Fly Fishing Norway: An Introduction

You may not wonder how it is like to go fly fishing in Norway. Why bother? But my home country is a great place to go fishing.

In Norway we have approx. 1,200 rivers with salmonids (Salmon, sea running char and sea trout) 450 of these have Salmon. The rivers are located all along the coastline from the Swedish border to the Russian border. In addition to this we have numerous rivers, streams and lakes that hold Brown Trout, Arctic Char, Grayling, Perch and Pike. For example do we have more than 243,000 lakes over 2,500 m2. Wherever you are in Norway it’s not far away from a place to fish. Even though the Salmon fishing is the most talked about abroad, the fishing for other species is great in some areas and cost far less.

Norway is divided into 19 counties and the fishing is fine all the way from the south to the north, but the best parts are a bit away from the lowlands in the south and up in the mountains and all the way to the Russian border. You can actually go fishing on a budget in most of the country because most areas sell licenses that are relatively cheap. Renting a characteristic wooden cabin lodge can offer great value for money – especially if you get together with a few friends, as they are often priced per cabin rather than per person. Many cabins have self-catering facilities, so you don’t have to eat out all the time. Instead, take the opportunity to refine your cooking skills and turn your catch into a feast. Or better still; bring a tent and stay close to the river or the lake. In the northern part of Norway (F

Norway landscape

Rules that apply:

  • You need a fishing license (“fiskekort” in Norwegian) to go freshwater fishing in lakes, rivers and streams in Norway. This is important as regular checks are carried out and you can get fined without one.
  • Fishing licenses are issued by local land owners and fishing organizations. You can buy your license online at You can also get one in selected sports shops, convenience stores and at many campsites. Some fishing guides can also help you to get a license.
  • Fishing licenses are valid in specific areas – this can be a lake, a group of lakes, or just a part of a lake (or river, stream etc), so be sure that you know where you’re going before you buy a license.
  • Fishing licenses are valid for a specific time period.
  • The price for a fishing license varies, but it is generally inexpensive (from around NOK 100 per day, with today’s rate it’s about 11 US dollars).
  • There may be local restrictions on the amount of fish you are allowed to catch, and you may need to report your catch to the landowner in order for statistics to be produced. There is a total ban on eel fishing in Norway.
  • If you want to fish for salmon, sea trout or Arctic char, you must pay a small fishing fee in addition to having a fishing license. This does not apply to children under 16 years.
  • You do not need a fishing license for fjord and sea fishing in saltwater.
  • You can read more about rules for freshwater fishing in Norway at
  • Another good resource with information in English is

Big fish or not? Just the other day read about a guy getting a 17 pound brown on a fly in the Rena river, but fish from 1 till 3 pounds are more common. In some areas and rivers the work to maintain rivers has been good and so is the fishing. Browns up to 5 – 6 pounds are not uncommon and every year bigger fish are caught. These places are however more expensive to fish ( Grayling rarely pass 2 – 3 pounds, but these are great fights.



In most places, the high season for freshwater fishing starts in May and lasts until the end of the summer. The months of September and even October, before the mountain lakes freeze over, are especially good for grayling fishing, but Grayling are spring spawning and then they go from the lakes and up into the rivers, which may give you some great fishing.

All in all, if you want an exotic fishing trip in stunning surroundings (US citizens coming to Norway often use words like: Amazing, beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent etc.). Another advantage is that you can go fishing for days without seeing another human being, and even though Norway is a pretty expensive country, we are the happiest people in the world, have a marginal crime rate, no dangerous animals (and we are very friendly towards Americans). The plane fares are getting lower and USA is only 10 hours away.


You are most welcome and tight lines!

Jan Heidel

Fishwest will give you my contact information and supply you with the gear needed.