The Complete Guide to Salmon Fishing in Norway

With its pristine rivers, breathtaking scenery, and abundant salmon population, Norway beckons anglers from around the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a curious novice, Norway offers an unparalleled salmon fishing experience. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the best spots to cast your line, the most effective fishing techniques to lure the elusive salmon, and the ideal time of year to embark on your angling adventure. Additionally, we’ll explore the best places to reside amidst Norway’s natural splendor to ensure you have a thriving salmon fishing experience in Norway’s breathtaking landscapes.

Join us as we explore the essentials of this Nordic angler’s paradise, ensuring you have all the information you need for a successful and enjoyable salmon fishing journey.

Short Summary 

  • Discovering Norwegian Beauty: Explore Norway’s pristine rivers and breathtaking landscapes, enticing anglers from around the world.
  • All-Inclusive Fishing Guide: Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, this guide covers the best spots, effective techniques, and the ideal time to embark on your salmon fishing adventure.
  • Prime Fishing Spots: Explore top-notch locations like Namsen River, Tana River, and Gaula River, each offering a unique backdrop for an exciting salmon fishing experience. 
  • Ideal Timing for Success: Plan your angling adventure during the prime season from June to August, ensuring a higher chance of fruitful fishing.
  • Scenic Accommodations: Find the best places to stay, from cozy cabins in the woods to charming waterfront lodges, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Norway’s natural splendor.

Why to Fish Salmon in Norway?

Fishing for salmon in Norway is super exciting! The Atlantic salmon, also called the king of fish, is a prized catch known for its impressive size and intense fight, providing anglers with an exciting challenge.

Norway is home to some of the biggest Atlantic salmon ever found. In the past, fishermen have caught salmon much larger than the record in Britain. Even today, you have the chance to catch really big salmon in many Norwegian rivers.

Norway is also known as the ‘world’s most unspoiled travel destination.’ It has lots of beautiful natural places, like rivers and lakes, perfect for people who love fishing. There are more than 400 rivers in Norway where you can try to catch salmon, so whether you’re a pro or just starting out, there’s a perfect spot for you.

Best Techniques Used for Salmon Fishing in Norway

1.   Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a classic and widely used technique in Norway. It involves using a lightweight artificial fly that imitates the appearance of insects or smaller fish. Casting the fly onto the water’s surface and letting it drift can entice salmon to bite.

2.   Trolling

Trolling is commonly used in Norway’s deep and expansive fjords. Anglers trail baited lines behind a moving boat, covering a larger area to increase the chances of attracting salmon. This method is effective for targeting salmon in different parts of the water column.

3.   Bait Fishing

Using natural bait, such as worms or fish roe, is another successful technique. This method is often used in slower-moving river sections. The scent and movement of the bait can attract salmon, enticing them to bite.

Best Spots for Salmon Fishing in Norway

1.   Gaula River

Gaula is known as one of the best rivers for salmon fishing in the world, and it’s a long river with many different fishing spots. It is in Central Norway and is known for its large and powerful salmon. Between 20 and 50 tons of salmon are caught in Gaula every year.

In 2005, it was named the best Salmon river in Norway, with a catch of 37.5 tons, and in the next year, it topped 42 tons. For the last five years, on average, they’ve caught more than 4,300 individual fish every year, with an average size of 12 pounds, and the biggest one ever caught was a massive 50 pounds.

Gaula flows a long way, about 153 kilometers, through the Gauldal Valley in Trøndelag County. It’s the longest river in Central Norway and covers an extensive area of about 3,661 square kilometers. Besides salmon, Gaula is also home to sea trout and Arctic char, making it a fantastic place for fishermen who want to catch different kinds of fish.

  • Best session: Early July to Mid-August
  • Average Size Salmon: 12lb to 18lb
  • Other Species: Sea-run Brown Trout and Char

2.   Orkla River

The Orkla River is one of Norway’s most beautiful and productive rivers for Atlantic Salmon fishing. Flowing for more than 180 kilometers, it’s the longest river in Trøndelag county and overall the fourth largest in Norway by volume.

