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Winsnes Lodge | Gaula River | Atlantic Salmon

Tour code: NOR001  
Category: Freshwater Fly Fishing

Winsnes Lodge on the River Gaula is a great destination for any Salmon angler wishing to experience a well run Salmon river. The Gaula River appears in the top five rivers in Norway most years for its regular catch statistic’s and Winsnes Lodge is a very large contributor to these statistics. Winsnes Lodge is also a good destination for both groups and single anglers alike due to the lodge catering for up to eight rods a week with some single rooms available.


The Gaula River is the largest in central Norway and runs its course over 95miles, the river begins in Holtålen municipality near the mountain Kjølifjellet and finishes life in Trondheim Fjord. In 2005 the Gaula was named as the best Salmon river in Norway and its yearly catch stats still put it in contention to regain its crown each year.

Atlantic Salmon fishing rivers, beats and pools in Norway have been fished continuously and never given any rest periods, until now. We have set up this fishery to focus on the quality fishing and quality beats which are well rested exclusively for fly fishing.

In recent years the Salmon catches have been improving and the lodge is regarded as one of the most prolific parts on the river. The beats are limited to eight guest rods per week with two rods retained by the landowners. During June and July, the lodge operates a resting system, closing all of the pools for two 4 hour sessions per day, allowing the pools and our guests to rest. This policy has resulted in increased catches and has proved very popular with visitors. Winsnes also operates a total catch and release policy in an effort to preserve the incredible Gaula River Atlantic Salmon for future generations.


Winsnes Lodge controls 4 km double bank fishing and some mouth-watering fly fishing pools on the Gaula River. The fishery is unusual as it is a continuous stretch, rather than a series of broken up pools, divided into nine beats. There is the Kjelflløe pool which moves upstream and the Oksoy pool, Rohølen pool and the Lilllesterøm pool which end at the most famous pool on the Gaula Kroken.

Upstream from Kroken is our new water part of the Flaskholen beat which starts with Bottle Pool, then the Railway pool and Old Bridge pool. It ends with the top pool named Junction pool. All of the beats offer fishing in all water conditions from high to very low with great holding spots for Atlantic salmon.

Both traditional double handed rods and single handers can be used to good effect depending on water height, with the single handed rods coming into their own in lower water conditions. The river has good runs of fish and the lodge accounts for numbers of fish caught between 100 to 200 per season with an average size of 17lb. During the early part of the season, some very big fish run the river and fish caught up to 40lb are recorded each season.


The guiding scheme at Winsnes Lodge works on a rotation with the guide walking between anglers to give advice, problem solve and help you land and photograph fish. Each morning the guide will talk to you about the pools you will be fishing and give you a rough plan to work to with regards to lines and flies that should be used.

Other Activities 

With such fantastic local countryside, it is easy to see why so many non-fishing companions like to travel to the lodge for relaxation and the chance to walk in and experience the beauty of Norway.

If you have any questions on any of the Atlantic Salmon fishing we offer then contact us in the office, our experienced team will be happy to help you with any queries you have. Additionally, you can request a free brochure.

Alternatively, you can view all our Atlantic Salmon fishing destinations here.

Winsnes Lodge

The Winsnes Lodge is owned and run by Anne Marit Winsnes and her partner, British TV angler, Matt Hayes. The atmosphere at Winsnes is friendly and informal – guests are encouraged to come and go as they please. Help is always on hand for guests who want assistance with their fishing equipment, advice about the river, fly choices etc.

With highly developed catering facilities, Winsnes is famous for the quality of its food – a mixture of traditional Norwegian and international cuisine. British touches can be seen on the menu – British tea and Marmite at breakfast being prime examples!

Winsnes was built in 1882. From approx. 1890 to 1910 the house was used for the English ‘salmon lords’, who began to visit the Gaula during this period. A number of pictures and other paraphernalia can still be seen from this period. Built form traditional Norwegian wood, the house has been extended and modernised with a large ground floor kitchen, a spacious dining area and lounge. In high summer, most guests sit outside in the courtyard to sit and chat, drink wine or gin and tonic. All 7 bedrooms are on the first and second floor with shared or single occupancy possible. Some, but not all of the rooms are en-suite. There are 5 bathrooms in total.

