Hökensås Fishery and boobies

Hökensås Fishery and boobies

Viking Lars | Saturday, 8 October 2022

I’m beginning to get ready for a trip to Sweden, over a prolonged, last weekend of October. I’m going to an event at the beautiful Hökensås Fishery. It’s just north of the city of Jönköping neat the southern end of the bog lake, Vättern. The fishery has several, beautiful forest clad lakes. The event is hosted by the good people at Hökensås and the equally good people at Ahrex Hooks.

There will be fly tying in the evenings with Håkan Karsnäser, fishing, a trip to a nearby river to see spawning trout, good food and somewhere in the background, I’ll be loitering with an offer for some casting instruction.

I’m looking forward to it for a number of reasons, of course, but a big one is the chance to hone my skills fishing Booby-flies. It’s been a few years since I had the opportunity to do it, at least somewhere where it really makes sense. The end of October is cold in Sweden!

Years ago, a colleague and I had access to a stocked lake (decommissioned gravel pit, actually). The lake wasn’t really fished and only stocked every 3-4 years or so. That was a fantastic place, but the owner sold it and we haven’t really approached the new owner (yet). We didn’t fish it much - 3-4 times a year, but this was where I first gained experiences with booby-fishing.

I suppose everyone knows what it is, but just in case not, it’s really quite simple. A positive-buoyancy-fly on a sinking line. The positive buoyancy helps keep the fly free from snags, even when fishing it deep. The name comes from the fact that the first one were made with polystyrene balls in stocking. Today most use foam cylinders, but the flies can be much more than this style. Small gammarus with foam shells etc.

In my somewhat limited experience I found it most effective with a type 4 sinking line, casting towards the short from the float tube, letting is sink slowly as I fished it bank, hugging the bottom from shore and out. That was probably a matter of the quite steep drop-offs, because it was once a gravel pit. This was one of several ways where I also discovered that brown trout often held significantly deeper than the rainbows. Under a certain depth, we very rarely caught rainbows, but that’s a different story (which I won’t tell, because I don’t have any theories, much less answers - maybe Paul does?).

Flies will be lost, so I don’t tie elaborate ones. I’ll tie some classic boobies, some damsel imitations and probably a handful of gammarus. 

Don’t make the mistake of fishing too light lines. They will pull the fly down eventually, but the heavier the line (AFFTA-classification, I mean), the faster it will pull the fly down. It’s surprising how heavy a sinker is needed to sink a booby with large eyes. I prefer a 6-wt. Use short leaders and don’t go too light. It’s deep fishing, so the leaders isn’t too visible and it’s nice to be able to pull most snags free.

The Ahrex YouTube channel has a nice damsel-booby-fly by Håkan Karsnäser here.

I’m off to the vice, TV’s on, because today is the last of the cycling monuments, Il Lombardia and it’s a race one needs to watch.

Have a great weekend!



PoD: The Arden Damsel, which has been featured several times here - because it’s excellent. I need unweighted ones.