The Namsen River runs through the county of Nord-Trøndelag in the northern part of Central Norway. This is the country’s heartland, where rich agricultural plains contrast with majestic mountains and a rocky coastline. Although the Namsen is not the longest river in Norway, it’s certainly one of the most powerful. Its springs are in the Børgefjell National Park and its estuary near the town of Namsos. The river is steeped in history. It first came to prominence in the 19thcentury when adventurous British fishermen first started visiting the river, returning with stories not just of the abundance of salmon but also of many huge salmon! Although less prolific, big fish certainly remain part of the Namsen’s current day heritage with a number of 40-45 pound fish being landed each year.
The Namsen is one of the most productive salmon rivers in Norway. In part, this is made up of a strong run of small grilse however they very much are interspersed with fish in the 15-25lb+ range that will boost adrenaline levels to intoxicating levels. Double-handed rods are almost mandatory as even in low-water the Namsen is a big and powerful river. The fly-fishing on the river really starts to get going from mid-late June when the water levels have dropped. Regardless of when you go having a full range of fly tips from floating to fast sink is always recommended. During bright sunny days in mid-July sometimes success is best found at the bottom of some of the deeper pools. Although a strict rotation is not in place the river is roughly broken up into 4 beats. The size of the river and the fact that it is all double-bank means at no time does one feel confined.
The Upper stretch of the Namsentunet beat covers a lot of water and the river follows a straight and free-flowing path. It is probably the hardest part of then river to read although along its length there are numerous sections where deeper holes and structure provide good holding water. It consists of the main spawning area for the river. The Middle beat consists of both the excellent and productive Home Pool as well as some of the most scenic stretches of fishing at Namsentunet. Fast streamy water and classic necks and tails make this feel like a very fishy area!
The upper section of the lower Namsen comes out of a deep gorge with some additionally very scenic pools before channelling down, past the town of Grong, to the confluence where the Sanddola joins it. The Sanddola, a good salmon river in its own right is a major tributary to the Namsen. It has some excellent fly-fishing water in the lower section fished at Namsentunet before they meet. It fishes best in medium water height from mid-June to mid-July.
One of then best known beats on the Namsen, Fiskumfoss is fished as part of the Namsentunet rotation in August. The Fiskumfoss beat is 1.1 kms of double bank fishing starting just below the 34 meter high Fiskumfoss fall. This used to be the uppermost extent to which the salmon could run, (although there is now a salmon ladder tunnelled through the rock). On account of this natural barrier it has turned it into a formidable holding pool.
Typically, as part of the fishing package, a guide is split between 4 anglers although anglers can request an individual guide for additional ½ day blocks. As with any ‘new’ stretch of water having a guide will make an enormous difference, both in ensuring you are fishing in the right areas but inspiring confidence that you are focsing your attention appropriately. It takes about 3 days to cover all the various pools adequately after which time you should of gained enough knowledge to allow you to fish confidently on your own.
The fishing at Namsentunet is not exclusively fly-fishing only. Although this is not always what a fly-fisher wants to hear during the best weeks for fly-fishing weeks this is the dominant method. Although mixed fishing techniques is not what every fly-fisher wants to hear, the size of the river means that fly -fisherman and those fishing other means tend to be quite separate. Many of the deeper sections are to all intensive purposes unfishable with a fly and hence there should be little conflict of fishing interests.
Catch & release remains quite a novel concept in the Namsen, although attitudes are definitely changing. The good numbers of grilse will make for good eating however we certainly strongly encourage the return of MSW salmon. Any angler booked by WWMF who returns a fly caught salmon of 10lbs or over will receive a £40 voucher redeemable at Salar Flies on presentation of a picture!
Depending on the river height, the bulk of the Upper and middle Namsen can be accessed by traditional wooden canoe. Anglers are permitted to make use of the lodge canoes however a degree of boatmanship is a pre-requisite and the ability to safely operate an outboard engine and navigate the faster water. To reach the lower Namsen and Sandola beat a vehicle is required. From the lodge you can easily cover the home pool and many of the pools on the Middle section by foot.
Namsentunet consists of 6 traditional Norwegian chalets with a total of 22 rooms. Whilst all the chalets are unique in design, they allow for both small and larger groups to co-locate together. There is a full assortment of rooms, ranging from single bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms to double bed and family rooms. All the rooms are adorned with a stylish Scandinavian interior design, with crisp white linen and a good wi-fi connection throughout. Modern bathrooms are either ensuite or shared with bathrobes and towels and shampoo/body wash.
There is a large tastefully decorated dining room and communal lounge area. The lodge chef cooks a full range of excellent traditional Scandinavian dishes ranging from Reindeer stew and burgers to salmon and everything inbetween. Breakfast is buffet style with a full range of hot and cold items. Lunch is served at the lodge and there is a 2 course evening meal.
The Upper Namsen Fishing is situated very close to Grong, which is a 2 ½ drive from Trondheim or 40 mins from Namsos. There are direct flights from the UK and Europe to Trondheim or you can take a connecting flight from Oslo to both Trondheim or Namsos. The lodge offers a collection service from either airport however it is worth considering renting a car over your stay which will give you greater flexibility to access all the available pools when fishing outside of guide hours. Hertz offer a preferential rate to anglers fishing at Namsentunet.
-Arrive Trondheim or Namsos Airport
-Drive to Namsenunet (2 1/2 hrs from Trondheim)
-Checkin (after 16.00)
-Supper & evening Fishing
-6 Full days fishing
-Depart after breakfast
3 Day/4 Night schedule Arrive Sun & Wed Depart Thur & Sunday
The season runs from 1 June - 31 August
6 nights / 6 days fishing
Single Room -36,000 NOK -Approx £3,000/angler
Double Room -30,500 NOK -Approx £2,550/angler
Single room/guide shared between 3 rods
6,240 NOK / Approx £430/day
Double room/guide shared between 3 rods
4,400 NOK / Approx £370/day
Non-fisher sharing a room 1,600 NOK/day
Fishing on Namsentunet Beats
Guide shared between 3 rods
The season for Atlantic Salmon on the Namsen and the Sandola runs from 1 June- 31 August. The opening weeks of the season are fairly classic spring salmon fishing when the biggest fish typical enter the system. Late June and the beginning of July sees the numbers increase as the grilse run gets into full swing and this is the best period for fly-fishing as the water levels will have dropped by then. The season continues until the end of August with techniques changing as the season progresses, from fast sinking lines during the early weeks to floating lines and smaller flies as the season progresses.
Norway is known for producing some, if not the largest Atlantic Salmon anywhere, and the Namsen river is no exception. The Namsen is a large and dramatic river with a good grilse run but also enough of the big MSW salmon that makes every cast a potential knee trembler!!
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