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Articles: Pescando Salmones Bálticos en Suecia

by: Jörgen Berggren

Salmon in Swedish waters (Salmo salar) can be found in three different populations;
Atlantic salmon: The same species that can be found in Norwegian, Icelandic and Russian rivers.
In Sweden the Atlantic salmon live in the North sea and the Atlantic and spawn in a few smaller rivers on the cost of the region of Halland (southwest coast of Sweden), The Atlantic salmon never passes through the strait of Öresund in between Denmark and Sweden .
Väner salmon: A small population that were caught in the largest lake of Sweden (Vänern) after the last ice age.
Baltic salmon: Will be found in the Baltic sea of the southeastern coast of Sweden towards the northern cost of Poland. Spawning waters will be found in the streams of Blekinge (for example Mörrum) but mainly in the larger rivers on Swedens northeastern coast . The lack of crustaceans in the brackish water of the Baltic means that the salmon mainly feed on herring which in turn gives the flesh a pale white tone instead of redish pink. The Baltic salmon tend to weigh more than its Atlantic cousin and weights over 50+ pounds is not uncommon.

The Baltic salmon spend their first two-four years as fry in it´s birth river and head out to sea when it reaches a length of approx.. 15-25 cm. After two to five years in the Baltic sea they return to spawn now weighing 5-25 kg(10-50 pound). Opposed the salmon species in the Pacific, the majority of the Baltic and Atlantic salmon will survive the spawning and return to sea in order to spawn again. It is not clear how many times a Baltic salmon can spawn but 3-4 times is not uncommon. After decades of very low numbers (due to overfishing, hydroelectric plants and environmental problems) the last five years has seen a steady rise in the population. This year (2014) the run of salmon in Sweden s most northerly river, the might Torne river, exceeded 100.000 fish. The tendency is the same in all the rivers of the coast of Sweden; rising numbers and a sharp increase in medium weight... All tough there are plenty of work ahead to insure the full potential of Baltic salmon the tide is turning in it´s favour and Sweden can today offer a real possibility to catch a fish of a lifetime!

The most productive time to fish for the Baltic salmon would be march-april, trolling on charter boats of the coast of Blekinge (south coast) OR fly fishing the south eastern rivers (for example Mörrum) in late April and May OR fishing the northern rivers from the first week of May until the third week of June. The fishing is more often than not in "public" waters meaning that "anyone' can by a license and fish. Private beats (like in Norway) are few due to a traditional policy in Sweden of public access and use.
The early part of the northern season (May-early June) is often in quite high and cold waters due to snowmelt from the mountain area. This means big two handed rods 14-15 ft 9/10 or 10/11 weight and full sinking lines, later part of the season is mainly fished with 12-13 ft 8/9 weight and sink tips.
Leaders in the region of 25 pound is needed to land big fish in the first part of the season, later on 20-18 pound tippet are used. Slightly weighted salmon flies in red/yellow, brown/yellow and green /black are popular.

See you in Swedish waters during the coming years...

Jörgen




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