Salmonflyfisherguide to Lagan

By: Peter Sundgren, Mats Rubinsson och Peter Atteson

This is a simple guide for you for you who wants to go fly fishing on the river Lagan and would like to have some hints about fishing locations, wade trails, equipment and a little information about the general rules of behavior in the area.

The river Lagan is a controlled stretch of fishing water and that implies the fact that sizeable variations of water levels can occur.
It therefore might be appropriate to issue a warning for people not familiar with the area not to wade into the river at low water levels because of the possible dangers for life in situations of swift risings of the river's water level.
Therefore this guide will only recommend locations from where it is possible to go fishing at relatively safe conditions.

A good tip and at the same time some assurance against involuntary plunges is of course a stable wading cane. Thinking about the uneven river bottom that you are going to wade on, it is nearly a "must" to have a good wading cane.

What regards equipment in general, it can be said that a double hand rod is the right tool of the trade because almost all casts require underarm technique to reach the positions where the fish usually stands. We therefore recommend a 12-15 feet / class 8-12 rod. Of course the reel should be able to take these lines and at least an additional 150m for backing - keep in mind, the river Lagan is a very large water and it can produce rather large fish.

In its simplest configuration your choice of lines should include an intermediate line and a few leaders in different sinking capacity. But if you really want to be prepared you ought to have a floating line and a normal sinking line with - in most cases you will clear yourself with that set.
Your choice of fly could be a really long chapter, but we will only mention a few general rules:
cold water early in the season = large flies in red, orange or black
warm summer or autumn water = small flies in the same colours but sparsely dressed

Fishing places: (in this guide we start out up on the northern bank of the river in Laholm and continue downstream - thereafter we will check on the locations on the southern bank in the same way)

Northern Bank Upper border to about 50m downstream
At low water this locations allows you to wade out over the border to fish from the large, split rock which lies a little downstream. Try to let the fly "hang" just outside the rock for a little while because there usually always stands large fish at this point..
If it is possible (with respect to the water level) you will find excellent fishing conditions all the way to the corner (approx. 50 m) where you will find a gravel bank which points out into the river. Exactly on the tip of the bank there however is a deep hole, which you cannot wade but which from early in the season holds "big new fish".

Just downstream of the boat-jetty Directly opposite to the boat-jetty there is an open stretch of relatively low water in the river. You can wade there but we do recommend to fish from the bank, partly because of the fact that there are a couple "deep" spots in the area but most of all because the fish can stand very close to the river bank in this area. At the end of this stretch you find a large, clearly visible rock just about in the middle of the river. Just in front of that rock you have some "super hot spots", but even the area just close around the stone can actually offer some unexpected surprises (a sinking line will probably work best at this spot).

Jises Pool (Blåkulla reef) - Flyfishing only
About 150m downstream, where the river bends, you can see three waterway rods, used for navigation by the boat traffic on the river. From this location you can wade out to one of the real fly fishing "hotspots" on river Lagan. The salmon that is coming up the river will pass you here on casting distance. Also the new fish often can be seen here when it approaches the relatively shallow stretch on the northern side, which reaches diagonally downstream out into the river.
Late in the season there often stands a lot of fish in this area and most of the time it is rather easy to get a hit.

Järnvägsbron (railway bridge)
Here you will find a relatively long stretch where you can fish. To make it easier for you, you ought to concentrate on the edges of the stream around the bridge stanchions - this is where you have the best chance for a hit.

Svinaholmen (Ösarp) - Flyfishing only
Just a bit downstream after the river bend lies a cliff rock. At low water levels you may start to fish at this location, at high water levels you should start a bit further down (approx. 15 m).
From here you can commence fishing all the way until the river takes another swing (approx. 40m). The fish occasionally comes up all the way to the river bank. You should however not miss to place a few long casts right into the middle of the river and lead you fly swiftly over the large rocks located there.
If you then pass past the long reed and continue down to the islands, you will find several short stretches where out to place a few casts.
CAUTION!!! Of course it is possible to wade over to the small island at low water, but if you get caught by high water, be prepared for a long stay.

Southern Bank

Besesvängen (Bese bend)
Here the river takes a swing and you will find a shallow bank a bit out in the water, which you ought to check with a few casts. It is a bit deep at certain points, so mind your step!! On the other hand this is an excellent location on the bank to prepare for your cast.

Sälhunnastenen (Sälhunna rock)
At this location you can wade out a bit outside of the large pipe`s mouth to fish on the gravel bank and a bit downstream from there. If you are capable to deliver "long" casts, you should not miss to throw a few casts at the upper end of the island (if you can reach that far).
It is also possible to wade out to the island (not at high water) and check for fish on the between the island northern pit and the northern side of the river.
Don´t forget to place a few casts downstream from the island.

Blåkullarevet (Blåkulla reef)
At this point you can start to wade past the trees and continue fishing all the way downstream to the large rock, that lies at the corner. The "A1" spot lies in front of the so-called "pinna rock", which lies a little out in the river at this place.
Downstream from the large rock you can also find small places where you can fish the shallow spots out in the river. Since the river bottom at this location is rather deep and muddy, it is not recommended to wade here.

Per-Kalls Hall -Flyfishing only
What regards fly fishing on salmon, this is the absolute "A1Hot Spot" on the river Lagan. You should start you fishing at the life-buoy and continue with casts as far out into the river as you a capable to. At the rocky part approx. 7-8m downstream you come out and can place a few short casts before you move on to the flat rock to continue your fishing from there (on this stretch you should absolutely not wade at all - the fish can come in right up to the river bank at this spot).
Out on the flat rock you should start fishing in front of the large rock and thereafter in the outer river edge. You finish off fishing the inner area between the large rock and the river bank.
From this location you can continue fishing and wade for approx. 30m downstream. However, due to the turbulent water around the rocks in this area, you may find it hard to place the fly in an optimal angle.

The Bridge (Fire Dept. jetty) - Flyfishing only
From this point you can wade out into the reed approx. 25m upstream off the jetty to fish around a large rock that lies out in the river in front of the reed. Afterwards you wading back to the river bank and get out of the water at the jetty. From here you can move approx 50m downstream until you come to a small "backwater". The good spots are quite obvious but especially the upper locations are really hot.
Caution!! The first part is easy to wade if you keep right at the edge close to the river bank. A little longer out into the water the bank falls steep in into deep water!!
Even though it later becomes more easy to wade out pretty far into river further downstream, we suggest not to do so because you run the risk of scaring away the fish that is standing just there.

Järnvägsbron (railway bridge)
A very short stretch that should be fished with short casts between the river bank and the bridge stanchions.

At this location you will only find a few spots where you can wade out into to reach the fish.
Caution!! At this location the water can be very deep.

Ethics and commons sense

There are a few unwritten rules, which you should follow in order to let your own and other fishing experience on the river Lagan become a "nice" one

1. Never enter into water right ahead of another fishing comrade, but wait until it is your turn and then enter the water.

2. Practice a "shifting" fishing performance, in other words one cast and one step - in that way everybody gets to fish and the fish gets a chance to recover for a while.

3. Treat the fish with utmost care. If you plan to take your catch home, the fish must be put to death immediately. If you get a "fish that has spawned" (a so-called kelt), extricate the fish from the hook in the water and carefully release the animal back into the water. Leave the slash-hook at home!

4. Show respect for all of your fishing comrades, the reel fishing as well as the fly fishing people.