Norway – Atlantic Salmon

Background to Norwegian Salmon Fishing

Norway stunning landscape

Norway is home to what was probably the largest Atlantic Salmon ever to have been discovered. In years gone by fish have been caught that dwarf the British rod caught record fish of 64lbs and substantially larger fish have been found and recovered from nets. Today the story is no different with opportunities to catch some very large fish from a number of Norwegian rivers.

Although blighted by the parasite gyrodactilus Salarius in the 1970’s considerable work has restored the fortunes of the affected rivers.  A total of 46 out of 465 were hit by the parasite and 21 rivers are still affected.  Conservation efforts are also bringing about a substantial reduction in the numbers of net caught fish together with the implementation of catch restrictions.  The result has been a considerable upturn in the fortunes of some of the greatest salmon rivers and with opportunities present to catch fish of 30 lbs or more Norway is once again on the map.

Latest News on ‘Bag Net’ buy outs and government restrictions

Despite having a fishing pedigree that most countries would struggle to even be in the same league as, the Norwegian government has been sadly slow in tackling the sort of issues that have led to a decrease in Atlantic Salmon numbers. Big changes are finally afoot.

The buyout of the 'bagnet' fishing stations within the Trondheim Fjord has been a success in combination with some heavy bag limit restrictions.  This will significantly increase the numbers of fish being able to run the 20 or so rivers that run into the fjord. The government is looking to impliment significant bag-netting restrictions in the coastal areas in time for the 2008 season.  In addition there are talks of postponing the netting season by a month, until July 1st, which will again lead to greater numbers of fish running the rivers and will probably result in a further decline in netting operations.

another Norway stunning landscape

The Rivers & Environment

Norway was recently voted the ‘world’s most unspoilt travel destination’. The area where we have focused our fishing centers around the Trondheim Fjord in Northern Norway. The area is a combination of heavily wooded mountainous slopes with a series of medium to large rivers sporting some of the best fly-fishing water that Norway has to offer. Most of the rivers are controlled to a certain degree by water supplies from Hydroelectric power stations, ensuring that they have a stable supply of water whilst at the same time providing protection from all but the most severe floods.

Getting There

All of the beats on offer are accessed from Trondheim airport and range from between ten minutes and two hours drive making the fishing extremely accessible. There are direct flights from Stanstead to Trondheim and regular flights from the UK to any destination in Norway via Oslo, the main international airport.  A collection service is in place for all guests on arrival at the airport, unless you would like the added flexibility of a hire car which can be easily arranged.

The Fishing - Synopsis of The Available Rivers & Beats


The Orkla - Aunan Beat

The fly-fishing at Aunan is some of the nicest fly-fishing water available. Consisting of approximately 5 kms of fishing and 14 pools this offers one of the most picturesque snapshots of Norwegian fishing in idyllic surroundings. Full detail can be found at Aunan destination page

Upper Namsen

Second only to the Alta in terms of reputation the Namsen has some truly magnificent fishing and fly-water. One of the most powerful rivers in Norway it also has a reputation for providing some of the largest fish. In 2004 it produced a salmon of 54 lbs. Find out more at Namsen River page

Stjordal River

The Stjordal offers a total of 85kms of fishing and bears many similarities with the Tweed. Water levels are predictable because it is regulated by controlled releases from the higher parts of the river. The river provides many challenges for the fisherman with an interesting combination of deep slow pool, rapids, plunge pools and riffles as the river twists and turns its way to the huge Trondheim Fjord basin. Situated just 15 minutes drive from Trondheim airport the river here offers one of the best chances of catching a weekend 40 pounder! Find out more at Stjordal River page

Surna River

Although it is a medium sized river the same cannot be said for the salmon, with the largest fish caught from the river being a mighty 58lbs!! A strong cast will allow an experienced angler to cover most of the width and with the backdrop consisting of the Trollheim mountains it is a delightful river to fish. The prime fishing is located downstream of the Harrang power station with the cold waters that come from it resulting in the salmon holding in good quantities below. On account of the cold waters it does mean that the season does not kick off in earnest until the third week of June. Find out more at Surna River page

Gaula River

The Gaula river is regarded as one of the best sport-fishing rivers in Europe and with 11,000 fish caught during the 2006 season with 8,000 of those caught between June and august it is easy to see why. The Gaula is well known for its big salmon in addition to large quantities of medium size salmon and grilse. Find out more at Gaula River page

Recommended Salmon Flies For Norway

Move cursor over Norwegian Salmon Fly to view in 360

Norwegian Salmon Flies are a mixture of both traditional salmon fly patterns, of the style you would fish with in any salmon river in the UK, alongside some fly patterns that have been developed specifically for Norwegian Rivers – but of course can also be used universally.

During the month of June big-bodied Temple Dog Style Flies are by far and away the most popular with wing lengths of 10-15 cm. As the rivers drop away in late June and July Norwegian Salmon Rivers typically run with a clear blue/green tinge. In these clear conditions and with the bright sun flies need to be sized and dressed accordingly. Micro Conehead Tubes in conjunction with strong hooks (Loop Doubles recommended) as well as traditional flies tied on very Strong Hooks such as Partridge Doubles.

Anyone booking a trip with WhereWiseMenFish will receive a free box of Salmon Flies for the trip as well as receiving a 20% discount off any additional flies.

Best Times to go

The season on most Norwegian rivers runs from June 1st to August 31st. The first week of the season often produces the biggest fish although conditions are less predictable at this time. Most of the rivers start to get good runs of medium sized fish at the end of June and July whilst still retaining a high chance of catching one of the large ones.

If you would like to know more about Norway, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart with a Sea Trout from the Rio Gallegos River Justin Maxwell-Stuart

Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942
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