Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Whilst the UK and other bits of Europe are creaking under the weight of overcrowded cities and swollen populations it is refreshing to find a place where you can still go and roam, free from tescos, chavs and yet more new housing. Finland!
I just love it here. Thousands of lakes but not many people, great forests and wildlife everywhere. Summer as it should be: get up late, have a hearty brunch and then off to discover new waters, before late supper and a hot sauna. Scarcely gets dark in June, so no time pressures whatsoever.
So, what of the fishing? Well, there are coarse fish just about everywhere, and with a light spinning outfit you can have an absolute blast with pike. Ok, so they're not massive- the best I took was a lean eight pounder, but what stunning surroundings and quality fishing! Perhaps the trouble is we Brits are in danger of putting weight before everything- we have forgotten how to simply have fun. Perhaps it's just easier to relax though when you have an enormous lake before you with no human beings in sight!
My newest addiction is now float tubing- I can't believe how much fun it is; in some ways actually better than using a boat. In fact it is absolutely perfect for paddling around lillies and snags, casting for pike. When one follows right up to the side of your tube (and they don't half get close!) it's just awesome. "Intimate" I think you'd call it- several times I got splashed in the face by tail walking fish at close range!
Although the pike don't seem so huge, I get the feeling there are bigger ones in these lakes- the best two (seven and eight pounds) both came from weedy spots which also had slightly deeper water- you know where the better ones are more comfortable perhaps from how chilly your feet get! -At least, the warm and shallow water only seems to yield the little samples, cute though they are. In any case, I had a mouthwatering experience. There is just so much to explore here and I am already thinking of trying for the zander next time round. It is with a heavy heart I have been sitting in traffic this week, back to work on our crowded little island. No hares or woodpeckers round here, thats for sure. Not many lakes, come to think of it. The first thing you think after being in the wilds of Finland for two weeks is "what the fuck happened to all the trees? Why is everywhere so ugly and overdeveloped?!" Welcome back to England, dear boy...