To sum up Norway’s fishing in a short introduction is difficult, but we'll try. From the rich and plentiful sea with many different fish species in vast numbers and often large in size, to rivers with healthy populations of different salmonoids and underfished lakes dominated by wild trout amongst other species. Norway is simply put, "a fly fisher’s paradise".
Not only is Atlantic salmon and sea run brown trout (or normally called sea trout) fishing in Norway highly accessible during its short three-month season, but relatively cheap too. Most rivers and streams linked to the sea bare their own wild, self-supporting population and are open for the hopeful fisher (national and waterway licenses apply). In the more Northerly rivers one can be lucky enough to experience the hard fighting and beautiful sea run arctic char in addition to the salmon and sea trout.
Norway has a constitutional law called "Allmennsretten" or literally translated "every man’s right". This law allows you to roam almost anywhere you wish and camp up to 3 days in nature in any one spot.
Curated locations, both guided and non-guided:
Norway's longest river
Southern Norway’s El Dorado
Saltwater fly fishing paradise from your belly boat
So much water and so much trout
Large or small rivers, all full of salmon and sea trout
World class saltwater fly fishing in breath taking surroundings
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Saltwater fly fishers do not need to obtain permission or any type of license or permit.
The national fishing license which is needed for fishing waters where migratory fish dwell is known as the Fiskeravgift (‘fiske’ means ‘fishing’ and ‘avgift’ means fee in Norwegian). This license costs at time of writing 285 NOK per year. It can be purchased either at post office, fishing shops or online here fiskeavgiften.
For all freshwater fishing you will need a local license for that river zone or lakes, or permission from the landowner with fishing rights. Unfortunately, there isn’t yet one resource for finding where one can buy licenses, though there are universal solutions being developed. Local petrol stations, fishing shops, food shops, tourist information are good places to start.
The wild brown trout is Norway’s most plentiful freshwater fish and is be found in most freshwater waterways whether it be a lowland or mountainous lake, or any body of flowing water. In addition to this some areas also house other salmonoids like the arctic char, European grayling, whitefish, landlocked salmon, American brook trout. We must not also forget that Norway can also offer large pike, European perch, asp, rudd with others to the avid fly fisher. Outside of Atlantic salmon, at this moment in time freshwater fishing the least practiced and in most areas having a lake or river to yourself more the norm than the exception.
Another sort after and prized salmonoid is the ‘lady of the stream’. The grayling (Thymallus thymallus) these are found in the very eastern parts of Norway often along the border between Norway and Sweden from North to South. The grayling thrives in faster flowing rivers and streams where they readily take a dry fly during hatches or well-presented nymphs whether it be under an indicator or fished ‘euro-nymph’ style. They are happy to feed in all temperatures, but local seasons may apply. So be sure to check local bylaws.
Often underrated sportfish for the fly fisher are the pollack (Pollachius pollachius) and coalfish (Pollachius virens). These sea dwelling, aggressive and strong pulling fish from the cod family are unfortunately often overlooked when it comes to species that can be targeted with the fly. They are usually found in great numbers and regularly large sizes. They can be caught all year whether it be from land or boat but June to September/October are generally looked upon as the best season as water temperatures rise.
Other fish that are worthy and exciting to target are pike, perch, and asp in freshwater. In saltwater it's cod, mackerel, garfish, and halibut.
Is your favorite species not listed? Let us know.
In most places of Norway, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and sea run brown trout (Salmo trutta) run our rivers each year in healthy and self-sustaining numbers. South Norway typically tends to house smaller individuals (grilse up to 4kg) though very large fish (16kg+) are caught each year. As one travels West and then North, the average size increase, a lot! The most well-known rivers of Norway the Alta, Tana, Namsen, Gaula, Lærdalselva, Mandalselva and Bjerkreimselva but often, the smaller and less known rivers can provide some amazing sport in idyllic surroundings with far less fishing pressure. In most rivers, the seasons spans from the first of June to the 31st of August each year but local variations may apply. But as a rule of thumb, it’s around these dates.
Saltwater fly fishing is a very popular activity for both Norwegians and visiting anglers. Rod fishing in Norwegian saltwater is free and open to all. The pristine and clean waters of the Norwegian archipelago house a myriad of fish species willing to take the fly which can grow to very large sizes and in great numbers. Amongst the most popular are the sea run brown trout, pollack, coalfish, mackerel and in later years the halibut and sea bass. that live in the fjords or along and around the exposed beaches, bays, and islands. They can be fished for all year round.
These are the guides in Norway that can help you exlore new waters and learn new skills.
Articles related to Norway
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