When opening this camp in 2010, we realized that naming it after the river we were fishing would be asking for trouble. Camp North just seemed easier on the tongue than Camp Eqalugsugssuit.
Located some 60 kilometres north of Sisimiut, Camp North soon became known as the choice for fly fishermen with good legs and big dreams. No one knows why the arctic char in this river grow bigger than elsewhere. They just do. Since we opened Camp North, this river has produced the biggest fly caught arctic char in Greenland every single year.
The dream starts when you wake up: The fresh air blowing from the mountains, the river running gin clear in front of the camp, the promise of another great day. After breakfast, it’s time to get into your wader gear.
Your friend, who is already packed up and ready to go, sends you a certain look that says: “Are we going, or what?”. A little annoying, perhaps. (Isn’t this supposed to be a vacation?) Nonetheless, you suddenly find yourself speeding things up. Afterall, there’s good reason behind that unmistakeable stare: There are fish to be caught.
After a forty-minute hike, you reach Million Dollar Pool. As the name suggest, it always holds fish. A lot of fish! But even if you can clearly see the shadows of what must be more than a hundred char stacked up, you move on. At Cut Bank, you spot several bigger fish holding in the middle of the river. It’s tempting but you don’t stop for more than a minute or two. Today, you have something else in mind.
The tributary runs into the Eqalugsugssuit just below a big lake. The lower part isn’t the fishiest but after another half-hour-hike it changes from a fast river meandering through big boulders to one that runs through a plateau at a slower pace. It’s a gem of a river, just referred to as “The Creek”. You wonder, when was the last time you fished an unnamed river? The answer is easy: Never.
FLY TO: Sisimiut via Copenhagen, Denmark.
Day 1: Arrival in Copenhagen, stay at hotel (optional).
Day 2: Morning flight to Sisimiut via Kangerlussuaq, transfer to Hotel Sisimiut,
afternoon sight seeing in town or relax at the hotel.
Day 3: Boat transfer to camp, fishing the rest of the day.
Day 4-9: Six days (and nights) of fishing.
Day 10: Boat transfer to Hotel Sisimiut, farewell dinner.
Day 11: Morning flight back to Copenhagen.
PRICE: From EUR 3975 including flights from Copenhagen.
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The Eqalugsugssuit strain of char are different. They are bulkier and grow bigger than the char you find in any other river in Greenland. They also tend to be moodier, especially when you skate foam flies for them. Sometimes, they hit them dead hard for half an hour, only to totally ignore them for the next several hours. That’s when you need to pull out streamers or nymphs to keep the action going.
The average size of fish here can be really good. Like, “Oh, this is another nice six-pounder”-good. Every season we spot some true monster char in this river, and sometimes we land them, too. The biggest char landed – unfortunately clubbed on the head years ago by a guest that had misunderstood the most important part of catch & release – weighed 8,3 KG. That’s just short of 19 lbs. Since then, several potentially bigger (and surely longer) char have been landed by our guests.
Classic Camp North moments include feeling tiny in a truly grand setting. The midnight sun casts a soft light on the mountain behind you while you and your friend hike the last part to the third, and last, small lake that The Creek passes through. You’re far from camp, and everyone else is either sleeping or fishing elsewhere. As you wade into the lake, close to the inlet of the river, and get ready to skate a foam fly on the glassy surface you feel small in a really big way.
A big head breaks the surface and engulfs your fly. Without the current, it’s a different fight: More like a tug-of-war, each of you taking and giving line, until the big fish finally shows signs of fatigue and your friend nets it for you.
It’s a big, coloured male that must have entered the river three or four weeks ago, maybe as a part of the first big push of fish. He had parked himself in the lake and was probably thinking about when to go look for some hot mamas until that skating thing on the surface disturbed him – so much that he decided to teach it a lesson. The built-in scale in your landing net says 5,1 KG. It’s your biggest fish of the week. You can’t wait to show the pictures to the guys back in camp.
For years, the upper river was out of reach for most of us. It was a two-hour hike along the banks of the lake that separates the lower and upper river. That’s after a 45-minute hike from the camp to the lake. Then you had to cover a lot of the river, now that you had finally made it up there. And when you were done, it was another three hours back to camp. Those, that actually did fish it back then, all deserved an Upper River Pin for their vest!
These days, we have a boat in the lake. It has been worth all the hard effort to get it there, pulling it across during a late spring before the snow melted. Now, all our guests get to fish this magnificent piece of river between the first and the second lake, all the way up to a waterfall that is high enough to make the char stack up in great numbers but not steep enough to prevent us from seeing fish passing it every time we’re up there. In other words; there must be fish to catch after the second lake as well. Estimated hiking time: Another three hours, minimum. We’re not sure. So far, no one has felt the need to find out.
Where is the camp?
The camp is located approx. 60 kilometres north of Sisimiut, Greenland’s second largest city with 5000 inhabitants. It sits on the banks of the Eqalugsugssuit River, around 500 meters from the river mouth.
How do I get there?
To get to Sisimiut, you will need to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark (overnight in a hotel) and then to Sisimiut via Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. It’s approx. 4,5 hrs from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, and then a short domestic flight of 30 min. to Sisimiut. You arrive early in the afternoon, settle in at Hotel Sisimiut, and have the rest of the afternoon for sightseeing and relaxation. The next day you transfer to the lodge by boat (approx. 2,5 hrs transfer time).
Do I need a Visa?
Most nationalities only need a valid passport to visit Denmark and Greenland. Check online to make sure.
When should I go?
The peak season is during July and August. Arctic char start to run the rivers in late June, and somewhere between late August and early September they become so interested in spawning that they should probably be left alone. Also, once you get well into September, the weather can turn kind of rough.
Where do I fish?
