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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was on Skjern in the end of May, in attempts to catch Danish atlantic salmon. Salmon grow big there, and 80-90 cm (31-35") is a common size for springers. In August there is run of smaller salmon (grilse), but during the spring time there were no accounts of fish less than 70 cm. The record for this spring was 125 cm ( 49" ).
Fishing pressure is high in the beginning of the season. Licenses are quite cheap for Europe - 26 euro/day (53 euro from 16 of April to 16 of May, the hottest time). One fisherman can kill one salmon in the season before the quota ended, killing quota for big salmon over 70cm is about 184 fish in this year, and was exhausted in the end of April. After quota exhausted , one can only catch and release. Lesser salmon can be taken home, there is separate quota for them.

I like license selling system in Denmark over internet. You can buy electronic license, download to your phone (it s a PDF file with generated QR code encoded with name of the holder and dates), and that's all! If fishing inspector will check you, just show him electronic license on your phone. Very convenient.

River infrastructure is well organized for anglers. With license you get a fishing map with locations of parking spots. Also, it can be downloaded from internet as PDF. Parking spots for anglers have signs where to turn from the main road. Also, there are wooden dinner tables in rest areas, and some places have small shelters from the rain.

Fishing along Skjern managed by few angler's associations. Each angling association has dedicated river stretches and requires a separate license, which covers only it's water. On Skjern there are 4 angling associations:
Skjern association water - lowest section from the sea to the town Albaek and Omme river (tributary). Borris association - from Albaek to outskirts of town Sonder Felding, and part of Vorgod river. It's the biggest continious area, 22 km of the river and both banks. Association of 1926 - Skarrild to Clasonborg part. It's mostly forrested area and access through gravel road (there are not paved roads). Herning association - the most upper part, above town Skarrild.

I fished mostly Borris association part, it's the biggest one, and many consider it the best because of plenty of fishing water. Also, they sell week license for the price of 3 separate days, which is very convenient. Association of 1926 sells only one day or 2-day licenses.
Also I spent one day on Skarrild to Clasonborg (Association of 1926). This is very scenic river section, and offers a different experience. It looks like a trout stream somewhere in England, like in Oliver Edwards films.

The river itself quite differs from most of people think as "atlantic salmon river" , if compared to Scandinavia, Kola Peninsula or Iceland. No rapids, no waterfalls, no rock gardens and plunge pools. It's a typical lowland river, meandering through farmlands.
I heard some stereotypes before on fishing forums (and in this board also) that Skjern is ugly, looks like artifical channel, and water is always dirty-brown.
That's not true. River is beautiful in it's sense, and it's quite diverse.

The bottom mostly composed from mix of sand and clay, brownish-orange color, so water is always colored. But, it is not opaque, you can see the bottom on shallover parts.
It's not suitable for wading in many places. Most fishing is done from the bank, either because there is immediately depth, or because fish holding spots are very close to the bank.

Short heads (between scandi and skagit) are the most popular there, 8-9 m (or 25-30') .
I was fishing with Guideline Compact I/S3/S4, but it was quite heavy and my fly was often catching grass.
So I switched to F/I/S2, which is more pleasant to cast and have less snags.
In open banks, where is no trees, it is good to use overhead casts.

Lowland part of the river , which is wide and has many curves, is quite hard to read. There are no outstanding features in the water,
so the only way is to cover as much water as possible. Fish can be everywhere (or nowhere).
My guide shown me some "hot spots" where are more chances to meet the salmon. But I had no luck, and no takes at all.
But I saw people catching salmon, and even assisted two of them to release it from the hook.

Upper part of the river is quite different. There are forests, high sandy banks, a lot of trees.
River is too small for double hand rod there, single hand and shorter switch rods are more comfortable in the upper section.
There also can be big fish, but it depends from water level (low water - less fish in upper part).

There is smaller river Vorgod (a tributary to Skjern), which also holds salmon, with the same remarks as for upper Skjern part. Smaller and lighter tackle usually required, and during low water there is very few fish in it.
For Vorgod and upper Skjern 11' switch rod with 250-350 grain head is quite comfortable.

Conditions were very hot, +28 C and sun all the time. I got my face burned red.
That's also broke my stereotypes of Denmark as cold country with grey sky.


In the august, there will be more fish in the river - grilse run, and sea trout run. So, maybe I'll give it a second chance.




















 

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That was a very nice read !!
I never knew rivers like this existed in Denmark, from what you describe and what I see, the characteristics are much like my home river.
Countryside is beautiful and looks to be very calming ... perfect destination to fish in my opinion :)
The river photos are fantastic .... the gear shot with the Silver Doctor is awesome too !!
Great report, many thanks for sharing :)


Mike
 
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