As a kitchen table

Once in the most northern part af Sweden we wanted sashimi (slices of raw fish served with soya and wasabi – sushi without rice) so I needed to fillet a brown trout. As we went there by helicopter we were on strict limitations regarding weight, so we did not bring any table. The was turned upside down and I could fillet the trout. It was not the best table in the world but it was the best available. By the way everybody loved the sashimi 🙂


As a chair

When you need a rest the will serve as a low chair so you avoid getting sand or pebbles on your expensive waders.

Lasse Elmgren 14 pound pike


Gudenå og Tange sø 28/9-08

28th of September

Drifting downstream Gudenå in pontoon boats fly fishing for pikes. We all caught pike on the fly and Lasse got the largest a 14 pound-er, which he hand landed without any problems even he did not feel too comfortable with the special gill grip for pikes. We all used some kind of variation of  big flash streamers. Very windy day that forced us to use a lot of muscle power to reach our destination in Tange lake. The water of the lake was surprisingly clear without the the usual algae colour.


Lars with a 7 pound pike.



Lasse fighting a good sized pike


Lasse with the 14 pound pike.

Morten caught a very strange looking pike with no upper jaw. Apparentky it had lived like that for a long time – and it still does.

Michael Hedensted sea trout 2,5 kg


Lars Matthiessen sea trout 2kg

Lasse Elmgren sea trout 3 kg 67 cm

Flycasting against the wind or without wind










The circumstances under which you are casting may change many times during a fishing day due to changes in wind direction, surroundings and many other variables. Some times you feel you are fly casting like a God and other times nothing works.
Especially when  casting with no wind or against the wind many fly casters find it very difficult to perform like normally. When you are casting into the wind, you have a very good explanation for the short casts and the collapsed leader, but in the no wind situation it may hard to accept the bad casting.
A tip to improve your casting under these hard conditions is to lay part of the running line outside the stripping basket as this will increase the drag from the running line during the casting. This will naturally decrease the distance but it will also make it easier to keep a very tight casting loop and to deliver the fly with a nicely stretched leader. The amount of line outside the basket may be varied depending on the amount of wind etc.
This is illustrated in the photo below.
Another very important casting tip in situations with no wind or a head wind is to focus very much on the casting technique instead of using more power.  



Correct line management

This is the most important tip on how to avoid tangling of the line when using a stripping basket . I have seen many stripping basket users that were not aware of this tip and probably some that skipped the basket due to problems introduced by not knowing this. This little trick is also helpful for any other kind of line keeping device so be attentive.

When you have finished the cast, you start to retrieve the line as normally, but the first yard or so of line you place outside the stripping basket or whatever line keeping device you are using. The rest of the line you retrieve and place in your basket or whatever you are using. Now when you start the casting movement for the next cast, you can move the rod hand freely without pulling in the line lying at the bottom of the basket. In this way the line leaves the basket in the opposite order of how it entered the basket and you will avoid most tangling. If you on the other hand start by pulling in the line placed lowest in the basket, you will for sure turn the pile of line and introduce tangling.

In this little movie you can see the tip. The movie start with a bit of bonefish juggling so be a little patient.

Knebel Vig 24/9-08

24´th of september

An evening trip to Knebel Vig in the pontoon boat. Did not see any fish at the surface but  got two sea trouts below legal size and had a good strike on the fly. Around sunset another small fish grabbed the fly and it turned out to be a sea bass. After a few photo shots it was released. I was quite pleased as this was my first sea bass on fly ever.



Randers Fjord 22/9-08

saturday 20´th of september

A trip with Henrik and Lasse in pontoon boats for sea trout. We started in Udbyhoej with the ingoing current and came back 6 hours later. The first couple of hours I missed a couple of nice fish, but things started to happen after lunch. Many trouts gripped the fly but most were too small. I did in very shallow water get a nice 5 pounder (second day – I am good (read lucky)) and Lasse also got a similar sized fish. My trout was coloured so I released so I did not get any photo. Later I got a two pounder plus app. 15 trouts that were too small.

A nice two pound trout


Lasse with a 57 cm seatrout

Kysing Næs 20/9-08

Friday 19´th of september.

A late afternoon trip to Kysing Næs in the pontoon boat. I had barely started fishing over the reef with a heavy northern current before I caught a sea trout below the minimum size and only 15 minutes later I got a nice 5 pound-er. Then more fishers arrived. They fished from the shore and from boats. To my knowledge they did not have any luck and I am pretty sure that my luck was to be the first on the spot. Later I met Michael fishing from a belly boat. We did see a few trout jumping but we had no contact. We saw a seal og 3 porpoises only 10 meters away from the pontoon boat – always a nice experience.

Stripping basket as a wading stick

Though I have been using a stripping basket or a line tray for many years and regard myself as quite an experienced stripping basket user I can still learn new tricks and ways to use this device. What I will describe I learned from Steen Ulnits a danish sports fishing journalist. Steen has written countless of articles and several books and has a very nice website  allthough only in danish. Now Steen shall not have all the credit for this trick and I am sure he will not claim this as he learned the trick from an irish guide when fishing in Ireland for sea bass at a rocky coast.

The trick is to use the stripping basket as a sort of wading stick. You hold the stripping basket in one hand (here the built in handle comes in very handy – sorry) and due the buoyancy when put on the surface you can maintain your balance when you are about to loose it. I have tried this myself and it has worked extremely well both in streams and in saltwater situations. Naturally the stripping basket can not replace a wading stick in all situations but it may save you the hassle of carrying a wading stick when it is only rarely needed and it may help you in the situations where you did not expect the need for a wading stick and therefore did not bring one. Of course the basket as a wading stick can not push or pull you up against a very heavy current, but the help you get is like holding someone in the hand when wading. You may be helped in the off balance situation so you can re-establish your balance before the small imbalances develop into big imbalances – read very wet disasters.

In the photo below the technique is illustrated


Stripping basket on a pontoon boat

I have owned a pontoon boat for many years but until recently I only used it in lakes as I bought it for pursuing brown trout and white fish with dry fly. This fishing is almost always in situations with no or almost no wind and I have naturally used the ”table” of stretched mesh built into the front part of the pontoon boat. With no wind and only casting shorter distances this worked fine for me.

Last year I started to use the pontoon boat in saltwater when fly fishing for sea trout. I knew that in the end it would ruin my pontoon boat as the frame is a steel construction – and less than a year later the rust has popped up in many places – too bad but now I love using my pontoon boat at sea so much, that I will go on and next time I need to buy a pontoon boat it will be with an aluminum frame. Fishing in saltwater for sea trout introduced new problems as this often takes place in windy situations. The ”mesh tables” was not very good any longer as I used much longer casts and therefore had much more shooting line to control and the wind often blew the shooting line into the water and this really tangled my line or reduced the casting distance. The solution was very simple as I just placed my beloved stripping basket on the side af the pontoon boat – it was easy to strap it on and it works perfectly despite it is not in level. Furthermore it is nice to bring the stripping basket in this way as it is very easy to dismount and use it if I hit a spot best fished on foot.

In the photo below my pontoon boat with the basket is shown. You may read more and see more photos here.



In a belly boat you have the same problems as in the pontoon boat and a friend of mine, Michael, is a keen belly boat fisher, and he always uses a stripping basket when fly fishing in the belly boat.