The average size of salmon in Orkla River ranges between 10lb and 14lb; however, sometimes you can find even bigger ones.

There have been records of salmon weighing as much as 25 kilograms, so if you’re lucky, you might catch some really huge fish in this river. The river is quite long and has many fantastic fishing spots in beautiful forests.

  • Best Season: Early July to Mid-August
  • Average Size Salmon: 10lb to 14lb
  • Other Species: Sea-run Brown Trout and Char

3.   Namsen River

The Namsen River in Central Norway is known for its large and powerful salmon. Closed to Namsos, it is considered one of the best spots for foreign salmon anglers.

It is one of the longest rivers in Trøndelag county; it flows for 228 kilometers through the municipalities of Røyrvik, Grong, Overhalla, Namsskogan, and Namsos before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Namsenfjorden.

In 2017, the river had more than 10,000 Atlantic Salmon. The biggest one caught that year was a stunning fish weighing just over 48 pounds, while a massive 59-pound salmon still held the record.

This river features a range of rough water, pools, and long and calm flowing straights. This means you can use many different fly fishing methods and have lots of fun experiences while fishing.

  • Best Season: Late June to Early July
  • Average Size Salmon: 12lb to 25lb
  • Other Species: Sea-run Brown Trout and Arctic Char

4.   Alta River

The Alta River is in Northern Norway and is famous for having big salmon. It’s one of Norway’s longest salmon rivers, providing many chances to fish in different places, from small creeks to big pools.

Besides salmon, the Alta River is also a home for sea trout and Arctic char, making it an excellent spot for anglers who want to catch different types of fish.

  • Best Season: Late June to Early July
  • Other Species: Sea Trout and Arctic Char

5.   Lakselva River

The Lakselva River in Northern Norway is famous for its sizable and strong salmon. Starting its journey in Karasjok Municipality, the river flows northward for 103 kilometers through Porsanger Municipality into the Porsangerfjorden, a fjord connected to the Barents Sea. Despite being a relatively small river, it covers a watershed of only 1,539 square kilometers.

  • Peak Season: Late June to Early July
  • Average Size Salmon: 12lb to 25lb
  • Other Species: Sea-run Brown Trout and Char

What is the best time for salmon fishing in Norway?

The salmon fishing season in Norway generally runs from June 1 to August 31, but some rivers may have a shorter season due to wildlife management or weather conditions.

Typically, in the northern part of Norway, salmon rivers open a bit later, usually around July 1. This delay is because it’s still too early in the season to catch salmon before this date, even though you are legally allowed to fish during this time. 

On the other hand, some rivers close the salmon season by July 31 to allow more young fish to come and spawn without any interruptions at the end of the season.

In general, if you’re planning to go to Norway for salmon fishing, the second half of June and July are usually good times. However, it’s important to check the specific rules of the river you plan to fish in.

The Best Places to Stay For Salmon Fishing In Norway.

1.   Norwegian Fly Fisher’s Club

The NFC is located in Rogstadmoen, Rognes, Norway. On the Gaula, it provides access to over 12 kilometers of private waters on the middle and lower rivers both above and below Gaulfossen. The surroundings are lovely, with thick forests, small villages, and farms.

Since it’s on the lower river, you can catch fish here earlier than in the upper lodges, especially in early June. Even in July, you can still catch big fish and smaller summer fish.

2.   Aunan Lodge

Aunan Lodge is situated on the banks of the river Orkla, where they provide guided salmon fishing with accommodation and an entire board. It offers 5.5 kilometers of continuous salmon fly fishing consisting of 18 different pools, most of which have both banks controlled by the lodge.

They allow only 12 rods on the waters, giving the guest the space and variation the modern salmon fisher looks for. They provide delicious meals, and the talented chefs at Aunan Lodge have an excellent variety of local produce to select from.

