It is no secret that you get top conditions for freshwater and fly fishing in Norway. You are spoilt for choice with secluded, clear lakes, rivers and streams.
There’s an abundance of freshwater fishing spots in the forests, mountains and national parks – in fact, pretty much all over the country. Compared to many other countries in Europe, Norway is exceptionally clean with fresh air, clear water, and lots of happy fish. And if it’s peace and quiet you’re after and love spending time outdoors, you will not have a hard time finding a place all to yourself. Just remember that you will need a fishing licence (see more below).
Those who are hooked on fly fishing will be pleased to hear that Norway’s cold water lakes are chock-a-block with brown trout, pike and perch. Other common species are grayling, common whitefish and Arctic char. Salmon fishing is a chapter in itself. Thanks to the cold climate, Norway has also established itself as a premier destination for ice fishing in Europe.
A Norwegian fishing adventure is a good option if you're on a budget. Renting a characteristic wooden cabin lodge can offer great value for money – especially if you get together with a few friends, as they are often priced per cabin rather than per person. Many cabins have self-catering facilities, so you don’t have to eat out all the time. Instead, take the opportunity to refine your cooking skills and turn your catch into a feast.
In most places, the high season for freshwater fishing starts in May and lasts until the end of the summer. The months of September and even October, before the mountain lakes freeze over, are especially good for grayling fishing. In the winter, you can try ice fishing.
Ever since British upper-class anglers discovered the rivers in Norway in the mid-1800s, thousands of foreign fishermen have come to fish salmon here each year. It’s also very popular with the locals, and tens of thousands Norwegians take part in salmon fishing every year.
Wild salmon was traditionally harvested as an important food source, but today it is more of a prized fish species for recreational anglers. Due to a slow decline of salmon stock in the last few decades, strict daily and seasonal bag limits have been introduced and more and more anglers are practising "catch and release".
The salmon fishing season is short but exciting, lasting from the beginning of June through to September. Atlantic salmon migrates between freshwater and seawater. It spends its first years in freshwater, before it migrates to seawater where it spends 1-3 winters before returning to spawn. The fishing takes place during the spawning period.
Local knowledge is crucial when it comes to salmon fishing and we advise visitors to use a good guide. There are fishing opportunities for all styles, from the purist who wants to cast small flies on a floating line to harling with a Rapala minnow.
Keep these rules of thumb in mind whenever you are on or by the water: