A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME
Come fish with us in Greenland, and we will be taking you to some of the most special places you have ever experienced. Rivers far away from any civilization, rivers that will offer you a journey back in time. These rivers still have big Arctic char returning by the thousands during the summer months, like they have done for thousands of years, from before the first humans found a passage to the world’s biggest island almost 5000 years ago.
Imagine a river that hasn’t seen the negative effects of human interference. No pollution, no netting, no dams or destruction of habitat. Just thousands and thousands of fish returning to the river for their annual spawning migration and winter home, fat and feisty after months of feeding hard on the cold sea’s abundance of food.
With more than fifteen years of experience and extensive research in Greenland we know that we fish the best rivers. Most rivers in Greenland are too small, too coloured or hasn’t big enough fish to offer great fly fishing – but those few rivers that are an exception to this rule… well, it’s mind blowing! Eventually, we identified three rivers that offered what we desired in terms of great fly fishing: big fish and plenty of clear water to fish for a week. On these three rivers, we have established our famous char camps: Erfalik Lodge, Camp North, and Napiarissat. Over the years, they have proven themselves to be three of the four best rivers in Greenland.
Kangia, the fourth great river, is located further south, near the town of Maniitsoq. Not long after we began in Greenland, we were offered a program on the Kangia River. However, we already had our hands full and made a huge mistake by turning it down! Years later, another operator picked it up and made it quite clear how foolish we had been. Therefore, when we got a second chance in 2023, we eagerly embraced it and now offer a great program at Kangia River Lodge as well.
If you’re into numbers we don’t know of anywhere it the world that is in the same league. And for size? The biggest char we have had a chance to weigh was a staggering 8,3 kilos! And our guests have seen, and possible even caught, bigger fish than that.
You know they often tell you: “You should have been here yesterday”. And when you hear stories from times gone by, it’s not even yesterday you missed – instead, you should have been there twenty, thirty or even fifty years ago. In Greenland, yesterday is today and thirty years ago is now. It doesn’t get any better than this: The fishing in Greenland has never – and won’t ever be better!
FLY TO: Sisimiut or Nuuk via Copenhagen, Denmark.
PRICE: From EUR 4100 including flights from Copenhagen.
Erfalik lodge, camp north & napiarissat
Arrival in Copenhagen, stay at hotel (optional).
Morning flight to Sisimiut, transfer to hotel, afternoon sightseeing in town.
Boat transfer to camp or lodge, fishing the rest of the day.
Six days (and nights) of fishing.
Boat transfer to Hotel Sisimiut, farewell dinner and fly out the following morning.
Kangia River Lodge
Arrival in Copenhagen, stay at hotel (optional).
Morning flight to Nuuk, boat transfer to the lodge.
Six days (and nights) of fishing.
Boat transfer to hotel in Nuuk.
Morning flight back to Copenhagen.
Find more information about our different camps and fly fishing in Greenland.
SKATING FOAM FLIES
Before we found the rivers we fish today, we had no idea that arctic char would go for skated surface flies. On the very first scouting trip to the Erfalik River we brought a bit of everything in order to quickly establish if there was enough good-sized char to consider a camp there. On the very first day, our two anglers started out with spinners. Many fish? Check! Good sized fish? Check! They had six more days on the river before the boat came back to pick them up…
After a few more days, they had also proven beyond any doubt that streamer fishing was really good: Lots of indomitable char up to – and in excess of 70 cm had been caught and released. Then one of them found a floating mouse fly in his box; a leftover fly from a trip to Alaska earlier that summer. Why not? It was a nice overcast day and the fishing was hot. He had caught more than enough fish already so he cast his little mouse close to the far bank and enjoyed watching it make its way across the river. It looked pretty cool, so he gave it a few more casts, just for fun. Well aware that there are no mice in Greenland, he was just goofing around with the mouse for a bit before going back to swinging streamers – but that’s when it happened! A wake formed several meters away, heading straight towards the mouse. When the wake reached the skating fly a nice-sized char opened its mouth, head out of the water, and sucked in the poor little thing! After that, we never really looked back.
We soon found out that foam flies in bright colours were much more effective than a brown deer hair mouse with black foam on the back, but that’s not the point. The point is, that when you can have the fish eat on the surface skate foam flies – and only when they don’t, go back to swinging streamers or drift nymphs.
Foam flies are favourites of ours – simply because the surface action in Greenland can be spectacular. These flies stay effectively afloat through the fast and turbulent currents, even when using the heavier but more durable fluorocarbon leaders. For visibility, a brightly coloured foam back is preferred, and fortunately orange, purple, pink and red seems to turn on the fish really well, too. Sometimes one colour is superior to all others.
During a week of fishing, there will be plenty of opportunities to experiment with different flies. Pink, red, purple and orange flies are good starting points, and fairly large streamers in bright colours are considered char classics and work well in lakes or during high water.
Even nymphs have really found their way into our Greenland fly boxes. We use heavily weighted nymph-style flies on long leaders in the deeper parts of the rivers as an alternative to swinging a streamer.
Besides the standard attractor flies, smaller lightly dressed streamers can be very effective when the char seem to reject the larger patterns.
We try to fish these rivers with the least possible impact. Therefore, we only allow the use of single barbless hooks. A single hook effectively hooks the fish and it is great for catch and release.
GEAR FOR GREENLAND
The char run big in Greenland and you will need a fly rod with some backbone to effectively tame them. As a go-to rod we like a fast 6 wt. rod with a fighting butt. The 6 wt. handles big flies on a windy day, but it still has enough feeling to make a delicate presentation when heading for some of the smaller creeks. The fighting butt is a great help when you need to put that extra pressure on a fresh-run fish.
Do not underestimate your wading boots – you will be doing a fair amount of hiking when fishing in Greenland, and you’ll need a good pair of boots to keep your feet happy. What’s essential is to bring boots that fit you well and preferably a lighter model suited for hiking. Also, consider rubber soles as they provide you with great traction on the Greenland shorelines and trails.
With all the hiking and fishing you’ll be doing, optimal clothes are crucial for your personal comfort. The weather oftentimes changes rather suddenly and – as a result – you should come prepared for most conditions. Greenland can offer anything from 20+ Celsius during the day to below 0 Celsius during the night – though between 5 and 15 degrees are the typical range in summer. We recommend layered clothing, which make it easy to adjust your core temperature according to whether you are walking or standing relatively still fishing – and to tackle changing weather conditions.
Finally, make sure you have a mosquito net to pull over your cap and head. If the wind drops there can be lots of small flies around. They don’t bite, but a mosquito net pulled over your head makes the fishing much more enjoyable. As soon as the wind is up, they disappear as fast as they came.
The go-to rod for Greenland:
9’ #6 rod with a fighting butt
Possible back-up rods:
9’ #5 or 9’ #7 rods
#5-7 reel with 100 m 30 lb braid backing
#5-7 floating weight forward lines
Tapered leaders – 0,23-0,33 (10-16 lb)
0,21-0,33 mm (8-16 lb) tippet material