Norway. Naturally beautiful, clean and rugged. Imagine catching fish in untouched surroundings, making sushi or cooking your catch on an open fire for an energy boost. Fishing trips made extra special with elk, reindeer, capercaille, partridge, arctic hare, the list goes on. Well that’s exactly how it is. If you haven’t already understood, Norway is a fishing heaven. Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, the sea and mountain regions, there’s more water than land, well almost. This combined with Norway’s low population, high and diverse fish stocks, makes the place nothing less than an utopia.
Southern Norway or the Norwegian Riveria as it is refered to, offers such a diversity of environments, fish types and something for everyone, not just the fisherman. This combined with the warmer climate, gin clear turquoise sea and clean beaches makes Southern Norway unique.
Large and powerful rivers, smaller spate rivers, streams. Salmon (Salmo salar), sea trout (Salmo trutta), brown trout (Salmo trutta), american brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), the common whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), the choice really is yours.
Mandalselva or The Mandal River. It is on the banks of this great salmon river which I am situated. Once a regular hunting ground by the great Lord Edward Theodore Salvesen. A prolific atlantic salmon and sea trout river that can produce fish in excess of 30lbs and in excess of 12 tons of salmon per season (impressive if you take into account that Norway’s salmon season is just three months). I can also offer unique fishing on this river that no one else can. Imagine being able to fish areas of the river that are unfished due to their inaccessible location. Well by use of rafts and my knowledge, I can get you there!
Rivers are not just reserved for salmon. For example Norway’s american brook trout record was taken in Mandalselva. A beautiful specimen of 2.3kg or 5lb. There has been observed larger, but not yet caught. Maybe it’ll be you?
Or the unique Bleka (Salmo salar L). A relic landlocked salmon from the last Ice Age. The fish is so unique, that is only found in 6 waterways in the whole world.
If that’s not enough, then the same waterway houses another unique fish. A brown trout but with Marble Trout markings. The only marble trout variant found outside of the Balkans!
If that’s still not enough, all rivers are generously populated with brown trout, with some fine examples reaching 3-4kg (7-8lbs).
When casting a fly to our atlantic salmon, then there are many choices. Depending on conditions and size of river. Mandalselva is easily tamed with a 14’ #9 double hander, others prefer 10’ #7 one handers and others switch rods. 15lb(7kg) – 25lb(9kg) tippets possibly stronger depending on where in the river you are fishing. Lines in accordance with the conditions. Though most fish with floating or float with a fast intermediate front section. When it comes to flies, well the peaty rivers of the south suit oranges, yellows, gold. Ally’s shrimp, thunder and lightning, cascade, sunray shadow, etc. My blog will give a broader picture of which flies people use.
For trout and other species then the equipment will be the same as recommened for lakes.
Norway plays home to approximately 450000 lakes! From lowland lakes to mountain lakes, huge, vast, deep lakes all the way down to a pond, almost every one is full with brown trout! In the area which I guide it’s not just brown trout that inhabit these waterways. You can experience american brook trout, arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), monster pike (Esox lucius), perch (Perca flavescens) and rudd (Scardinius erythropthalmus). You really won’t get bored, I promise you!
Just to give you an idea of what the lakes hide. Brown trout of upto 9kg (20lbs), pike of upto 19kg (42lbs) and many more secrets. But on a general basis, brown trout of 300g-500g (0.5-1lb) with plenty of larger examples for good measure.
A good general rod is a 9′ #5. Maybe even a #6 or even a #7 if it’s windy or you choose to use larger nymphs or lures. If it’s the pike your after, then a #8/9 will cast those large flies relatively effortlessly out to their domain. If wind is not a problem then a #3 with small dry flies is magical. Floating lines, midge tips, intermediates all depending on conditions and flies being used. Tippet according again to your fly choice and quarry. Typical, allround flies are daddy longlegs, sedges (all stages), buzzer/midge imitations (all stages), damsel nymphs, heather flies, fish imitations, freshwater shrimp. Again my blog or contacting me will give you more answers.
I must emphasise that seeing another fisherman is a novel rarity as opposed to the norm.
The Sea. Super clear turquoise water breeds host to an array of fish species. From cod to pollack to coalfish to the silver sea trout to bass. I could og on, the list really is endless. Stocks are plenty full and the fish can grow to dazzling sizes.
I’ll paint the picture. Think about it, standing there, rod in hand on the cleanist sandy beach, the clearest blue water. Rugged, rocky and green behind you, casting a fly out to multiple sea trout!
As the lakes, seeing another fisherman is a novel rarity as opposed to the norm.
We tend to use faster actioned fly rods, 9′ in length AFTM 6-7. Maybe #5 on calm days. For the most part floating or slow/fast intermediate flylines with quite aggressive tapers that have punch (if needed) to get larger flies through the Atlantic wind. I prefer fluorocarbon for the clear water from 9lb (4kg) bs upto 15lb (7kg). Flies like Surf Candy to imitate sandeels, white, pink or more natural coloured prawns/shrimp flies size 6-8, Lefty Kreh’s jiggy in black and white or charteuse and white, or black zonkers for night fishing. You can check my blog for more information.
If you want to take it a step further, and get away even futher from people and closer to untouched waters, we have the mountains. Unpopulated, maybe a stray cabin here and there, miles and miles from the nearest civilisation. Just an hour from the myself and Norway’s Riveria.
The experience of catching large trout for dinner, picking blueberries and cloud berries for dessert and drinking the cleanist of water straight from mountain streams. This is what I can offer. If I’m to be honest, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Conditions in the mountains can tend to change fast, so your equipment should reflect this fact. Equipment is very alike fishing in the lowland lakes, but it’s worth taking into account the wind and exposed places.
So as you may have noticed, Norway and the area to which I am situated has a wealth of possibilities and I can guide you to exactly the one YOU want.