Norway for the DIY guy - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Norway for the DIY guy

Hello from steelhead country!

I have a building desire to go try my hand at Atlantic Salmon fishing, in Norway. Last year, I had my name drawn to fish some really cool water on the Gaspé Peninsula, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel that trip at literally the last minute. This year my name was not drawn and I still have the desire to take my shot. I am by no means a wealthy man, and $25,000 for a week of fishing on the Alta is beyond out of the question, I started looking around to see what anglers in Norway like to fish.
It seems to me that there are some very cool rivers on the western edge of Norway whose runs of salmon appear to be healthy. A quick search showed me a series of YouTube videos featuring Lærdalselvi, which to me looks like a super cool river and was wondering, is it possible for a foreigner like me to fish this river without a guide? Are beats costing upwards of USD $100 making the cost prohibitive to a dirt broke neanderthal like me? Are there any coastal Norwegian rivers whose daily or weekly fees make them much more friendly?
I ask because Norway is a country I have always wanted to visit, to photograph, and to just have a decent look around. I figure if I could also knock Atlantic Salmon off my species bucket list, there is no harm and killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
I will freely admit, I can not speak a single Norwegian word and the only thing going for me is that I do not look like an American. If anyone can point me towards some information, preferably in English, about Salmon fishing in Norway, I would be forever thankful. I also promise that if/when I complete this trip, a photo essay will be submitted to the Spey Pages community for all to enjoy.
Thank you for looking,
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:04 PM
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A couple of thoughts. First, don't worry at all about a language barrier. While I'm sure you could run into folks who speak only Norwegian, English is widespread and my experience there is that getting by with English only is just not an issue. Second, Norway in general is an expensive place--a shock really at how much ordinary things like beer and hot dogs can cost. So if on a budget, be prepared for that, don't expect to eat or drink lavishly. Haven't checked recently on things like rental cars, but I would also expect they are more expensive than one would encounter in the US or Canada.

I don't believe a guide is required to fish in Norway. However river access is pretty tightly controlled, not sure there really is any truly "public" water per se. Much of the good stuff is leased by the owners to various lodges/operators, and that can be expensive. I've never done the DIY thing there, but my understanding is that there is a good bit of water that is let by associations or water owners that can be fished by the day, and that isn't going to be that expensive. But if you're contemplating just showing up at a river and fishing, not sure that's in the cards. I'm sure others with more knowledge of those opportunities will chime in to give you some better guidance.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 11:13 PM
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I know nothing about the fishing. But friends just returned from a two week trip, during which they rented a sprinter camper van, and made use of the "Freedom to Roam' laws and wandered all over, camping nearly anyplace they felt like. By having a refrigerator, they mostly dodged the high expenses as they found the grocery stores not much different than those in their home in CO.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 03:12 AM
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There are Association stretches on some rivers, like the one on the Gaula around Storren which can be fished on reasonably priced day tickets, when I was there in 2004 it was around £30 per day.

The Naturecentre at Storren sold the tickets & they had (have?) a website which you can do some initial research on.

Also there are many campsites by rivers which have their' own stretch of the river you can buy a ticket on at a reasonable cost; but don't expect private fishing in either of the above cases - but it won't be "combat fishing" either.

Many campsites have small simple little wooden cabins/ huts you can hire, there are communal showers, W.C.'s etc & self catering is definitely the way to go - especially as in mid summer the days are long so you can work meal times around fishing times that way.

Mid summer you may be fishing evenings, through the night & early mornings then sleep in the day as it doesn't get properly dark at night & the bright mid day sun isn't prime time in clear water conditions.

Do some research on tourist board regional websites & don't forget that you will have to have all your' gear sterilised on arrival & get a certificate for it. This will also cost a fee, but won't break the bank.

Take your duty free booze allowance in with you as it is eye wateringly expensive in Norway, & research fly patterns before you go for the river you chose as these can vary a lot from North to South & precise time of the season.

Have fun.

Regards, Tyke.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 10:55 AM
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Be aware Norway- Oslo is one of the most expensive places in the world. My uncle and nephew were there, crazy crazy expensive. Beautiful country though.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 12:22 PM
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Contrary to developing third world countries like Canada and the USA, Norway has solved its 'Resource Curse'. It scores well in the 'fiscal conservatism' category with apologies to those who view 'fiscal conservatism' as a profane term not to be mentioned in polite company. :-)

So it is indeed a strong currency country. Expensive for visitors. Very.

Everybody should visit Norway and spend some time travelling around looking for slums and tar-paper shacks. Good luck if you find any. Please report back. <vbg>

On the other hand, I would not give up on Quebec. There is no need to reserve quality water in advance, if you know what you are doing, i.e., you understand the fish, seasons, water temperature, flow rates, etc. Second, from reputation, the dry fly fishing for Atlantics is much better in Quebec.

If you seek a 20 kg or larger fish in a fast torrent of water, go to Norway. But if a 6 to 10 kg fish on a dry fly sounds more interesting, then Quebec is the place to go.

