Flounder and coal fish

There is fly fishing – and then there is fly fishing. There are fly fishers – and then there are fly fishers. One of those is our good friend, Peter Alexandersson from Sweden. Peter is the definiton of an all rounder. From trout on dry fly to extreme fly fishing for flounders and coal fish on the inhospitable open waters around Lofoten in the north eastern part of Norway. Lofoten is what Peter calls a dream destination for flounders, coal fish and cod.

And Peter went, of course.

Follow along. Over to Peter…

The fishing isn’t what it used to be, unfortunately,. Especially for cod. The fishing for flounders and coal fish is still good, thankfully. I have fished with Nordic Sea Angling several times. They are specialists in this rather extreme fishing. At Å (a nordic letter, actually meaning “stream”, but in this case, the place is called Å). The company has approximately 10 large Aronett aluminium boats stationed, equipped with big, 100hp out boards. They offer excellent service if you wish to take home a fish – large tables for cleaning and freezers.
The Moskones area has one of the strongest tidal currents in the World and respect is imperative. The guides are intimately familiar with them and they are extremely strict with their clients respecting their orders.

Flounders are really a bonus fish. They live on the bottom, on large flats of sand and behind rocks and boulders. From here they attack their prey. You don’t need to fish on the bottom to tempt the flounders – 2-4 meters above it works well in my experience. And they appear out of no where and attack the fly.
I primarily use big tube flies – blue and silvery flash flies with classic yellow/green flashabou. Flounders are a great challenge, but what I really travel for is the fishing for big, strong coal fish. If you find the right spots and fish them at the right time in relation to the tidal currents, excellent fishing can be had. This year was no exception. When moon and stars – and more importantly the weather were with us, our fly rods bent hard.

We use the Ahrex Salt-series for our flies – really strong hooks are required. Hefty rods, 12-15 weight rods and 7-800 grain sinking lines are needed to cut through the strong current. Add to that the big, strong fish that feel like hooking a tourist bus and you can imagine the pressure on the tackle. I once broke four rods on one trip! The reels need to be just as strong. A really solid brake system and plenty of 50 pound backing.

This years largest coal fish weighed around 14 kilos. A 14kg coal fish is quite an extreme fish to land in the conditions around Lofoten.

Many of the fish were caught around structure in only 5-7 meters of water. The clear water meant that many of the takes were fully visible. I claim that the takes and runs of these fish beat anything else in Scandinavian and Nordic waters. I can only recommend booking a trip with Nordic Sea Angling – my trip for 2024 is already booked! One final piece of advice – some weight lifting for a few months before going is a good idea – it’s needed!

Best regards Peter Alexandersson