Good things come to those who wade
Norway has excellent freshwater and fly fishing. Choose from a multitude of clear, secluded lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with fish.
The freshwater fishing season
In most places, the high season for freshwater fishing starts in May and lasts until the end of 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 go ice fishing.
Norway has lots of fresh air, clear water, and healthy fish. If you love spending time outdoors in tranquil nature, you won't have a hard time finding a place all to yourself. Just remember that you will need a fishing licence in fresh water.
Those 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 include grayling, common whitefish, and Arctic char. Salmon fishing is a chapter in itself. Thanks to its cold climate, Norway has also established itself as a premier destination for ice fishing in Europe. So grab your fishing rod and go!
A Norwegian fishing adventure is a good option if you're on a budget. Renting a cabin offers great value for money – especially if you get together with a few friends. Many cabins have self-catering facilities. Refine your cooking skills and turn your catch into a feast!
Northern Norway is best known for its cod, but the many rivers and lakes up north offer equally great freshwater fishing. There are numerous fishing spots in the wilderness where you can fish for trout, Arctic char, pike, and perch under the midnight sun.
In Oslo, you can get on a tram in the city centre and enter the Oslomarka forest just 20 minutes later, where there around 500 large and small lakes as well as several cabins where you can stay.
A few hours from the capital, still in Eastern Norway, you'll find the Hallingdalselva river with around 20 kilometres of rapids, waterfalls, and a lot of trout.
Don't miss the Glomma river's upper reaches, where Hans van Klinken created the Klinkhammer, a pattern familiar to all keen fly fishermen.
In Trøndelag in central Norway, you'll find thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams. The Guala, Orkla, and Namsen rivers are three well-known salmon rivers in the area. The region offers endless possibilities for trout and Arctic char fishing in rugged mountain terrain, or grayling and pike fishing in forested valleys with no fewer than seven national parks.
There are thousands more fishing spots across Norway, particularly in more remote areas, many of which are not very well known.
Who needs a license?
You need a fishing licence to go freshwater fishing in lakes, rivers, and streams in Norway.
Fishing licences are issued by local landowners and fishing organisations. You can buy your licence online, in selected sports shops, convenience stores, and at many campsites.
Fishing licences are valid in specific areas and for specific time periods only.
If you want to fish for salmon, sea trout, or Arctic char, you must pay a small fishing fee in addition to your fishing licence. This does not apply to children under 18. There is a ban on eel fishing in Norway.
You don’t need a fishing licence for fishing in the fjords and the sea.
More information is available at miljodirektoratet.no.
Ever since British anglers discovered the rivers in Norway in the mid-1800s, thousands of foreign anglers have come to fish salmon here every year. It's also very popular with the locals, and tens of thousands of Norwegians participate in salmon fishing yearly.
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 the 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 to September.
Local knowledge is crucial for salmon fishing, and we advise visitors to use a local guide. There are fishing opportunities for all styles, from purists who wants to cast small flies on a floating line to those who want to go harling with a Rapala minnow.
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