3.   Olderø Lodge

The Lakselv flows through Porsanger in Finnmark county, northern Norway. For a long time, it was a lesser-known fishing river than larger ones in the region. However, in recent years, especially with the presence of Olderø Lodge, this hidden gem of salmon fishing has gained attention from anglers seeking big salmon.

Olderø Lodge offers premium accommodation close to the river as well as a combination of private pools. It also provides access to the six salmon fishing Zones on the Lakselv.

4.   Namsentunet Lodge

Located in Grong, Namsentunet offers comfortable rooms, traditional meals, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Right next to the famous river Namsen, it contains 21 luxurious rooms spread over six different log houses, and it is open all year. It is Ideal for those seeking a genuine Norwegian experience with expert local guides.

5.   Winsnes Lodge

Winsnes Lodge is located in Storstuu Winsnes, Singsås, Trondheim, Norway. It was founded in 1882 when the first British salmon fisher, Lakse Lorder (also known as the Salmon Lords), used this house as a base for their fishing adventure.

This lodge has a 4 km private double bank space located above Gaulfossen. They also provide some fantastic foods, fully licensed bars, and relaxed family-style accommodations.

How to get to Norway from Miami, Florida

If you’re planning an exciting salmon fishing adventure in Norway from Miami, Florida, the journey involves a series of flights and possibly a layover. Follow these general steps to reach your Nordic fishing destination:

International Flight to Norway

Begin your journey by booking an international flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to major airports in Norway, such as Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL) or Bergen Airport (BGO). International flights from Miami may include layovers, with common layover cities being in Europe, such as London or Amsterdam.

Connecting Flight or Train to Local Destination

Depending on your chosen fishing spot in Norway, you might need a connecting flight or train from the major airport to a local airport near your fishing destination. For example, if you plan to fish in the northern regions, connecting flights or trains from Oslo to airports like Alta or Lakselv may be necessary.

Local Transportation to the Lodge or Fishing Spot

Arrange local transportation from the airport to your chosen lodge or fishing spot. Some lodges offer shuttle services, or you can book a taxi or rental car for flexibility.

Local Insights

Reach out to the lodge or local experts for additional travel advice. They can provide valuable insights on the most convenient routes and transportation options.

FAQs: Salmon Fishing in Norway

Q: Is a fishing license required for salmon fishing in Norway?

A: Yes, you may require a fishing license to fish salmon in Norway. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits for the specific river or region you plan to fish in.

Q: Are there restrictions on the size of salmon that can be caught?

A: Regulations regarding the size and number of salmon that can be caught vary by river and region. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the river you plan to fish in to ensure compliance.

Q: What is the average size of salmon in Norwegian rivers?

A: The average size varies by river. Gaula and Namsen rivers may have salmon ranging from 12lb to 25lb, while Orkla typically sees salmon between 10lb and 14lb. Specific details for each river can be found in the guide.

Q: Are there opportunities to catch other species besides salmon?

A: Yes, many Norwegian rivers are home to other species, such as sea trout and Arctic char.

Q: Do I need to bring my own gear for the salmon fishing in Norway?

A: While many anglers prefer to bring their own gear, some lodges may provide equipment. It’s recommended to check with the specific lodge or accommodation regarding the availability of fishing gear.

Can I catch salmon in the ocean?

A: While it’s possible to catch salmon in the ocean, it is not generally done by anglers who are fishing for fun. Targeting salmon in the vast, open ocean is notoriously challenging, and obviously, it is not recommended.


Discovering Norway’s amazing salmon fishing is an adventure for everyone, whether you’re a pro or just starting. In this article, we’ve explored the best spots, learned effective techniques, and found the perfect time to fish. From the majestic Gaula River to the serene Orkla River, Norway offers fantastic places to catch salmon.

Planning your trip from June to August gives you the best chance to catch lots of salmon. Norway isn’t just about fishing; it’s about the excitement, the beautiful views, and the feeling connected to nature. From the northern fjords to the central valleys, Norway beckons, inviting you to write your own chapter in the story of salmon fishing.

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