Although the Namsen is particularly famous for its big salmon, it also offers very good runs of medium size salmon and grilse in summer. Even today, catching a 30- to 50-pounder is a genuine possibility, and in high-season July, prolific grilse runs can offer good additional sport.
The Namsen is a big river by any standards and the slower, lower stretches are usually fished by harling from a boat. Our beat, however, is above the junction with the Sandøla river near the village of Grong, where the best of the flyfishing can be enjoyed. Here the ‘smaller’ Upper Namsen, as it is now called, runs more quickly through a high-sided gorge and offers lovely flyfishing in a glorious majestic setting. The beat also includes the lower section of the Sandøla river which is very manageable in size and easy to fish.
Both beats begin downstream of dramatic waterfalls harnessed by hydro-electric power development, which help ensure reasonably stable water levels throughout the season. At the famous Fiskumfoss waterfall, a little further upstream of our beat, there is a visitor centre with a salmon ladder/viewing station almost certainly containing salmon well worth seeing.
Throughout the season there is always the chance of catching ‘the big one’. The biggest ever rod-caught fish (1924) measured 55in with a 33in girth and weighed 31.5kg (69lb). Even in ‘Covid year’, the Namsen in 2020, during its short three-month season, produced over 7,500 salmon with more than 1,000 of these fish averaging over 20lb. The largest caught in 2020 was 46lb and 47 fish weighed more than 30lb. No river in the UK currently compares with the Namsen!
Our party will fish the Upper Namsen beat near the town of Grong and stay at the very comfortable, custom-built fishing lodge of Namsentunet with all food and soft drinks provided. Single bedrooms with en-suite are the norm but double beds are also available for partners to enjoy the Norwegian hospitality.
The fishing will be rotated between the Upper Namsen and Sandøla river beats where a shared guide and boatman will take us to the best fishing pools. Harling can also be arranged for a very relaxing way to fish for the biggest fish of all. Our fishing consultants, Colin Bradshaw and Harald Oyen, plan to be with us for the week too. Both have fished the beat and it is here where Colin hooked (and lost) a fish so big it continues to haunt him—he says it was like being hooked to the back of a train! Expert advice, Spey casting tuition, shared boatmen and a party atmosphere are all part of our CountryClubuk plans.
Ours is the prime-time week of July 10-17, 2022, and costs £3,997 per person (shorter stays are also available, as are opportunities to be accompanied by both fishing and non-fishing partners sharing a room).
The most convenient flights from the UK are via Oslo to Trondheim some 2 1/2 hours away. There is a very good train service to Grong from Trondheim airport, but transport by vehicle is also avaiolable—and if you prefer to hire a car this too can be arranged.