Guests will be well looked after. Packages are full board, comprising breakfast and dinner with the opportunity to make your own packed lunch from the large spread put out at the breakfast table. Non-fishing guests and families will be able to choose from a list of activities and are very welcome at the lodge too.

Also, new at the Winsnes site, is the Lax Café and Pub and a fly fishing shop, just incase you need those extra flies and fly lines.

Built using the structure of a barn that was part of the original Winsnes Farm from several hundred years ago, the barn was constructed in the 18th century and refurbished in 2010. The Lax Cafe retains the original architecture of the traditional building and much of the furniture is original to the Winsnes farm (indeed, almost all the furniture was made by members of the Winsnes family on the farm).

A meeting place for both local people and tourists, the Lax Cafe and Pub is open from Friday to Sunday. It is open for guests and special events at any time.

Visitors enjoy the well-stocked bar, which includes a full-range of alcohol and soft drinks (the beer is available on draught and in bottles with individual beers from Scandinavia, Germany, Ireland and the UK). Food is available on site. This includes a selection of bar food during normal opening hours or special catering for events and groups.

Board: Full Board
Rooms: Single & twin
Telephone: Chargeable
Internet: WiFi
Power: 220 volt
Meals: In dining room
Alcohol: Lax Café and Pub
Equipment Hire: Nominal charge
Shop: Fly shop
Cash Accepted: Norwegian Kroner
Species Information
Atlantic Salmon
Season: 1st June to 29th August
Peak: July
Weight: 8lb to 47lb
Average Weight: 14lb
Suggested Itinerary

Although the fishing has set weeks, we have daily flights departing from the UK, therefore should you wish to either extend your stay with additional days at the beginning or end in Norway, the itinerary below can be tailored to suit you.

DAY 1: (Sunday) Fishing Day.

Depart from the UK (alternative routes available)

Arrive in Trondheim

At Trondheim Airport you will pick up your pre-arranged hire car. Please note that is not included in the price but we can book this for you.

Note: we do offer a meet and greet at the airport for an additional £100 pp.

On arrival at Winsnes Farm, our hosts will check you in, give you a tour of the facilities, talk about the rotation and all the fishing areas on the Gaula River

Fishing normally starts around 9 PM.

Overnight accommodation: Winsnes Farm F/B (Twin Room)

DAYS 2 & 3: (Monday & Tuesday) Fishing Days.

Each day breakfast is served and you can either return to the lodge for lunch or alternatively make yourself a packed lunch at breakfast to take out to the water and eat while you enjoy a days fishing.

Fishing Tip: even though we rest the Salmon fishing pools every 6 hours, its best to give each pool a rest once you have fished through, as resting fish will respond better to your flies.

Overnight accommodation: Winsnes Farm F/B (Twin Room)

DAYS 4 & 5: (Wednesday & Thursday) Fishing Days.

Salmon fishing each day is based on 2 rods per beat and you will rotate beats every 4 hours.

Fishing is based on light guiding, so each day our guides will come to visit you throughout the day and give you advice on all the pools and runs.

Overnight accommodation: Winsnes Farm F/B (Twin Room)

DAYS 6 & 7: (Friday & Saturday) Fishing Days.

Enjoy the days fishing, there is a mandatory rest period on the Gaula River for all pools between the hours of 2 AM to 6 AM and 2 PM to 6 PM.

Evening meals are served at the lodge.

Overnight accommodation: Winsnes Farm F/B (Twin Room)

DAY 8: (Sunday)

In the morning drive yourself back to Trondheim Airport and drop off the car.

Depart Trondheim

Arrive in the UK

Dates & Prices

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently. Plus what’s more if you book with Sportquest Holidays your holiday is protect by our ATOL and the Travel Package Regulations Act. To see more details CLICK HERE.

