To do some fishing in Sweden you will need to do some research. Hopefully, I will have reduced your time in front of the computer with this site. You will soon find some tips, links, etc. about fishing in Sweden. For now I have put a description and some pics from my fishing trips. I will continually update the site and I am even writing a book...so stay tuned in!
Sweden- A large country
Sweden is a large/long country with different environments based on where you are. In the south of Sweden in Skåne the land is flat, and the weather is quite mild. However in the north, the landscape is dominated by mountains and lots of water, where the weather can be 20 degrees colder than in the south. Furthermore, the "west-side" near Göteborg is totally different to the coast of the Baltic and therefore fishing conditions and methods are a bit different. This also means that fishing will be for different species. Typically, grayling are found in Dalarna and to the north, but trout are found everywhere in Sweden, though above the "dead zone" it is more common to find them.
South of Dalarna, there are plenty good fishing rivers in Sweden, however they are few and far between. Local knowledge and a good review of the web are crucial to find them. However, you can also simply go out and find a good stream and ask around...most often you will find out who owns the "rights" to fish. Thereafter, all you need to do is get a fishing card and you're all set. A good idea is to come into contact with fishing clubs, expats, etc. Facebook is a good place to find fisherman like yourselves. We made a site for our fishing club at Linköping University, which many have found, young and old.
The dead zone
I get a lot of emails from people asking if they can fish somewhere for trout and grayling about 1 hour from Stockholm. Answer is, NO. You can find some lakes which stock trout, but they are not native fish, and are mostly rainbows...and how much fun is that?
As with all industrialized countries, around the big towns it is hard to find any good rivers. Even if there are good rivers, the populations of trout may not be good enough to fish. You can also check the "elfiskeregistret (electric fishing register)" to find if the rivers you find have trout...but then it is also hard to find who owns the rights to the fishing. If you are in Sweden, it is best to book with a guide or plan on travelling at least 4 hours north of Stockholm to find good trout and grayling water. Salmon and sea trout are another story however, and can be found everywhere along the coast and in rivers. Again however, above the "red/dead zone" , you will find good fishing! Go to some ski resorts like Åre, Idre, Sälen, etc. and you will have cheap cabins and good fishing.
Unfortunately, you may find that some rivers may look incredibly “trouty” but that you will catch nothing but chubs, mört, etc.. This phenomena is found to extend in many places beyond the dead zone. While Sweden advocates natural rivers and does not stock native trout to damaged rivers (although it has been known to happen), many of the rivers are stocked instead to produce “put-and-take” fisheries. The local fishing clubs, instead of using the money on stream restauration, lure new fly fishermen with dreams of large trout (rainbows) and a weekend of relaxing. I am partial to this form of fishing, and would rather drive further than spend 200-500 kr (or more) fishing for stocked rainbows.
Fishing rights in Sweden are owned or leased out by properties owners, usually to fishing organizations and clubs. This does not make finding fishing spots, fishing licenses and information easier.
A fishing license is required for different water throughout Sweden. Usually these are labeled FVOF (fiskevårdsområdesförening) which is literally translated to “Fishing Keepers Area.” They are the ones who own or lease the fishing rights and either have it for their own use or also sell fishing licenses to the public.
Nowadays, many of the fishing clubs sell licenses through online retailers, for which they must pay a fee. There are also SMS (text message) licenses that you can purchase, but be aware that you will need a Swedish phone subscription for these licenses. Fishing cards are usually sold in 24 hour, 3 day, 7 day and yearly cards. Net Based Fishing Cards can be found from websites such as:
A trip to the local gas station is usually the ticket to finding a fishing license. You may be able to find information on where to buy the fishing licenses on the internet (though likely in Sweden). Fortunately, the advent of Google Translate will be pretty helpful! However, be aware that in many small towns it is not economic to have a gas station with service and automatic stations are quite common. If you do find a gas station with a small service section/store, go in and ask about a fishing card in the area. You are most likely to speak to an older person, a teenager or someone not interested in fishing. Don’t expect to milk them of the fishing tips and tricks for the area. Be advised to bring cash to these places. Although almost every place will accept credit cards, these fishing licenses may be sold as a favor and a special register (box of cash and licenses) may be sitting under the counter and they may only accept cash.
Sometimes you can even find an fishing card machine riverside (look for the sign above). Make sure to buy the card ahead of time, as sometimes the only places you can buy the cards are closed (especially on Sundays), but many places now sell them online.
Fika-ing is an institution in Sweden. You must take time to have a coffee and kanelbulle (cinnamon roll) or any other sweet you would like. It is also a time to sit back and reflect on your patterns, fishing places, warm up and have a mental break from fishing. Do it and you wont be disappointed. You can always brew a nice cup of strong Swedish coffee or visit the local "bensinmack" (gas station) for a cup. I recommend Statoil overall other gas stations. The coffee is good, and the stores are all the same, socialism at its finest! Another Swedish tradition with many hunters and fishermen is to put in a snus (small package of tobacco). Not a good idea if you are not a smoker...it is quite strong and makes you look a bit stupid.
Aim of the Site
Sweden. The thought of the country alone to many conjures images of grandeur. Many fly fishing films and companies stem from the country. So the fishing must be amazing you ask? Despite this utopian image, the Sweden we fish in today is but a glimpse of the fishery it once was.
Fish were plenty and grayling and salmon could be found in nearly every stream flowing into the Baltic sea. As with the industrialization of many countries, Sweden and its natural resources were transformed by this evolution and destruction of natural ecosystems. Nearly every stream in Sweden was dammed to provide energy and power to machinery for milling, electricity, etc. Only later have we realized this mistake and the consequences it has had on our environment.
This description is true of nearly every country worldwide. Only a few true wilderness escapes exist in our world. Despite this bleak picture of the fishing and its downfall, Sweden is a fantastic fishing destination! The problem however is finding your own destination, as travel and time are needed to reach the waters in this oblong country.
This review is primarily designed for foreign fishermen coming to and visiting Sweden. However, fisherman from Sweden may also learn from the perspective of other fisherman about their own fishing treasures, methods and etiquette.
The site and revisions is a result of the response I have received from this website about fishing. Nearly every week I received questions about guiding, fishing places and other requests about fishing. It is great to see such positive response to the website which highlighted the need for a compilation of information on fishing in Sweden.