Seatrout (and Salmon), Norway
8 to August 17, 2008

 










Before we left the coast of Sweden, I received an sms invitation from my buddy Fabian to come the Beiarelva river, close to Bodo in Norway, for a week of quality flyfishing for salmon & sea trout. This invitation did not fall on deaf ears. The only obstacle was the distance and time. From Sweden we had to drive an extra 2,500km. That, my wife (and I), found a bit too much. 

 

 

 


 

 

 

But we are creative in the search for solutions! So two days after arrival from Sweden I was sitting next to the wings of a KLM plane to fly to the place where I was three years ago (see my other report), the Beiarelva to Tverrik

 










It is not my intention to promote our airline,they certainly do not deserve that. In Bodø we had to wait a full day for my rod box and on the return flight home none of my luggage arrived. Only two days later were they delivered to my home. You have been warned. First we had a day fishing for salmon on the “Strand” beat. It is a 5km long stretch with alternating pools. The disadvantage in salmon rivers is that the most popular pools are often (over)crowded. This day there were about 13 permits issued. The idea that you fish a run which has just been visited by several flies, does not give a person courage. Therefore, depending on how many guests there are at that time, it is better to choose another, perhaps less productive, beat (or is the catch rate low because there are fewer fishermen?)









this seatrout was to greedy



















holding on













 

 

 

The fishing periods cover about 4 hours; where after the tidal flow when the current almost comes to a stop so does the fishing. Then it's time for a cat nap, and the rituals, some fly-tying, buying some food, eating it all and return to river again. And so the days and the nights in succeed one another. Not for people with a fixed 9.00 to 5.00 living style!

There is always something to tie because each session gives new inspiration and ideas. If your mate catches a good fish on a specific pattern, then of course this one should be in your fly box too.

specimen Seatrout

 

 

 

 












transport for high water



back to where you belong



















 







The sale of licenses for each beat is well regulated, and you can find where to purchase each on the internet. Do this at home so you don’t waste any time at the river. See also the button “Links”.
In our case we bought our licenses at the farm, another time in a hotel or camping or fishing camp.
When you buy a license you have to show the disinfection certificate which you get on arrival by disinfecting your gear. The internet will also indicate which beats are suited for fly fishing, and show recent catch returns, although these may not all be registered because I couldn’t find our returns. Many fish (especially sea trout) are not reported. 99% of the fish caught in the Fjord delta are sea trout, while up river it is more like 30%. The statistics reported on the internet are therefore on the conservative side.

The river Beiar was infected with the parasite Gyrodactylus salaris for years late last century. The salmon almost disappeared after the river was disinfected, but this did not bother the sea trout. Now the situation is back to normal: there is a very good stock of salmon and sea trout. Catching fish can be very easy at times, but mostly one has to work for one’s quarry and blank days are not uncommon. It all again depends on the water level. As this river is glacial fed, it always has enough water to be successful. The easy access for the fish from the fjord to the river is a bonus, and the possibility of a specimen fish is always present.






 

there you go




















For sea trout I use a 9½ft., #7 fly rod.
For the salmon (and trout) on the river, I use my two-handed 15ft., #10-11 rod, but if you have a two-handed 13/14ft., #7-8 rod, this probably works better and is more comfortable.

We are fishing with long leaders (5M1 +). Do not go too light on the tippet because there are specimen fish and if you hook one it is women and children first! 22.00 / 24.00 at least. We fished with self-knotted leaders. An intermediate leader might be an option. For salmon I use a tip from 30.00 and up river we caught sea trout on this tip to. I think the trout are not very leader shy as long as the presentation is good and the fish is not overthrown with the fly line.

The advantage of tidal stream fishing is that the fish at high water move up river and again slip down when the water gets low. We call them fish in doubt. Others will stay at the river mouth while there are fish that go straight up river.

