The anticipation for the start of the salmon fishing season Gaula River in Norway is growing. Just 10 days until anglers will make their first casts of 2024, and the river is in perfect condition. With flows dropping below 200m3/s at Gaulfossen and water temperature hovering just under 7°C, there is confidence that the salmon will already be heading up to the middle and upper river. This bodes well for the opening weeks of the Winsnes Lodge season on the middle river where we have two spots left this season to join our hosted group.

The Winsnes Fly Fishing Lodge in Norway has a rich history dating back to 1882 when it was founded by the first British salmon fishers, known as the ‘Salmon Lords’ or ‘Lakse Lorder.’ They used the lodge as a base for their summer fly fishing adventures on the Gaula River. Over the past 130 years, traveling salmon fly fishers have enjoyed fishing and staying at the lodge.

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The Gaula River is renowned among Atlantic salmon rivers and is often referred to as ‘the river of silver and gold.’ It is known for its strong runs of salmon, which typically average between 14 to 18lb. Many salmon in the Gaula River exceed 30lb, and there are even some that weigh over 40lb. The river’s clear water often carries a slight golden tinge, adding to its character.

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The surrounding landscape is picturesque, featuring thick evergreen forested slopes, small villages, and farms, making it a beautiful location for targeting some of the world’s largest salmon.

To improve the fishing experience, in 2023 Winsnes reduced the number of rods across its weeks to between six and eight anglers. This adjustment not only means that anglers get to enjoy better rested pools but also ensures that, in the event of more difficult water conditions, a suitable beat rotation can be managed effectively to improve each angler’s success.

The anglers are now housed in the summer house and separate self-contained family apartment in the form of a small house that dates back to the 1700’s. There are six bedrooms in total with shared bathroom facilities (4 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms in the summer house & 2 bedrooms / 1 bathroom in the small house). The lodge offers fully catered accommodation and anglers receive light guiding as standard. It is possible to arrange more formal guiding for those looking for more advice on the water. The fishing runs on a 16 hour rotation per day enforcing two fixed 4 hour rest periods on the river, one at night and one at lunchtime.

2024 Availability at Winsnes Lodge:

30 June – 7 July (week 27): 2 rods – £4,300 per person (normally £5,810) (Aardvark McLeod Hosted week – prime week with full guiding)

Cost includes; full board accommodation, single room and shared guiding (2:1).
Cost excludes; car hire, state licence, flights, alcohol and tackle disinfection.

2023 Summary of Week 27:

Our hosted week at Winsnes Lodge in 2023 had a wonderful time despite challenging conditions at times. The group had near perfect water conditions at the start of the week that gradually gave way to low and clear water conditions towards the latter part. A good head of fish were spread throughout the beats, but not in the numbers that one would normally expect.

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The group had a mix of fishing experience but were all on their first Norway trip, with this in mind some time was spent learning the water, approach and methods. Despite losing several fish in the mid to latter stages of fights, the group went on to land some wonderful salmon, all of which were fresh run with the week finishing on 10 salmon landed to six rods with most fish coming during the running hours of the day, 0600-0900 and 2100-0100.

During the week, the group had a wonderful time on and off the water both fishing hard and also having social meal times in the huts down by the river. It was a well-rounded trip with most of the group planning to return for more in 2024.

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For more information about Winsnes Lodge and salmon fishing in Norway please contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.