Right from the start Norway’s big rivers laid down the gauntlet and maintained the reputation the early weeks have for proving challenging to fly-fishers. After a relatively mild winter, heavy snow build-up in the late winter and early spring months built up snow reserves in the mountains and lead to high and raging rivers such as the Orkla and Gaula in just the fortnight before the season opening on June 1.
June 1 itself saw freezing temperatures right down to 0 Deg C and heavy snowfall. As a result the first five days at least saw slow fishing.
The most interesting phenomenon on the River Gaula – and the upshot of the aforementioned conditions – has been that the salmon have broadly remained in the lower river beats, below the Gaulfossen. The result being that whole chunks of this famous river (the middle and upper reaches) have proved less conducive to that fly-fishing search for a tug on the line and the first thumping run of a fresh-run salmon.
Even now that we are into July, further rainfall threatens to put the dampeners on some sport, at least but what is clear is that the potential now is there for fishing to explode into life throughout the rivers of Trondelag and elsewhere with big catches of not only the large springers but also ‘medium-sized’ salmon and smaller grilse, and sea-trout.
The NFC’s Thies Reimers with a superb fly-caught Gaula salmon of 22lb, which he swiftly returned.
A feature of the Gaula has been that only when the water at the Gaulfossen has come through at 300 cumecs (metres-cubed per second) and below have the fish in the lower beats been particularly inclined to take the fisherman’s fly but all this is set to change.
Now the floodgates could at last be set to open and salmon anglers everywhere -not least those about to set out to Norway themselves – will be rubbing their hands at anticipation of great sport this month.
STOP PRESS! Now here’s a pleasing bit of fishing journalism serendipity: No sooner had the Fish and Fly team published this report of how close we were to the salmon running the major lower river barrier to salmon migration on the Gaula – the Gaulfossen – than I received this report from Manfred Raguse of the Norwegian Flyfishers Club whose members and guests stand to gain so much from a run of salmon on up the river and into the middle beats around Storen:
‘The following day [4-5 days ago] was an interesting one – the water dropped constantly, down to a level below 180m³ on the Gaulfosssen and as soon as this level was reached we got the report from our friends working on the Gaulfossen that the fish were beginning to move and passing in great numbers! A lot of fish were able to pass the Gaulfossen during the next 24 hrs until the water started to rise again and stopped the run for a while.’
Was this the signal for some Storen beats action on the famous NFC pools such as Langoy, Maela, Tilseth Run and Long Pool and Renna? Almost but not quite …
Manfred continued: ‘We actually have been waiting for some fish to be caught on one of our pools in the Storen area – but again the next reports came in from Beat L1 from the Lower River again. It was again Poul Erik Nielsen from Denmark who was able to land a good fish of 7,9kg (17.4lb).’