The salmon breed in the Suldalslågen River in Ryfylke are genetically unique, and anglers are doing their best to keep it this way by returning the big ones to the river. The biggest one ever caught here weighed 34 kilos. Mr Grieg, an Englishman who took this salmon on fly, had to play the fish for 12 hours.
There are still captures that exceed 20 kilos every year. Since 1957 the total catch has been between 300 and 2,000 salmon per year.
Walter Archer, who was Chief Inspector for the Scottish salmon fisheries, become so enamoured with the river that he started renting rights - until 1884 the whole river was under his control.
Victor Campbell, who joined Robert Falcon Scott on his expedition to the North Pole, also enjoyed control over part of the river for 40 years.
Number of salmon and sea trout caught on rod in the Suldalslågen River
(released fish not included)
||Total number of salmon
||Number of salmon under 3 kilos
||Number of salmon 3-7 kilos
||Number of salmon over 7 kilos
||Total number of sea trout
The Suldalslågen River is fast, powerful and cold, and holds big salmon. Fly rods should be 14 - 16 feet with action to suit # 10, 11 or 12 lines. Bring a combination of fly lines although sinking line (sink 2) or sinking tip is the usual choice. Flies and tubes should suit individual preference but towards medium and larger sizes.
Flies: Silver Blue, Green Highlander, Mar Lodge, Sunrise Shadow, Silver Doctor.
Normal warm clothing for fishing but bring an extra sweater for a chilly night. Chest waders with felt soles. Life jacket and wading sticks are recommended.
The river has different beats of double bank fishing, for example:
- The Øvre Høse beat starts just 400 metres from the river mouth just above the Sandsfossen Waterfall, and extends to 450 metres of exciting fly-fishing. The beat is easy to walk and to wade - also in the dark if you want to try catching sea trout.
- Litlehaga/Berge beat starts 2.5 kilometres from the outlet and has two good pools, and in between, fast running water. There is 850 metres of double bank fishing.
- Førland beat starts 7 kilometres above the river mouth and is 1.6 km long. The beat offers good walking and casting conditions. Waders are not necessary. You start upstream by a small pool which is followed by steadily flowing fly water 50 meters wide. On this stretch there could be a salmon resting anywhere. Trees have been cut to make casting easier.
- Flåtto beat is a 400-metre pool where the salmon often lie only a few meters from the bank. After a wide rapid there is a short stretch which ends in the bend pool. Here, the fly is the right weapon. The beat ends in the lower pool below Storøy. On this beat there is a fishing hut where you can make coffee or food, or have a rest on one of the bunk beds.
The waters is normally fished by four rods per week with one or two guides.
Where to stay
Mo Laksegard, on the banks of the Suldalslågen River, has been developed around the old farm Mo, which has more than 120 years experience of sports fishing. Mo Laksegard has three fishing lodges and three apartments, each with three bedrooms. Every unit has a nice living room, fully equipped kitchen, and bathroom. All meals are served at the main house.
There is a bar/pub situated in the lounge. Here the salmon fishers gather and share stories and experiences.
Outside you will find a heated swimming pool and wooden hot tub where you can have your early morning swim, or relax in the middle of the day.
Three kilometres from Mo Laksegard lies the village of Sand where you will find a supermarket, a post office, a bank and, of course, a tackle shop.