The Bogen Søndre Beat – A Fly Fisher's paradise
We are very glad to be able to offer you fly fishing on this famous Gaula Beat, as it is one of the best fly waters you can find on the Gaula. The beat is located about 20 km upriver from our main water in Støren. The Fishing, which is mostly double bank, is particularly attractive for groups of 4 – 6 rods, who prefer to have their own exclusive water. The beat consists of several large and attractive pools - some of which are holding pools and others that fish best under high or low water conditions.

Excellent accommodation for fishermen who prefer to live in a private atmosphere right on the river is included. Probably the oldest of its' kind in the Gaula valley, it was built in about 1837 for some of those early English fishermen who pioneered the fishing on the Gaula and even in those days it was known as the “English House”. The building is right on the river bank and has been well modernised without losing the rustic charm of a typical English fisherman's lodge.

For groups it might be convenient to engage a cook (we can do that for you), or you can get excellent food from the Storen Hotell. Of course it is also possible to stay at the Storen Hotell and fish our new beat as it is only a short distance away. Please let us know if you are interested in fishing this beat with your own party as we are accepting bookings now. We can provide you with a detailed leaflet containing all the information you need about the pools on this beat.

The lower end of the Beat BS2 - just below the English House

The old house is probably the oldest “English House” on the Gaula.

This is a view on the lower part of theBogen Søndre Beat during normal high water in spring. In the foreground you see the Island Pool, below is Svarthølen (Black Pool) and in the background the Home Pool.
Bogen Søndre Pools


overview
Upper Pool & Road Pool
This famous pool is one of the best high water pools on the entire river. (Even during the extreme flood conditions during August 2003, several big salmon were caught on fly here as the flood reached its peak. Most other beats and pools were unfishable long before that). The pool also performs well in medium water, and even in low water to some extent. This is the most productive pool on the Bogen Sondre beat and should not be left unattended for too long.

There isn't normally a great number of resident fish in the pool and most fish caught seem to be on their way upstream, resting for a while before running the fast, shallow water at the neck. These temporary resting salmon are good takers and that is why it is important to fish the pool at regular intervals throughout the day - fish can enter at any moment! In high water the pool should be fished for its entire length, starting from the hut. As the water drops, the best places are in the area in front of and just below the hut, especially when standing around "The 17 kg Stone". The area just above the wires is very good in high water, and definitely worth attention during medium water levels. The same goes for the tail of the pool, from the wires to just above the point were the river is divided by the big island. Fish seem to favour this spot during the night when resting a while before they continue into the main pool itself.

The Upper Pool. This very long pool fishes well in all Water levels and is known to be one of the most productive pools on the Gaula In low water the best chances are at the top of the pool, from the neck down to the hut. If the water is low enough you can wade almost half way across the shallow (but streamy) neck and cover the big rock on the far side - an excellent taking area in low water.

The 88 year old Camille is fishing the Upper Pool.

The Upper Pool. This very long pool fishes well in all Water levels and is known to be one of the most productive pools on the Gaula

In low water the best chances are at the top of the pool, from the neck down to the hut. If the water is low enough you can wade almost half way across the shallow (but streamy) neck and cover the big rock on the far side - an excellent taking area in low water.

Island Pool & Black Pool
In the middle of the beat a large island divides the Gaula in two. The island consists mainly of shingle and was formed by the river some years ago. Although the two streams are of almost equal size, all fish seem to run up the channel on the north bank. The two streams are both fast and not very deep and do not hold fish, except the lower part of the north stream. This short stretch on the other hand is probably the very best place on the beat in low water and is easily fished with short casts.

To reach the island you have to cross the south stream, which has by wading only been possible in low water, and then only in the upper half of it. A boat is stationed here by the NFC and makes this process easier, in all heights of water. It will be interesting to see if Island Pool over time performs as well in these conditions as it has in low water. This has never been tested as, until the boat was placed here, it has been impossible to reach the island in nothing but low water. The pool can be fished with a single-hand rod, but make sure to have plenty of backing on your reel, as following a fish from here involves a proper swim or the use of the boat!


A good fish for Rocky Moran from the Upper Pool
House Pool
A big eddy is formed where the two streams meet after the island and IslandPool. This marks the beginning of Lower Pool, which is very deep in its upper part.The eddy is not possible to fish with the fly and should be overlooked. It ends by the hut and this is the best place to start fishing. There is a good lie between the big rock and the smaller rock on the far bank. To reach it requires some deep wading and a fairly long Spey cast.Wading and casting then gradually becomes easier as you fish down the pool . The are some big stones in the middle of the river, placed by the former tenants, in front of the parabolic aerial. These are good lies and should be fished carefully.

The tail of the pool is shallow and is best fished at night, when the fish are less likely to be spooked. The tail can also begood for sea-trout from July onwards. The lower pool performs best in medium to high water conditions and as a rule it can be said that the higher the water, the closer the fish comes to you. This means that in high water the fish lie from the middle of the river towards your bank; in medium water the fish are somewhere in the middle and in low water they tend to lie closer to the other side. The pool holds a substantial number of resident fish all season, especially in the upper half.

