Gaula – The River of Silver and Gold

May 8, 2016.

It’s the end of June 2015 and we’ve departed on a road trip with my girlfriend towards ‘Mid-Norway’. We agreed that even if this trip isn’t only about fishing, there are few must fishing places to visit on the way. After couple activity filled days in Åre, Sweden and checking out the city of Trondeim, it was time to go fish. I suggest Gaula, even though the permits seem to be very hard to get.

After a bit of scepticism, from Gaula Naturecenter we were happy to get permits to the public fishing zones! The temperatures were high and the river a stranger. The only time I’ve seen the Gaula rapids has been on the way to Folgefonna glacier on a snowboarding trip. Still, for a long time I’ve wanted to go fishing here. The water level and flow rose up right after getting the permits and according to the locals, with conditions like this salmon doesn’t rise up Gaulafossen.

Even after hearing the news and seeing the conditions with our own eyes, we continued trying different techniques on the pools above Gaulafossen without any action. The next day there was even more water flowing through the banks of the river and the weather was hot and air stood still. We spent the morning on a pool close to the Gaula Naturecenter and decided to head a bit downstream for the afternoon. This latter pool actually looked really exciting and it had quite interesting structure; rocks and narrow ditches. Right before it was time to head back and continue to our next destination, I felt a deep bow on the rod right on the neck of the rapids. I was using a bight yellow 15cm tube fly, combined with heavy sinking line, with slow swimming technique. Unluckily the salmon didn't get hooked and wouldn’t visit again. Surprisingly the early season tactic was a winner in the hot and bright July Gaula. Lesson learned: try everything.

In the evening we drove up more upstream to check out the more interesting pools of the river. There were amazing looking pools one after another, but everything was fully booked at this time. We decided to keep these in mind for the future and head below Gaulafossen for better fishing. The local campsite keeper explains that all the permissions are full for the evening. After quick pondering, we decide to head towards new rapids and towards Mo I Rana.

Looking at the map we notice the road passing through the queen of rivers: Namsen. While Gaula wasn’t offering its finest to us, perhaps Namsen could do the trick? Luckily my girlfriend is quite understandable and doesn’t mind spending time by the river either. With a quick decision, we put the pedal to the medal and headed North. Next stop: the town of Grong & Namsen.

Written by Otto Lintunen.
Photos by Maria Mikkonen.
Ps. Go and get some outdoor vibes in Maria's blog: