However, only recently has it become recognised on the same level as other respected salmon rivers in Arctic Norway.
Located between 70 degrees north and 71 degrees north, the river valley could easily have been a part of the Arctic tundra, however, thanks to the Gulf Stream it is amazingly fertile. The area is renowned for its diverse vegetation and rich animal and bird life. Scenically, it ranges from the wilderness of the inland mountain plateau (Finnmarksvidda) to the dramatic Porsanger fjord. This fjord stretches 125 kilometres (80 miles) north towards the Arctic Ocean to the huge cliffs of the North Cape plateau.
Particularly well suited for fly-fishing, the Lakselv River offers long stretches of excellent fly water with numerous bends in the broad valley before meeting the Porsangerfjord. The best section for salmon fishing is upstream from the fjord for about 40 kilometres (25 miles).
Stuenes Lodge offers its own private beats in addition to fishing on a number of adjoining public beats totaling to around 20 kilometres (12 miles). There is a combination of single and double bank fishing. Wading is easy in this part of the river, as most riverbanks are gravel and with good space for any casting techniques. On the upper reaches of the river casting can become more challenging, due to the density of the vegetation.
Lakselv is regarded as a ‘late’ river, as the main runs of salmon start around mid July and the best fishing is often in August. A special feature of Lakselv is the annual August run of big sea trout, often weighing between six-eight kilos (13-18 pounds) up to the heaviest registered weight of 12 kilos (26 pounds). In addition to salmon, the river has very good stocks of arctic char, brown trout, grayling and sea trout. The largest arctic char caught is recorded at 2.6 kilos (5.7 pounds).
At Stuenes Lodge
Some 18 kilometres (11 miles) inland, The Stuenes Lodge is located right on the riverbank. It is just 30 metres away from a very good pool – where a few casts will provide a potential 12-15 kilos (26-30 pounds) fresh salmon.
The lodge was finished for the 2003 season and has a prime position, on one of the best fishing stretches of the river. As well as the private beat just outside the lodge, the owner has organised additional fishing along the entire river to benefit his guests on a rotating basis.
The lodge sleeps up to six people, with four sharing two twin-bed rooms. Facilities include modern toilet and bathroom facilities, a spacious lounge/ dining area and a kitchenette.
One of the main features is the open balcony facing the river where you can hear the salmon leaping. With plenty of space for up to six rods on the river, it never feels crowded.
Accommodation is on a full board basis and guests enjoy the services of their own chef who takes great pride in using produce from ‘nature’s own larder’.
You can be sure the dishes will very much reflect Arctic traditions and recipes. This is certainly a great place to explore the wonders of the Arctic.
Fishing season: 1 June - 31 August
Fly rods should be 14-16 feet matched with number 10, 11 or 12 lines. Bring a selection of fly lines although intermediate density is the most used. Flies and tubes should suit individual preference but towards medium and larger sizes. Chest waders with felt soles, life jacket and wading stick recommended.
Guides: one guide per two anglers.
Facilities: Drying room, tackle shop, freezer, packing of catch for air transport.
For non anglers: Travel to North Cape, visit Sami people culture centre, Nature Museum, cruise on the fjord.
Nearest airport: Lakselv airport (15 minutes by car).
Contact: Nils Pettersen
Address: Lyngveien 18, 9700 Lakselv, Norway
Telephone: +47 78 46 11 08
Mobile phone: +47 93 22 58 18