Two of Norway's best salmon rivers, the Nausta and the Gaula, are situated in the vicinity of Førde, in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Fjord Norway. Both rivers offer unique opportunities for fly-fishing, both flow through breathtaking scenery and both also receive support from Norwegian Wild Salmon Management, a programme aiming to preserve local salmon habitat and stocks, and to improve the quality of Norwegian salmon tourism. Amongst other benefits this means that over 80% of salmon weighing over 3 kg have been released back into the two rivers since 2009.
In other respects, though, they couldn’t be more different.
The Nausta River
The Nausta, which flows into Førdefjord, 13 kilometres west of Førde and 35 minutes from Førde Airport, is a small river and is known as one of Norway's most prolific, with a good proportion of mid-sized salmon. Over the last decade the average catch here has been 1,333 salmon with an average weight of 5.5 lb (2.5 kg). With nice pools and varying currents it is one of Norway's best rivers for single handed fly fishing action. Mostly we use intermediate and floating lines. The most popular flies are Green Highlander, Blue Charm, Silver Grey, Silver Doctor and Thunder and Lightning. Hook size from 6 to 10. Lure and worm fishing is also permitted. The season lasts from 15 June to 15 August.
The Gaula River
The Gaula in Sunnfjord is a much bigger and more powerful river than the Nausta, it has more stable water levels and as a result the season here lasts longer, from 1 June to 15 September.
The Gaula empties into Dalsfjord, 25 kilometres south of Førde and just 10 minutes from the airport. We control 15 kilometres of salmon and sea-trout water here. In 2011, 786 salmon were landed with an average weight of 9.5 lb (4.3 kg). The Gaula River also has some unique natural features: 500 metres from the sea, the Osfossen Pool is one of Norway's very best fishing spots. The salmon ladder on the south side of Osfossen is the oldest in Norway and the third oldest in the world. William T Potts from Correen Castle in Ireland was the man who initiated the construction of the ladder, which was completed in 1871. The river has also been equipped with an automatic fish counter and video surveillance. In 2011 some 2,600 fish passed through the counter.
From August onwards the stretch above the Sande community centre is a wonderful area for fly fishing, with a variety of pools and great current sections. Successful fly patterns are mostly the same as for the Nausta. You can also fish with lures.
Atle Frøysland is Managing Director of Fabelaktiv, which holds salmon fishing rights on some of the best parts of the Nausta and Gaula rivers in the county of Sogn og Fjordane. Atle Frøysland can be contacted by email at email@example.com, or by phone at +47 91 61 18 46.