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Atlantic Salmon Fishing | Gaula River | Questions & Answers


The Gaula River is one of those Atlantic Salmon rivers that needs no introduction. It is regarded as one of Norway’s finest Atlantic Salmon Rivers on account of the size of the salmon that it produces, the average size is between fourteen and eighteen pounds. The Gaula River is full of character and when it runs clear it has an emerald tinge from all the coloured stones on the river bed. The surrounding scenery is one of thickly forested slopes with charming rural smallholdings, making it the perfect place to chase large Atlantic Salmon.

Where is the Lodge?

The lodges sits just across the road from the Gaula River and fairly central to all our beats/zones making it the ideal place to base the fishing operation from.

Where do they fish?

There is a tradition in Norway of salmon fishing round the clock during the summer months, brought about by the size of the salmon and the chance to fish for them in almost 24 hour daylight.

Such fanaticism, while understandable, is counter-productive to the health of the fishery, the mood of the guests and results in suppressed catches. While most of the water on Gaula is fished round the clock, at Winsnes the hours are different. We run a unique system on the Gaula River in offering our customers the guarantee that they will fish rested water every day. This prevents salmon pools from becoming stale and the mood of fish and anglers becoming dour.

In June and July when it is almost never dark. The fishing is in 4 x 4 hour shifts, with resting periods in between, during which time the river is closed to allow pools to rest. Fishing is available for 16 hours per day (4 x 4 hour sessions) with the river closed for resting between 2pm and 6pm and from 2am – 6am. Whilst there are those whom dislike this system, our customers love it and the catch ratio per man per hour fished always results in the Winsnes fishery taking top spot. We catch more fish (all on fly) per hour fished than any other fishery on the river regardless of the method being used.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?

As during your fishing week you will have a car hire (pre-booked by Sportquest Holidays) the fishing from our various zones is from just over the road up to 40 mins travel by car.

What fish will I catch?

Our fishing operation on the Gaula River is based on targeting Atlantic Salmon.

How many fish will I catch?

It depends on the week you fish, the current water conditions and weather. However, we have the 5 year averages of all the weeks so we can advise you what are the best weeks for numbers of fish and which weeks on average produce the larger fish. Another factor that affects the number of fish caught is angler ability, so in any given week you can expect anything from 1 to 10 fish all depending on the above.

How do they fish?

Fishing is all wading and with a double-handed 13 to 15 ft rod. Lines are normally floating lines with interchangeable tips allowing customers to get to the correct depth.

Do the guides speak English?

There is only light guiding available on this trip and the guides speak good English.

Who is best suited to this destination?

Fishing on the Gaula River is best suited to customer who are not looking for numbers of fish, but real chances of catching Atlantic Salmon over 40lb for that’s the dream that draws our customers to this destination.

What skill level is required?

We have had beginner anglers but for the Gaula it is best suited to anglers with double-handed fishing experience. Customers need to be able to cast a nice long straight line and have a good understanding about controlling the swing, fishing flies at different depths, with some experience of playing hard fighting fish in powerful rivers.

How physically demanding is this trip?

As you have a car for the week there is not too much walking to the fishing each day. However, the Gaula River is a big river, sometimes the fishing involves wading waist-deep which combined with the slippery boulders can make for difficult wading. For this reason, it is best suited to customers who are good on their feet in these types of wading conditions.

When to go?

The season runs from the 1st June through to the last day of August each year. The week you pick will depend on what your goals are. Talk to our team in the office and they can advise you with all the information and catch statistics.

How to get there?

You will fly to Trondheim and pick up your pre-booked car hire, from there it is only a simple 1.2 hours drive to our lodge.

What is the accommodation like?

Traditionally a farm with buildings dating back several hundred years. Winsnes lodge is situated on the banks of the Gaula River. This lodge now provides high quality guesthouse accommodation for anglers and their families over the fishing season from June-August. Seven bedrooms allow for both shared accommodation and for those who would prefer an individual room.  Anglers can stay at either full board or B&B only rates.

What is the food like?

Food is of high quality and the addition of the Lax Café and pub makes for a very convivial atmosphere. It is used by anglers and locals for lunches and socializing with the main evening meal being held in the lodge dining room.

Does the lodge provide fishing tackle?

The lodge does not provide tackle apart from landing nets, however, there is a small shop selling flies.

Is internet and phone signal available?

There is free Wifi available in the lodge and mobile coverage.

Are there other activities available?

As you will have a car hire for your week there are lots of non-fishing activities you can explore from historical sights to shopping.

How much does it cost?

Sportquest Holidays offers you the complete package including all flights and transfers. You can find all of the information on our Atlantic Salmon Fishing page.

Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all your own travel arrangements Sportquest Holidays can book just the lodge and fishing for you. If you wish to book or have any questions please feel free to call our offices on 01603 407596.


  1. nigel alderson


    I am interested in a trip to the Winsens Lodge in 2019. Please can you tell me about the food available.
    I am not asking about the quality of the meals but what type of food is served, the reason is I do not like spicey food.

    Thank you

    1. Peter Collingsworth Sportquest

      Hi Nigel

      Thank you for your comments, the food is great at the lodge I will send you a direct e-mail and we can chat in more detail.

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