The Gaula River, which runs through three municipalities (Holtålen, Midtre-Gauldal and Melhus), is regarded by many as the best salmon river in Europe. It runs through an area full of contrasts; from high mountain plateaus through canyons and forests to the gentler, wider and rich agricultural land near the Trondheim fjord. It is also one of the longest salmon rivers in Norway being 85 kilometres (53 miles) from the mouth at Øysanden to Eggafoss (waterfall).
There is stable fishing throughout the whole stretch although early season fishing is mostly below the Gaulfoss rapids, a 300 metres long gorge that the salmon cannot run in high water. The river became famous for its fishing among British noblemen who came to the valley in the 1870s and 1880s. It continues to be known for its big salmon and fly-fishing stretches which provide some of the best sport in Norway. Catches have been enhanced by the delayed bag-netting season and the buy-out of nets throughout the Trondheim fjord area.
The Valdøyan/Valdum’s beat (approximately one mile) is one of the most prolific on the river and fishes very well throughout the season. It is a couple of kilometres below the Gaulfoss rapids, which ensure the beat’s success from day one of the season (1 June).
In practical terms, the whole beat can be seen as one long, continuing pool as there are so many fishable places. Due to the width of the river, there is no interference when people are fly-fishing from both banks, but a rota system is in place to ensure the week’s fishing is fair to everyone. Normally, two anglers are placed together on the same stretch. Wading is easy at normal water level because of the combination of gravel and larger stones, but becomes more challenging at higher water. As in most Norwegian rivers, the main rule is ‘only knee deep wading’.
The first part of the season, 1 June till the beginning of July, normally sees the largest fish. Medium size salmon and grilse start to come through during the end of June and continue till the end of August. August can also see the challenge of some big cock salmon coming through for the spawning season.
At Valdøyan/Valdum Lodge & Beat
The Valdøyan Lodge, situated a few metres from the river, is a 17th century farm house which has been modernised over the years. It sleeps five people in single rooms, sharing two bathrooms. There are three additional bedrooms in an annexe to the lodge and a modern log cabin with bathroom facilities.
The lodge has a fish handling area, fridges and freezers for those who wish to keep their catch, an area for cleaning and drying equipment and waders, a changing area and a fly-tying room. The facilities are planned to follow the pattern of getting ready for a day’s fishing and the return to a well prepared evening meal.
All meals are served in the lodge’s dining/common room. As is usual in Norway, there is traditional, wholesome food throughout the day with an emphasis on using local produce and specialties such as venison and elk steaks, lamb, a variety of fish, local cheese and seasonal berries.
Tackle box: Fly rods should be 14-16 feet with action to suit number 10 or 11 lines. Lines: Medium density or sinking; floating lines later in the season. Flies and tubes to suit individual preference but towards medium and larger sizes. Chest waders with felt soles, life jacket and wading stick recommended.Guides: Normally two guides for a group of eight anglers.Fishing statistics: On request.Facilities: Drying room, fish handling area, freezers, fly tying room and local fish smokery.For non-anglers: City of Trondheim, (30 minutes drive), Nidaros Cathedral (where Norwegian kings are crowned), medieval sites, museums, art exhibitions. Walking and hiking in the locality. A special attraction is the red squirrels in the near vicinity of the lodge.Nearest airport: Trondheim (approximately one hour by car).Booking: Bjørn G. SiggerudTelephone: +47 22 34 10 56Mobile: +47 907 55 582Address: Fred. Olsen Travel AS, Prinsensgate 2B, 0152 Oslo, Norway
Contact: Unni NordhammerTelephone: +47 92604952Mobile: +47 92604952Address: 7232 Lundamo
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The Gauldal valley is located just south of the city of Trondheim in the county of Sør-Trøndelag.
The Gaula River - Valdøyan/Valdum Lodge & Beat
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