On the Eqalugsugssuit River, both below and above a big lake, on a tributary, and sometimes in inlets and outlets from the lakes on the tributary. Occasionally, also in the fjord for cod or char heading for the river mouth.
Where do I stay?
In a tent camp overlooking the river. All guests stay in individual tents. The camp lodge has a big, steel framed tent for dining and socializing. We run generators so it’s possible to recharge cameras etc.
Who is best suited for this destination?
Anyone in reasonable shape with some fly fishing experience and a bit of self-sufficiency. Though some days are always better than others, the fishing is rarely difficult and there is no need to have a guide watching over your shoulders all day long. After having been introduced to the fishery, most anglers are fine about fishing with one or two other guests, and only occasionally, when venturing into a new area, do they ask one of the young guides for assistance. However, if you prefer being guided at all times, have someone tie all your knots, unhook your fish etc, this is not for you.
The fishing is on a walk-in basis, so to get the full benefit of all the possibilities, anglers should be reasonably fit. The terrain is easy to hike but you should be prepared to cover a total of four to eight miles on most days.
What is a typical day like?
Get up around 7.00 when breakfast is served, make your own sandwiches after breakfast, get in your fishing clothes and head upriver whenever you feel like it.
You can fish the main river, hike up the side creek or coordinate a trip with one of the guides and some other guests to the upper river. In that case, the guide will ferry you across the lake, saving you two hours of hiking! All options are yours to explore over the course of the week.
Head back for dinner somewhere between 6 and 7 PM, unless you choose to fish a little longer. Most guests will also go out once or twice during the week for some evening, or even night fishing. And then sleep in until late the next day. It’s an easy-going and flexible schedule as there is light enough to fish 20-24 hours a day, depending on the season.
What are the meals like?
While it’s not fine dining as such, the meals are tasty and made with the chef’s full dedication.
Most of our guests are impressed with what our chefs comes up with, especially when taking the remoteness of the location into consideration.
Breakfast will be eggs, bacon, bread, cereals etc. And for lunch, we put out bread, cold meat, and toppings so you can make a couple of sandwiches to keep you going throughout the day.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
Very relaxed and down to earth. The fishing is usually very productive so there is not any real stress to catch what you came for. And while some of the char reach good sizes, it’s not a fishery with record-sized fish, and most guests here don’t really fish for size but for their pleasure. So, there are not really a lot of big egos around either. We tend to have mixed groups with several different nationalities, which create a great international atmosphere and a good deal of making-new-friends throughout the week.
Is there an on-site manager, owner, or point-of-reference person at the camp?
Yes, there is a camp manager on-site.
Is there Internet and cell service?
Nope, no Internet service at Camp North, and no cell service. Just a whole lot of peace and quiet.
How does one fish?
It’s typically either swinging streamers, skating foam flies, or sometimes nymphing. While some methods are more productive than others, we encourage the methods that are the most fun. Nothing beats catching char on foam flies skated across the surface – but the fish aren’t always in the mood for that. Other times, you can sight-fish for them with small streamers. And when you really need a pull, swinging a weighted streamer or fishing a nymph will usually get it done.
How many fish will I catch?
Enough! While we have certainly seen our weeks of “silly numbers”, we are not at all into encouraging our anglers to hammer the water and land as many char as humanly possible. And you will never see us advertising weekly catch rates to fill more spots.
Even if there are probably tens of thousands of char running the Eqalugsugssuit River, it is still a natural resource, and every fish landed – and released – represents pressure on this resource. On good days, you can easily catch fifteen or twenty char – on methods that provide you with a lot of fun and pleasure. There are ways to sometimes double that number, possibly even triple it. But why? You’re not part of a competition.
What are the guides like?
They are young, helpful, and speak English – but they’re not professional fly fishing guides (yet). Most of them are interns from one of the Scandinavian academies that combine high school with an education in outdoors, guiding etc.
Will we see other anglers?
No. The Eqalugsugssuit River is under concession and it is not allowed for other anglers to visit.
Will I be wade fishing?
In certain spots it might make sense to wade in, but we fish in breathable waders mostly because it’s nice to be able to cross the river to reach all the spots. It’s super easy wading in water that is never more than knee-deep, and there is no need for a wading stick or special soles etc.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
From thirty minutes to two hours. Most of the time, a forty-minute walk will take you to some of the most productive parts of the river, and then it’s up to you to decide how much more water you would like cover.
Does the camp provide equipment?
No, you must bring your own.
What is your favourite rod(s) for the trip?
A nine-foot six weight, preferably with a fight butt, is our go-to rod for Camp North. Some fish run pretty big on this river so we don’t recommend anything too light. Bring two rods, in case of breakage.
What are the top flies?
Foam flies and streamers. We provide a Pre Trip Planner with detailed information on flies.
Are there other activities?
Other than a bit of sightseeing in Sisimiut – no. However, different kinds of fishing are possible. Sometimes, we find pretty good fly fishing for cod in the fjord. They are fun to catch and fantastic to eat!
Do I need trip insurance?
You need a standard travel insurance that will cover the costs of getting you out of camp (typically by boat (helicopter for emergencies)) and back home safely.
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
You may consider spending a couple of days in Copenhagen – it’s never nicer than during the summer.
Are special skills required?
What are the physical demands?
You should be able to hike at least four – five miles on a daily basis.
Dangers and annoyances?
There are probably no other dangers than tripping over rocks. Some guests ask us about polar bears. They live on the ice, and to the best of our knowledge there has never even been a single sighting of a bear south of Sisimiut during the summer months.
There can be a lot of mosquitoes and especially small flies if the wind is down. We find that a Buff and some repellent take care of them most of the time, but we always carry a mosquito net to pull over our caps, should the bugs become a real nuisance.
Getaway Fly Fishing, Denmark
Contact us: +45 70 21 80 60