Do not go too early to waterside.
Starting a bit later (after high tide) is a better option. We saw fisherman go home to early. Out of experience we know that just before the flow is out the fish make a last jump at everything which is moving, including our flies.










self made stripping basket





hook 14, that was all they wanted




If you, as we encountered, have the beat to yourselves, chances increase considerably. On a beat like this we caught a salmon and missed two.
However our main goal was again the sea trout. The water at Tverrik was pretty high at the Fjord, due to a springtide or alike, and the deeper parts of the river were difficult to reach. We went to the other side of the river to a beat called Soloy. This is the last tidal stretch before the Fjord. The Fjord is surrounded by a national park and as far as one’s eye can see there is no of civilization whatsoever. Pure and beautiful nature. Close to a farm we could park our camper for a daily fee of €15. Not bad! Soon we knew where the sea trout were staying because it was a true dance festival, or as one local said, it's rock and roll time. To hook one was a different story. We fished after high tide when the mainstream was reachable again. To reach the river we had to wade flooded river beds which were impassable at high water. Fishing in the daytime was hard going. At night we often had the stretch to ourselves, and had significantly better results!

Salmon are caught throughout the season (June 16 to September 1). The water level normally plays a big role in salmon fishing but has a minor influence on this river since it is fed by glacier water. A little rain or higher temperatures increase the melt and the river rises a bit. It is an advantage when the river is lightly coloured.

On the last night of our trip we went back up the track, excited as ever, wandering what this session would bring us. The water was too high to wade through the creeks, so we were grateful for the offer from the farmer to use his little boat for these conditions. The dingy was waiting for us along the shore. Carefully balancing we found our way to the main river. Fortunately, there is no current in the creeks so our progress was easy. Navigation was not a problem as there is daylight more or less for 24 hours. The light of a torch is nevertheless necessary, because it is a great help for tying on a size 14 hook.

 




 

We use a stripping basket on the river too. This saves a lot of energy lifting the line out of the water again and again.
I use a self made stripping basket. At the moment it is a black plastic open pond basket, with the thinnest / shortest type of black tie wraps on the bottom. Unfortunately, this basket is fragile and I replace it almost every year but the costs are not negligible at €2.50.  

The water can be quite cold, so warm insulation underwear is recommended under breathable waders will do the job.

The best period for sea trout fishing is from mid-August to the close of the season in mid-September (refer to the license information on the internet. In general, the closer to the end of the season the better.
We recorded the best catches at night. This is only allowed until the middle of August and only at the first pools. The exact date varies every year. Check it out when you make your plans
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home

We started to fish about 75 metres apart.
The first two hours was without any action. Yes, we were so impatient to go to the waterside that the water was still too high. Now the water had dropped significantly and action should happen any moment. Fabian was casting at the right side of me and hooked a very nice fish that went downriver in record time. The backing flew through the guides. After a while, the fish came in closer.
Walking backwards on to dry land is a good option as you can keep the flyline out of the rod tip and the leader can use its optimal strength. However, walking backwards, playing a fish and looking backwards at the same time is not easy. Next moment Fabian tripped over a big tree trunk and went horizontal. The line fell slack and the fish was gone. Inconsolable my buddy!  A size 6 Argentinian beadhead stonefly with rubber legs did the job. As soon as it hit the water it was taken aggressivly.
Fabian was now standing on the left side of me and hooked and landed a very nice fish. His 6 rod was a bit on the light side now. It therefore took many perilous moments before pictures could be taken. Hook size 14 is very small in such a big mouth. It was not over yet. 20 Minutes later it was party time again and another nice fish was hooked. "Dry" echoed through the valley. This time the fish was taken by a toilet brush large palmer! What is the logic? After a week of fishing we could see by the jump of the fish what a specimen it was. A fish which falls flat back was most likely a salmon, fish that made a nice vertical jump are usually sea trout, and fish which were rolling on – in the surface could be taken by the dry to. For the rest of the time it was blind fishing.
Three beautiful fish were taken in one hour. Fortunately I also landed a fish because I was starting to get a little bit impatient. It can be bad to! We also had blank days. But even then there is plenty to experience. You miss a fish, see fish rolling, hear fish splashing back in to the water (did somebody throw a very big rock?) or see a fish being caught. Then, the nature is stunning. I never get bored!

My buddy had a top holiday. In the weeks before I arrived he already caught 5 salmon in several rivers. And in the Beiarn he caught one more. But as we all know, being successful is no guarantee for the future. However, see Report 10-2008.

We are back home and new plans are made for next year. But first, one week to Funen in October. Life is not so bad for fishermen like us.

Driva seatrout - 80+
even time to enjooy nature