Surna, the revenge!

On the road again..
Once again, we were headed for Surna, looking to settle the score after being thoroughly skunked early July. Surna in August is supposed to be a whole new ball game, with less fishermen (especially less bait fishermen) and more fish. At least, we thought so.
We left Wednesday the 5th. of August, we had to make it a long weekend, as Julern actually has a job to look after. Being a student, taking time off isn't exactly a problem for me, but then again, I'm always broke. <g>
We didn't get going until pretty late in the afternoon, and with a pretty dumb route selection, we didn't arrive until just after midnight. As usual, Surnadal greeted us welcome with wind, fog and rain. Gotta love it.

Straight to bed
We were pretty tired from the drive, and Julern had put in a hard day's work before we left as well, so we skipped night fishing and went straight to bed. This time, we were staying at Honnstad Camping, and the cabin sucked pretty bad. Not only was it small, but the beds were probably sponsored by the local chiropractor. Next time we're going for Øvre Sæter again..

Thursday started with some serious rain, and it would rain sporadically throughout the day. We turned to Geir, the licence checker/guide/fisherman, for the latest news, and we learned that the waterlevel was decent (a bit lower would be better, tho), but in general, not a lot of fish - however, chances were a lot better then in July..
The weather clear up, and we try the zone 7. 11am to 1pm is referred to as "svel-time" by Geir (svel = salmon under 6 pounds), but we found no evidence of such a connection. I had a rise on a medium sized blue/green fly, a typical fly for good weather, so we had at least seen fish. Not bad considering we're in Surna..

Deja vu
We're both having that feeling of a dead river sneaking up in our subconsciousness. This is a lot like our previous trip, with the mountaintops hidden by fog, and rain in the air. And to spot rising salmon and sea-trout, you need not only good vision, but also a lively imagination.
Vi head for Zone 2 in the afternoon, it's still looking pretty nice, but evidence of fish has yet to be found here. We encounter some other fly fishermen, and they claim it's been ages since anyone caught anything on this stretch. We offer no objections.
But hey! We're here for the sea-trout, and your best (only) shot is night fishing, so it's too early to get depressed. We head back to the cabin and keep our spirits up with junk food and beer. Good spirits are a must, as the rain pours dawn and weather forecasts warn of hard wind by the coast..


Sone 7 på Honnstad-valdet
Surna: Zone 7 on the Honnstad-stretch. A nice pool for sea-trout.

Sone2 på Honnstad-valdet.
Surna: Zone2 of the Honnstad-stretch. Nice to look at, nice to fish, but ain't no fish here..

Turned out ok, anyway
But as fishing time get's closer, the weather only gets better. The wind won't reach the Surnadal valley, and the rain only sporadic. We started fishing around 9 pm, which is pretty early, and I tie on a Silver Zulu with Jungle Cock, size 8. Julern goes with a Montana nymph, and we start on Zone 7.

A smoke will help!
We don't see and much less catch anything the first hour. But I'm doing ok with the casting, and the conditions are nice and quiet, so we're having a good time. There's a definite sense of anticipation in the air, the best time has yet to come.. I'll have a smoke, I tell myself, that's should do the trick. So, I light it up, and cast away.. And, wouldn't you know?! On the very next cast, I hook a sea-trout! Just as the fly started accelerating on the final part of the cast.. So, listing carefully kids: Take up smoking! <g>
The fish heads downstream, and I'm enjoying the music of the reel serving backing. Minutes pass, I'm in control of the situation, I remember thinking to myself, just as the cigarette glow burned my lip.. I'd forgotten all about the cigarette, and now I got a sexy little burn to show for it.. Oh well, I shout upstream to Julern, the net-junkie, but he hasn't even noticed. He reels in his line, and in a minute, tomorrow's breakfast is secured in the net. More than a pound fish for each of us, that should do it..

Demonstration of power
I hand another Silver Zulu to Julern, and tell him to get the f..k out in the river, while I remain on the bank, with a new smoke and a big smile.. It's getting darker by the minute, and it's reached the point where you need a flashlight to tie a knot. But why should I tie on something new, I think to myself, as I get out again, still with the Silver Zulu at the end of my leader. Julern is 30 yards downstream of me, still without any luck..
"This is TOO easy!", I shout downstream at Julern, as my rod tip once again bends to the pressure of a fish. This isn't quite as big as the former, so I decline when Julern, more out of obligation than anything else, offers his net services. Breakfast is already secured, and this river really needs every fish it can get, so I release the 1,5 pounder.

It appears that someone on the other bank is landing a fish, but we couldn't really tell in the dark. We didn't catch or see anything more, anyway. I get my camera, and in a moment of carelessness, the blitz faced the river, as I was proudly posing with my catch. The other fishermen definitely didn't care much for our little light show, as the sea-trout is easily spooked by light. Which we really knew, but just forgot.. Ouch.
We head back to the cabin, with my smile being slightly bigger than Julern's, to enjoy a few beer and a cigar..

Outa here
The friday kicked off just like thursday, rain - lots of rain. After an absolutely delicious breakfast of fresh sea-trout, we decide to move on. Sure, we had caught fish, well, I had anyway, but we felt it more like getting even, rather than an invitation to further delight. Besides, an hour's drive away, lay Driva, a river famous for its sea-trout, a river we both wanted to try.
Julern still hasn't even his score with Surna, but on my personal Surna account, I just chalked down 1-1.

But for now, we were headed for Driva.

Some links (some are Norwegian):
Our July trip to Surna.
Surna on the net.
Øvre Sæter.
Map of Surna.
Map of the Honnstad/Mogstad-stretch.


Silver Zulu - godflua!
Surna: Silver Zulu with Jungle Cock. Easy to tie, and it's a killer for sea-trout.

Oh yeah!
Surna: Fresh from the sea, a sea-trout in excellent condition.

Surna: Finally, the score is settled. Surna - Figen 1-1..

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January, 30th, 1999. Christian Figenschou <>.