Barrie Welham is fishing t he Lower Pool right out side the English House.
Reppe Pool
Bogen Söndre rods can fish the upper part of the Reppe Bridge Pool from the south side. The north side of this pool is held by the owners for their private use. Fishing from the south side makes things a bit difficult as the heavy current is close to the bank. Still, with the right technique (a lot of mending) it is well worth a cast, but only in low water conditions.

Dr. Jack Cunningham (former minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in the UK, who was involved with the agreement to end the North-East England drift-net fishery for salmon) fished at our new Bogen Søndre Beat in 2004 and 2005. He is pictured with four salmon up to 8,7kg (19.2 lb) taken from the Upper Pool.
One Day at Bogen Söndre...
It is Friday. The rain has stopped and with it will come our fish, the news on the bush telegraph is of numbers of fish passing through the lower river, not stopping, pushing on to the middle and upper river. It is not unusual for these year groups of 2 SW fish to travel in discrete pods; it is one of the many rhythms of the Gaula that become ingrained in the psyche as a result of many summers spent on the cobbles and gravels that form the banks and bars of the river which has become a part of me. The water is not so noisy now, a cognac colour with the flecks of silica released through the erosive power of the Gaulas's flood sparkling a deep burnished gold in the midsummer sunlight.

The river rips and roars down the long riffle from Kotsoy bridge, falling into Bogens Top Pool in a smooth ruffle. The stones in the neck take the power from the stream, here the salmon will wait, rest, comfort and reassure themselves as to their proximity to their home pool which lies high up in the wild headwaters of the narrow gorges of the upper river. The pool stretches away in a gentle curve nearly 800 meters long, the river diffusing its power onto the high bank opposite. At the taking place the pool is some 20 metres wide, not a long cast but line control is critical, the fly must hang here, swim over the stones reminding the fish of their ocean home to provoke that feeding instinct. The banks are a blaze of green in every shade and permutation, alder birch and aspen shake their leaves in a shimmering breeze, vetches, bladder campions and ragged robin provide a palate of yellows, crèmes, pinks and reds. On the steep hillside opposite firs and pines provide a darker green, highlighting the crags of metamorphic gneiss and schist.

Completely undisturbed in the middle of a fantastic landscape: Nick Bryant with a Salmon from Svarthölen

I take a firm grip onto the wrist of my fisherman as we enter the stream. The power of the flow increasing as we feel our way to the middle of the pool. I take a step back and upstream of the fisherman, I watch the slight tremble in his hand as he strips the line off prior to the first cast, he senses it too. The Silver Blue lands millimetres from the rocks on the far bank, an instant mend using the purchase of the water to reposition the line without moving the fly; the leader swings into the main current and another mend finishes the job.

The line passes over the stones; I know that the fly is still a metre to the left and in the laminar flow so friendly to salmon and those who desire them. A tiny movement on the surface and the fish is on the reel as the line darts in a stabbing zig- zag down into the torrent, the fisherman is still digesting both the series of events that have occurred in the previous two seconds and the realization that my confidence in the morning was indeed well founded, we smile noiselessly at each other.

In the evening we fish in the Island Pool, wading carefully over the round cobbles marvelling at the lung capacity of the willow warblers and chiff-chaffs that sing seemingly without ceasing from late May to mid July. At the head of the pool we pause long enough to put a Dunkeld tube onto the short leader in front of the sink-tip. The fisherman begins to cast, lengthening out before placing the fly in against the bedrock which lay under the Devensian ice for millennia; a resting place for salmon since the ice flowed back into the oceans releasing the valley back to the life which lives within and without the river. This time the fish takes slowly, the loop has gone and the fisherman wants to lift the rod; I suggest he waits a few second longer, feel the weight. Three revolutions of the reel turns into many, the fisherman looks across and I nod. The hook is set, the fish however is flap-jacking into the big House Pool and distance becomes an issue. Decisions must be made or the fish will empty the reel, it is an experience I have learned to avoid. I suggest we swim the shallow channel across to the bank of the bottom pool. The fisherman looks sceptical but convinced.

We plunge in to the channel, the fish is jumping high in the air 100 metres away, we swim a short distance before feeling bottom and stagger out rod held high onto the fine white sand. The fight is long and character building for us both, we feel many things that are not described by words; words are few as we halt the fleeing fish at the rapid below the English house. We have won.

We say very little, it has taken an hour. Together we climb through the birdsong into the clover field in front of the house. It is eleven o'clock. We squelch silently across to the house, the fish is 23 pounds and liced. We feel the spirit of the Englishmen who built the house in the 1850's; and understand why the house stands at Bogen Sondre. In the morning the fish will stand under the wires, resting before moving to the top pool after their struggle through the torrent that descends into the Island Pool.

Tomorrow, but first we must drink to the spirit of the fish; amongst friends in a place where the world cannot find us. Then we must sleep, and dream of what has been and what blessings may await us when we awake.

Simon Kitcher, NFC-Guide