There will be fewer English speakers in the Quebec hinterland than in Norway but creative unilingual folks willing to make an effort should do just fine as long as all the locals understand you are not a unilingual English-speaking 'square head' from Quebec. Square head = tête carrée. For better or worse, history matters.

Being an American may actually present a slight advantage. Les québécois are Americanized and typically pro-American without the usual English-Canadian hangups about those things.

As for my fellow English-Canadians: try harder or simply pass up on one of the world's best angling experiences and best managed public recreational fisheries.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 08:18 PM
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Hello.. DIY Norway?? Done it for more than 35 years. By car with friends, or on my own by train/bus/hitchhiking. Sure, Oslo is expensive but there´s no salmonfishing there.. As London is probably more expensive than Rotherham, and New York is more expensive than Doughville.. Take a look at the Norwegian map. North of Trondheim starts the affordable part. Not so many private beats, plenty local club/association water. Also in the southwest, some of the rivers there has been dead from acid rain for decades, but some are restored, and will offer fishing. Rivers like Vosso, Laerdal, Åröy (Aaro) Eidselva, Driva, Surna, Stryn in the west country will offer some public beats, but most landowners will have the good beats on lease contracts. I guess it´s the same in North America, there must be public beats on every river, or there will be poaching. A good start would be Bodö, they have an airport right in the middle of the city, partly military. (The locals still have nightmares about the Starfighters, loudest aircraft in history??) You could easily spend two weeks around there, fish medium/small rivers a few days each with a good chance of a fish or two. At reasonable prices. Language is no problem , up there they meet every new face/tourist with some interest. Germans could be met coldfeeted (historical reasons) or Danes (mostly about language). I´m sure some Norwegians will chime in here, too. Let´s hear what they say.. And Quebec sounds interesting! Is hitchhiking legal there?? Yours borano20
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by borano20 View Post
......Germans could be met coldfeeted (historical reasons) or Danes (mostly about language). ..... And Quebec sounds interesting! Is hitchhiking legal there?? Yours borano20
Good post.

Me thinks that the coldfeet would apply more to older Norwegians, something I have personally experienced first-hand, but not so much younger Norwegians.

Quebec is interesting. Very interesting. Both for natural landscapes and people. There is terrific and well-managed Atlantic salmon and sea-run charr fishing on both sides of the St. Lawrence; some of the streams on the Gaspé Peninsula are drop-dead gorgeous.

Hitch-hiking is legal though it may be at least technically illegal on portions of Highway 20 but there is always a way to get around that.

Are you Swedish? Quebecois elites have long admired Sweden and its accomplishments.

If you do make it over and spend some time focusing on dry-fly sipping Atlantics, I would drop down to Quebec City for a few days at the Festival d'été de Québec in early, mid-July. Great musical acts are brought in from around the world. It is one big, long, mostly outdoor party in a unique, historical and attractive urban setting.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 08:31 AM
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A few years ago we visited our friends who moved back to Norway (Voss) and some day fishing was arranged for me by our friends' neighbour who was a salmon fisherman on a local river - Gudvanger I think.
Tickets were purchased from the campsite for very little money, around £30 or so. There were no other fishermen in the whole afternoon except for a pair of permanent rods, and I was instructed to let them pass through with right of way. I had a chat with them and they said they used to fish all over the world for salmon but they bought a permanent week on this river/beat after they fished it for the first time and thought it was the best. It had been shut for 10 years due to disease and overfishing but recently reopened.
It was lovely fishing, but I didn't get a touch in the four or so hours I was there.
The second day I was shown around the beat by the beat owner - he had sold me the day ticket the day before. He had built a lodge and had purchased it years earlier with a partner and was selling time on it with the big outfitters, but offered me a week on it; but I would have to find others to share the cost. In the end I declined as I would be ultimately responsible for the whole amount if others pulled out, etc. He showed me lots of different runs, and I saw lots of fish - though hooked none. He caught two small grilse on a rubber worm and spinning rod, he wasn't a fly fisherman. He took me to a clifftop to look down on one run, and showed me several large salmon finning away - those are 20kg salmon he said!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 06:20 PM
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DIY in Norway, no problem. Language, no problem. Western rivers, big problem...
Western region has had very poor/bad returns last couple of years. Laerdal has been terrible. Along with super prizy lease fees on private beats, I would rcomend to look further north as pointed out by Borano.

Everything from Trondheim region and up, exept for the Alta (100k$ for a week by Frontiers).
I would put focus on river Vefsna (big river) by Mosjøen (Mosjoen town) and river Beiarn (small/medium river) near Bodø (Bodoe town). Easy to access and fairly cheap (aprox 100$/day). Both rivers have fished very good the last seasons, and are in a positive trend. Both have realy big salmon and searun browns.

You will be in need of a rental car, so you should be aware. Hit Beiarn aprox 3. week in July, then move on to Vefsna in end of July. The salmon ladder in Vefsna did not open before aprox mid July this year. This means that the upper parts of the river did not hold any fish before they opened.

Best of luck!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 05:13 PM
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I also have an interest in doing some DIY Norwegian angling. Is there a place to find information on what water is public or where to buy day passes for specific beats?

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