of five rather large islands. 
Now, it's perfect for me because most of the islands are connected with bridges. 

I fish the year around if the weather permits it. About a month or if I'm lucky, only a fortnight, it is quite impossible due to ice. 

Otherwise it is possible to wade and fish during all winter which I certainly do.

For my part I think the wintertime is perfect. But for one thing and that is the short days. To be able to wade one must have a certain kind of waters. Of course the waters must be shallow, at least near the shore. And so it is here but not everywhere. As in all fishing waters there is spots or places that's better than others. The art of fly fishing for pike can be boiled down to find those spots. Or as i prefer to call them, places. (In Swedish I call them "ställen")
I define a place in the following terms; you must have somewhere to park your car. From the parking place you shouldn't have to walk more than one kilometer to reach the water. In waders you get pretty hot even in winter when walking too long, that's why.
When you reach the water, you should at least have a few hundreds of meter's stretch of coast to follow, wading in the water. 
That's about all.
But how about fish? Shouldn't the place contain plenty of pikes? 
Not necessarily. That's for you to find out. The fish move. Today you will be lucky and you'll catch a pike or three but tomorrow they might be all gone. That's how it works here.

The more places you know the better. 
The weather and specially the wind are the most important factors.

And the water level. In the Baltic this is not regulated by the moon in the cycles of ebb and flood but more by the winds. It works in the bathtub principle, just like I said above. 

One condition is really bad, in my experience regarding this and that is when you want to fish the same day the wind turns to the north.

Or is it from the North...? The water rise more and more and... Well, within reasonable limits of course and I know of the big tidal differences in other seas. The real seas I'm sure you call them, you who live in Great Britain, along the English Channel and so on. But when you wade in the water half a meter may make all the difference, I can tell you. In my opinion it takes a day or two for the pikes to notice this and move closer to the shoreline. 

Here's a map of the part of Blekinge where I do the major part of my fishing. It is the east corner of Blekinge and the town of Karlskrona is situated on the "centrum" part of the map. The first bridge leads between the islands of Senoren and Möcklö and the second between Tjurkö and Sturkö. The two bridges  pictured above, that is.

Now you know almost as much as I do about the general outline of "my" fishing waters.

To protect the innocent (in this case the pikes) nowadays I seldom mention the exact places I catch the pikes. 

And you from Italy, California, Burundi, Wessex, China or from where ever you come from, couldn't care less, right?

About measurements

Here in Sweden and in some other countries we persist in measure everything according to the S.I.-system (Système international). In the English spoken world which I know a little more about than the rest, I think many prefer to think in the old ways of pounds, feet, miles and so on. It may even be so that it differ between Britain and the US of A, but that I don't know for certain. But one pound is 454 grams
And for now I leave this to some time later!





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