Målselva in spate, near Rundhaug
Målselva in spate, near Rundhaug
Under the bridge at Hoel beat, Valldalselva
Under the bridge at Hoel beat, Valldalselva.

Fishing in Norway for Salmon and Sea Trout

There are excellent Salmon and Sea Trout rivers throughout Norway. Especially for Atlantic Salmon fishing, Norway presents unique opportunities to the fisherman. It has both an enormous number of rivers with Atlantic Salmon runs, and also a relatively open minded view of how fishing for Atlantic Salmon should be conducted.

The world record heaviest Atlantic Salmon was caught in Norway's Tana river and weighed in at 35.89 kg (79.1 lb).

The Rivers

One of the challenges in planning river fishing for Salmon or Sea Trout in Norway is the enormous number of rivers and the difficulty of tracking down English language information about them. I have struggled to find such information myself, and having had some success can share what I found to save you the prospective fisherman a great deal of time and effort.

To explore any of the registered Norwegian rivers where anadramous fish run, check out our extensive database of Norwegian Fishing Rivers. It includes tables of catch statistics and an individual profile page on each of the hundreds of rivers officially tracked by the state. The profiles of the rivers with the largest catch include maps and links to websites where you can find further information such as fishing license availability and cost.

Another place where you can research specific rivers is at Lakseregisteret, which provides an interactive map showing river locations integrated with a database of annual catch statistics, in Norwegian. Statistics Norway has annual catch statistics by river as well, in English and Norwegian.

As noted in Norwegian Fishing Licenses, Inatur offers license sales online for beats on certain rivers. Similarly, at www.lakseelvene.no you can find information and license purchase options on rivers such Mandalselva, Otra and others. And at www.lakseelver.no you can find information about many Norwegian Salmon rivers. Much of this information is in Norwegian, but some English information is included.


To see where the major rivers are located, check out our Maps of Norwegian Fishing Rivers.


Salmon fishing is a summer activity, running from June through August. Salmon fishing in most rivers peaks in June or July. Sea Trout come up the rivers later, and Sea Trout fishing peaks in August. There are regional variations in terms of when the fish arrive. Because the peak holiday season is July, August Sea Trout fishing provides an opportunity to fish the rivers in somewhat more peaceful surroundings.


In contrast to many other countries, in Norway a Salmon fisherman has the opportunity to try a variety of gear and methods in pursuit of the fish. Certain methods are illegal throughout Norway, such as the use of prawns or live bait. But in general the specific methods and tackle allowed are decided by the landowner providing the fishing license. There are countless licensors each making their own decisions on allowed fishing methods.

Some rivers have fly fishing only beats, others allow worm fishing or spinning lures as well. When investigating license options, be sure to understand what methods are allowed in the areas in question. This will usually be clearly stated by the seller of the license. It won't hurt to ask the seller what methods work best in their beats either.

As it is a vast, highly debatable, and rather controversial subject, I won't offer an opinion as to what methods to use for Salmon or Sea Trout fishing. I am no kind of expert on the subject, but a wide variety of techniques will work.

The interested reader might do well to consult Hugh Falkus' books Salmon Fishing and Sea Trout Fishing, which are unique in covering fly fishing, fishing with lures, and bait fishing. This is in contrast to many other popular english language salmon fishing books, which focus exclusively on fly fishing, sometimes to the point of a near religious fervor. I am not a religious fellow, so I will leave you to your own counsel and opinions on the subject. Certainly if you fish in Norway you are likely to encounter fishermen using every one of these methods.

License and Disinfection Requirements

You will need licenses to fish in any Norwegian river, and you will also be required to disinfect your fishing tackle. Read Norwegian Fishing Licenses for information about the necessary fishing licenses and disinfection.

© Copyright 2017 Aage Bendiksen. All Rights Reserved.     Use of this website is governed by the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.