Start DateEnd DateDaysNightsFishingAnglerNon-AnglerAvailability
14/07/201921/07/2019876£3,169On Request  Sold Out
21/07/201928/07/2019876£2,770On Request  Book Now
28/07/201904/08/2019876£2,471On Request  Sold Out
04/08/201911/08/2019876£2,322On Request  Book Now
11/08/201918/08/2019876£2,322On Request  Book Now
18/08/201925/08/2019876£2,277On Request  Book Now
25/08/201901/09/2019876£2,277On Request  Book Now
31/05/202007/06/2020876£1,948On Request  Book Now
07/06/202014/06/2020876£1,968On Request  Book Now
14/06/202021/06/2020876£2,965On Request  Book Now
21/06/202028/06/2020876£3,154On Request  Book Now
28/06/202005/07/2020876£3,533On Request  Book Now
05/07/202012/07/2020876£3,483On Request  Book Now
12/07/202019/07/2020876£3,269On Request  Book Now
19/07/202026/07/2020876£2,870On Request  Book Now
26/07/202002/08/2020876£2,571On Request  Book Now
02/08/202009/08/2020876£2,422On Request  Book Now
09/08/202016/08/2020876£2,422On Request  Book Now
16/08/202023/08/2020876£2,377On Request  Book Now
23/08/202029/08/2020876£2,377On Request  Book Now
Price Match Promise

We are so confident that our packaged prices are the best available and offer great value for money.

If, however, you find an identical holiday available with any other fully bonded Tour Operator at a lower price, we will match that price.

Price Notes

Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.

Holidays or flights booked with Sportquest Holidays Limited are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority by our ATOL bond (Number 6371). ATOL protects you from losing your money or being stranded abroad. It does this by carrying out financial checks on the firms it licenses and requiring a guarantee, called a bond.

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What's Included & Excluded
  • International flights
  • Road maps
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Full board
  • Private beat fishing
  • Guiding on light guiding basis
  • All required fishing permits
  • Disinfection certificate
  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Car hire
  • Petrol
  • Tips for the guide

Extra Bag £55 pr bag 20 kilos

Meet and Greet at Airport £100 per person

Car Hire approx £450

Flight upgrades

Tour Notes


A machine-readable passport with at least 6 months before expiry. No visa for UK citizens required.

Medical Requirements

No vaccinations currently required

Please Note

All details of visa and medical requirements are correct at time of press however please check these requirements for changes.

Departure tax

There is no additional airport departure tax when leaving Norway

Flight Route & Flight Time

UK – Trondheim (approx 2.5 hrs)

Baggage Allowance

Your actual allowance is based on both which airline you are flying with and also what class of seat you are travelling in. Normally in economy it is 1 checked bag, Premium Economy / Business 2 checked bags, First 3 checked bags. In addition to your checked bags you are also allowed 1 cabin bag and either 1-laptop bag or ladies handbag. The actual size and weight limit for bags is dependent on the airline. We therefore recommend that once your flights are booked you check on the airlines website for the up to date allowances.

If your itinerary includes private light aircraft or helicopter flights we will advise you on your baggage and weight allowance.

Transfer Time

Trondheim – Winsnes Lodge (approx 1 hr 20 mins)

Questions & Answers

Where is the Lodge?

The lodges sit 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, 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 rest 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 14.00pm and 18.00pm and from 2.00am – 6.00am. Whilst there are those who dislike this system, our customers love it and the catch ratio, per man, per hour, fished always results in the Winsnes fishery taking the top spot. We catch more fish (all on the 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?

All Salmon fishing 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. 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 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 on these trips and the guides speak good English.

Who is best suited to this destination?

Fishing on the Gaula River is best suited to customers who are not looking for numbers of fish but chances of catching Atlantic Salmon over 40LB, as 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 and 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 this type 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 staff in the office and they can advise you with all the information and catch statistics.

How to get there?

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?

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. 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 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?

We offer the complete package including all flights and transfers. To view all prices and availability click the “Dates & Prices” tab above.

Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all our own travel we can book just the lodge and fishing for you.

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