Salmon and a cat

Salmon and a cat

Mika Lappalainen | Friday, 2 November 2018

I avoided salmon fishing many years. The reason was that everyone told that it will take you on dark side of the moon and dominate your heart. Well it was true what they said even I can handle it pretty well. I did my first salmon fishing trip 10 years ago with a friend. It was blast even we didn’t get anything. I lost one about 10 meters before landing when hook cut down. And for some reason I buried the whole salmon fishing somewhere deep.

Then it came, year 2014. My good friend ask me and Satu to join when he is fishing in Teno river. This friend is really good salmon fisherman. And I mean really good. If he doesn’t get anything, well there is no fish in river then. We were exploring year before one other good salmon river but this would be Teno. It is most productive salmon river in Europe, at least they say so. Eno is translation from Sa’mi language eatnu which means mother of all rivers or big river. Schedule was really good for us. We would be just finishing Tvshooting in Sweden (river called Kummaeno, and you see eno again) and just drive thru Finnmark( North Norway) to Teno. Teno is border river between Finland and Norway and it is ending to Arctic Ocean. So we booked our accomandation.

We arrived 13th of August in the evening to Teno. Our cabin was just by the river and our friend was already waiting for us. We crab some food and fixed our gears and off we went. And now I had admit, I went fish horny mood. Satu was fishing few hours with us and caught some graylings but she got tired around 10 pm, so I took her back to cabin and went back fishing. Our plan was to fish certain part of river which is good for rising salmon but also the ones which have been longer time in river all ready.

It was around 2.30 Am when my friend hooked a salmon. After fight he landed it and we took some photos etc. When he was cleaning the fish we saw something in bush. A cat came to see if we have something for it. We left some liver and heart for it and we kept going down stream. My friend wanted that I would fish one certain spot.

So he took me to spot and I started to fish. My friend was sitting on the rock and we were having some jokes and good time while I fished. I took about 10 minutes when we saw that the same cat came to say hi to us. We laughed that it came to see if we have any more goodies. Cat sat down and started to watch my fishing. I made a cast and turned to my friend to say something more about cat when it happened. Nice powerful strike from salmon. I hold it about 5 seconds and then it was gone. I was not able to hook it properly. We both looked the cat, it turned its’ back to me and river, like saying: “asshole, you missed my delicacy.” We started to laugh and thought that it really came to spot the fish to us. We kept fishing lower part of river when I got feeling that I need to go on the neck.

I walked back to the neck about 500 meters, little bit pissed of about lost salmon but it was not meant to be. I sat on the rock and started to select fly for next run while having beer. While having beer and sitting there I saw salmon jumping in the river. I let it rest a while and started to make my run. I went about 50 meters upstream so I would have line out and fishing properly that neck when coming there. After 10 minutes fishing I saw that cat came to see me again. My friend came also from downstream and we joked again that cat came to spot a fish. This time it was not a joke. Third cast after cat came it happened again. Strike on the fly and fish taking line out fast. This time I felt that I hooked it properly. Of course salmon started to go downstream to heavy rapid and I need to run after it. After 10 minutes fight fish was ready to land. It was not huge one but nice about 2 kg salmon, silver beauty. When cleaning the fish I gave some delicacy to cat, it was also her fish. We finished fishing around 4.30 am and went back to lodge. Next morning I talked to owner about cat and she said that it is their cat. It has been hanging around whole summer on that part of river and getting some delicacy from fisherman. So that was my first landed salmon with help of the cat.

Have a nice weekend
Mika from Finland

Ps. You can catch from Teno even salmons weight +20 kg, even 30 kg is possible and 10 kg is quite “easy” one. Normal weight is 5-8 kg and of course small ones like mine. But this depends about year.

Pss. There is also nice size graylings ( 50 cm) and whitefish on that river because everyone are after salmon.

Psss. In Varzina we also had some great salmon fishing with line 6 and small dries. That reminded me why salmons can take you on the dark side of the moon.

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