Compared to deep sea and salmon fishing, much of Norway's freshwater fishing remains a well-kept secret. All over Norway there are places where, for just a few pounds (euros) you can explore endless lakes and streams and probably have them all to yourself.
The best times to fish vary from region to region and depend on both latitude and altitude, but as a rough guide fishing for most species starts in May. September, and even October, before the mountain lakes freeze over, can be spectacularly good.
Brown trout are distributed widely. Other species include grayling, powan and Arctic char. The ecology of Norway's cold water lakes is also well suited to pike, which provide exciting sport for anglers equipped with lures or specialised fly-fishing gear.
Most of the big salmon rivers produce trout (and sea trout) too, and typically the trout fishing on these waters is neglected. That's not to say that it's easy fishing. There are places where, at times, big trout swimming in crystal water flowing through lush pastureland can be taken on big streamers, but at other times they will ignore everything except the tiniest of dry flies perfectly presented on the thinnest of tippets.
At the other extreme, there are many high mountain lakes and tumbling freestone streams where every pool seems to hold a few fish that are willing to hit almost any reasonably well fished fly.
Where to start? Moving from the South to the North, some of the better known areas include the Hemsedal Valley, where the Hemsila River and its tributaries are considered some of the best waterways for trout. Also highly regarded are the upper reaches of the Glomma, where Hans van Klinken created the Klinkhammer, a pattern familiar to all keen fly fishermen.
Trøndelag, in Central Norway, is a region with thousands of lakes, rivers and streams, and with no fewer than seven national parks it offers endless possibilities to fish for Arctic char amongst rugged mountain terrain, or grayling, trout, pike in forested valleys. As one travels further north, Norway is better known for cod and salmon fishing, but the rivers and lakes of Troms and Finnmark (about as far north as you can get in Europe) are full of exciting surprises.
Whilst these destinations are good places to start, there are thousands of other spots across Norway, particularly in more remote areas, which remain pretty much undiscovered by visiting anglers and possibly even by local fishermen. Why not come and discover them for yourself?
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