Camp North Season Report 2023 – Part 1

The opening week of Camp North was, as usual, hosted by our friends from the Danish tackle shop Go-Fishing in the hunt for the first sea-run char entering the river. The river was exceptionally high, forcing our anglers to employ alternative techniques: using sink tips and heavy, bright flies in challenging conditions.

While the high water at times made the fishing harder than usual, the fish were coming in hard! Daily fresh runs of fish were encountered from Lake Pool down to the end of the Spey Pool, and they responded aggressively to a well presented fly. Sneaking up on fish resting in small pockets in the hard current of the tributary paid off – but at the other end of the spectrum, coastal fishing in the fjord – with foam flies skated on the surface! – also turned out to be the best we’ve had in years. Strong fish, the biggest just shy of 70cm, were aggressively hunting down and striking the foam flies. Witnessing fish after fish crash surface flies is the most adrenaline-packed experience Greenland has to offer and should be on every fly fisherman’s bucket list.

Towards the end of the week, the river’s water level dropped significantly, and the water became clearer every day. The first group of the season had noticed more and more fish reaching the upper river, and they kindly shared this information when the second group of the season arrived.

It turned out that a large run of fish had reached the upper river at the beginning of week two. Waterfall Pool began to fill up, and the guests had several productive days swinging streamers and fishing nymphs. Even though the river was still high, the water remained crystal clear, and the small and lightly dressed Five Hair Fly once again proved to be as deadly a pattern, fishing in clear water, as a big and bulky streamer can be in coloured water. Further downstream, the main river continued to offer world-class fishing as a constant influx of fresh fish entered with each high tide. Fishing only improved throughout the week despite more rain and a slowly rising river.

During the third week, the weather began to stabilise, and the Greenlandic summer, as we know it, had finally arrived. The tributary and Million Dollar Pool were starting to clear up, and the first lake produced some exceptionally large fish. It turned out that the lake and the upper part of the tributary down to Million Dollar Pool would produce the biggest fish of the week. The upper river never slowed down. At this point, Big Bend and Streamer Alley, just downstream from Waterfall Pool, were also packed with bigger fish in the 7-8 pound range. Further downstream on the main river, clients were catching crazy numbers of fish each day, from Lake Pool all the way down to White Boat Pool.

At the end of the third week, our camp manager witnessed some amazing foam fly-action on the tributary. Coming down through the gorge, heavily built chars hammered the skated foam flies in the fast water, and a very experienced and well travelled guest described the day as “possibly my best day of fly fishing – ever!”

The river flow returned to normal at the end of July, and after guests had fulfilled their dreams of catching fish on streamers and nymphs, they began experimenting with foam flies. The decreasing water level created ideal conditions for skating foam flies in the lower parts of the river. The camp manager for week four described the fishing as absolutely crazy. “They were hunting down and hitting the foam flies as if there were no tomorrow.”

Camp North Season Report 2023 – Part 2

First week of August saw clear skies and bright sun lighting up the valley. All pools were now clear, and, combined with the stable weather, fishing became more challenging. Char that had already been in the river for some time were still hitting foam flies and streamers, but striking periods were getting shorter, forcing guests to try different methods to succeed. Once they cracked the code and found the right technique for the day, the abundance of fish meant the fishing actually turned out to be extraordinary and way beyond their expectations.

Occasionally, a fresh run of fish would turn on those that had been in the river for a while, resulting in aggressive takes from the now slightly coloured-up char. Skated foam flies started to produce, especially on the upper river, and that message was passed to the incoming group for the second week of August.

The new group of guests didn’t hit it off with the foam right away – sometimes it takes a little bit of persistence, and when you have just arrived you usually want some “safe” action. Of which they got plenty, by swinging streamers.

The tributary wasn’t super hot during week six, maybe because most of the bigger fish had moved so far up in the tributary that it became too much of a hike. Therefore, the main and upper river got the most attention during the week. And especially the upper river was on fire.

Some weeks, the most productive fishing on the upper river is limited to certain parts (basically, the “upper upper river”) but this August, the chars were just all over. They didn’t always bite but if you found a good spot, holding a decent number of fish, it would light up sooner or later when a fresh group of char moved in and stirred up the rest. Foam fly fishing was at times spectacular at Cut Bank and at The Stones further below, and Chair Pool and Streamer Alley kept producing double, and even a few triple, hook-ups when the fish turned on.

When group seven arrived, some of the char had been in the river for six or seven weeks and had really started to colour up. On Camp North River, most of the fish don’t really get super red: Some turn more greyish, others turn light orange or even yellow. The variety is astonishing. Throughout August, fresh sea-run char entered the river with each high tide, adding some fresh silver to a colourful mix.

During the week, fishing was on in all the known pools, and both fresh and coloured char were caught in good sizes throughout the system. At some point, a large run of smaller fish entered the river. In the beginning, they were a fun addition to the older and bigger fish, hitting skated surface flies like crazy. However, after a lot of fun and some experimenting, the guests found out that large pink streamers and pink foam flies seemed to increase the average size of the caught fish, and they were back to hunting down the bigger specimens.

During the last week of the season, Kiddy Pool (the pool closest to camp and often the first where fish stop in large numbers) held hundreds of fresh char. There were so many fish, hitting the surface flies like crazy. At the same time, Waterfall Pool and Streamer Alley were packed with fish in all sizes and colours. Those guests putting in the extra effort to fish the upper river had some unbelievable action..

Looking back at the season as a whole, we probably had one of the best seasons ever at Camp North. (Then again, we seem to think that every season). Our guests at Camp North caught huge numbers of fish and landed many trophy chars above 70 cm, the biggest passing the 80 cm-mark.

Thank you to everyone visiting this year. We’ll be back in 2024, and we’d love for you to join us.