Fly Fishing in Europe - Isn’t it Good, Norwegian Wood
Norway... Sparsely populated; beautiful, unspoilt scenery; miles of river and hundreds of lakes teeming with huge grayling, trout, perch and pike. How can you possibly resist such temptation? Take your rod and Laurent Guillermin will guide you…
Located to the west of the Scandinavian Peninsula Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia and the long Atlantic coast is home to many fjords and, with only 5 million people in an area of 385,252 square kilometres, it is, after Iceland, the least densely populated country in Europe.
After a flight from Geneva via Oslo we headed to Hodalen and what quickly impressed me was the sheer number of rivers and lakes that we passed en route; the tea-coloured water was everywhere and for an angler it seemed like paradise. The scenery was magnificent too with amazing valleys, gentle slopes and green peaks.
We drove along the most enchanting river in the country: the famous Glomma River which, with a length of over 600km, is the longest in Norway flowing from Roros in the north through to Fredrikstad in the south. It is undoubtedly one of the very best rivers to fish in Europe with countless fishing spots and is, among other things, the reason for my trip.
We finally arrived at the beautiful farm run by a French couple, Stephanie and Jean –Philippe, and, after a hearty breakfast, our guide directed us to a beat known as ‘The Aquarium’ where we were to make our first cast into Norwegian waters!
The water was quite low and clear, which allowed us a few moments to try and locate our first fish and I could see a very nice grayling. At this time of year the fish seemed to have left the powerful, faster currents and to know exactly where to look for grayling in such a huge river, I remembered some old advice: ‘Grayling feed on nymphs in water that is not too slow, and not too fast - a current speed comparable to normal walking pace’
With that in mind I decided to start sight fishing with tiny nymphs and it was a case of first cast, first fish on! It was a good size for me too and I netted a beautiful grayling of over 45cm, although Jean Philippe was quick to confirm that there were much bigger fish to be caught!
Pike and perch
The next day we decided to fish for pike in two medium-sized lakes, heavily populated and connected by small channels through dense vegetation and I took seven good, hard-fighting pike on the fly from the first. On the second body of water the reeds were legion and I was alert for any signs of chasing in the margins but, at first, nothing happened and there were no signs of fish.
Then, whilst my line was almost vertical, I had a sudden, heavy take and realized immediately that this was a big pike determined to make it to the deeps. The fish surfaced twice but then the line went slack....Lost! I was gutted because I know I had just missed a beautiful, big pike.
On the third day we returned to the Glomma River and made a nice catch of grayling on dry fly and found some very active perch on small white streamers. Later that evening, on the advice of our guide, we decided to try our luck on a huge lake with our float-tubes following several channels that formed a kind of labyrinth but emerging into the more open water the surface became flat and the first rising fish were visible.
We quickly realised that large, dark brown and grey caddis were emerging everywhere and there was no need to be an expert to recognize a good imitation and a size 12, with some deer hair and a dark wing earned us a good number of trout, and these Norwegian trout were absolutely beautiful and particularly powerful, indeed I strongly advise you not to go below 16/100 in the search of these beautiful fish!
My best trout of the week was not one of these lake fish though, but a colourful and powerful 52cm fish from the Glomma River.
My tackle for Norway
Trout, grayling and perch:
Airflo Streamtec Nantec rod 9’ line 5/6, Orvis Helios 2 9’ line 5
Field & Fish reel 5/7, Airflo Vlite reel 5/7, Orvis Hydros reel.
Airflo DRI lines, Elite, Xceed, Mend.
Airflo Sightfree Extreme fluorocarbon.
Airflo Bluetooth NanTec Rod 9’ line 8/9 or Orvis Clearwater 9-weight 9' Fly Rod
Airflo VLite 7/9 Reel or Orvis Hydros 4
Airflo Bass/Musky line WF9
AirfloTitanium and Predator Polyleader
If you want to fish Norway, contact Laurent at email@example.com
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