(1995) There are few places in the world that have such a powerful attraction on me as Greenland. If you have first experienced Greenland's nature and fishing, well then you’re seriously "caught".02 Paradise Valley Arctic Char

The wildlife, nature and fishing in the wilderness are absolutely exceptional. There is an incredible amount to tell, and I wish I could tell you the story with my own mouth and gestures, but since I am limited to one article, I have chosen to describe a day from my diary:

We got up at 0800, at "sunrise". Actually, there is no sunrise as the sun does’nt actually go down in the summer months so far north. We therefore called it sunrise when the sun peeked past the nearest large mountain and began to warm our little tent.

After splashing some cold water in our faces and brushing our teeth, the first job of the day was to get a fire going so we could make coffee. It's not like at home with the coffee machine brewing several cups in a few minutes. First we had to find kindling and firewood, get the fire going and then boil the water in a small pot that hung on a stick over the fire. I do not know what it is that does it, but the coffee seriously tastes better out there.

06 Paradise Valley Arctic CharFor breakfast we ate cold arctic char, which had been fried on the fire in tin foil the day before. Such a little fish with rock salt and mayonnaise on coarse rye bread simply tastes heavenly. And while we sat on each our rocks and munched on the food, a small herd of musk oxen posed on the other side of the river, studying us curiously.

We quickly got the day framed - in the morning we would fish Pilot Pool, and in the afternoon we would try a new place further upstream, which we later named 5 Mile Pool.

On the way to Pilot Pool you pass The Stone. The name, The Stone, is not particularly clever, since there are thousands of places that could rightly be called the same, but we could not really come up with a better name for it. The place became almost sacred to us the first few days, because we could usually catch one large arctic char each per day, and that was usually in the first cast. So even after we found other places that were smack full of fish, we ritually allowed ourselves just one single cast each at the Stone.20 Paradise Valley Arctic Char

This morning I only got a small arctic char at The Stone, whereas John landed a very nice specimen that fell for a black/green Vibrax spinner. The fish had to be photographed, so I justled around a bit with John to get a proper background in the picture, and get some sun on the fish. I checked through the camera viewfinder, adjusted the aperture, asked John to lift the fish into position and was about to start shooting, when a musk ox suddenly appeared out of the bush behind John, and started towards him. John, standing with his back to the musk ox, could not understand why I didn’t take the bleeding picture, so the fish could be released quickly. I do not remember what I shouted at him, nor do I really think it made any sense, but he figured something was wrong, turned and saw the musk ox, and then stormed into the river a few steps behind me.The musk ox stopped at the water’s edge, and for reasons best known to itself, it leisurely wandered off again. I'm sure it had good laugh at our expense when we stood there in the middle of the river, drenched, cold and gaping - John with fish and fishing rod and I with the camera lifted high above my head.

30 Paradise Valley Arctic CharNow that we had gotten wet on our feet anyway, we decided to fly fish an otherwise hard to reach stretch near the Pilot Pool. Pilot Pool is a spawning ground for the arctic char, so it was as John put it "paved with fish", but since we were not looking to just catch a lot of fish that day, we slipped a little downstream to a hole, where the day before we had seen some really big fish. Despite our efforts to be silent and invisible, the huge fish disappeared as soon as we approached. On the other hand, a few very nice fish remained in the hole, and already at the first cast I got the pleasure of what could be compared to an express train at the end of the line. After many runs and jumps, we managed to coax the fish into my fold-out landing net. It was a bull of 3.2 kilos in the most beautifully colored spawning suit imaginable.90 Paradise Valley Arctic Char

After noon, we had some bread with a tin of mackerel in tomato sauce, after which we set off on the long hike to the 5 Mile Pool. On the way we found several skeletons of musk oxen and antlers from reindeer. Furthermore, during a toilet visit along the mountainside, I located an ancient Eskimo grave, so while I was sitting there pondering over life, a grinning skull lay there staring at me from the grave.At 5 Mile Pool, John got lucky after just three casts; the trip's biggest fish, weighing 4.0 kilos - another super nice bull with jaw hook, yellow belly, orange fins lined with white edges, and a proper rudder for tail.

We fished an couple of hours more and caught five fish weighing between 2.5 and 3.6 kilos, just to end the fishing day perfectly. One of the fish had been damaged in the gills by the hook, so it was immediately designated as the gourmet dinner fish.The evening menu was as follows. Starter: chicken soup (KnorrKoppen), main course: tinfoil-fried arctic char with mayonnaise, dessert: cookies followed by a small glass of whiskey. The remnants of the fish went to our little, motley friend the arctic fox, who apparently loved everything from canned liver paté to licorice.

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