It’s at times been up and down (not least the river) but it’s now an improving picture on the Norwegian Flyfishers Club (NFC) beats of Norway’s River Gaula. And as perhaps you’d expect there have been exciting tales of battle joined with big salmon, many of which sadly never made it to the bank for one reason or another! So now with the first month of the season at mid-point – it’s a good time to take stock.
Some of the early fish caught on the lower NFC beats were not sea-liced, and had the appearance of having been in the river a little while. But mint fresh or not, fish were slowly progressing through the pools above Gaulfossen into the middle reaches and higher. And by June 8 more fish were up in higher beats including the beautiful Bogen Söndre beat and club fishing guests hooked, lost and caught a number of them. On Beat B2, for example, Peter Ericson lost a very good fish one afternoon.
Alastair Dunbar had an exciting experience. After he had fished Bogen Sondre Two where he hooked, played for a quarter of an hour then lost a big Gaula springer, his next turn via the rotation beat system was on Beat B1 where he hooked his next fish but after playing it hard for 10 minutes, again this fish came off. But showing true salmon fisher’s spirit, Alastair continued fishing like a trooper and shortly afterwards and third time lucky was able to hook, play and land a medium-sized salmon.
Further down the river on the lower Gaula beats, guests were still getting pulls and takes but these were frustratingly difficult to hook, as is often the way with what seemed to be running fish.
Then came a good day on the D1 beat. In the evening session Swedish rod Andreas Johansson was able to land a very nice fish in the double-figures of kilos – or 24lb. Not to be outdone his fishing partner Mikael Andersson then caught a beautiful 17.5-pounder. This one was covered in long-tailed sea-lice.
The next morning Mikael fished the B1 beat that had already shown it held salmon. After losing a fish he then caught his second of the week – a 16.5lb salmon. He caught this fish (and previous day’s fish) on his own invention, the Banana Fly with a long, black overwing.
So with more and more salmon being entered in the NFC catch book and salmon showing in the pools including in the middle-reaches, the future looks good for Gaula fly-fishers.