Austnes Salmon Lodge is situated on the beautifully sheltered Verdalselva River in the Verdal municipality, formed at the confluence of the rivers Inna, which comes from Innsvatnet at the Swedish border, and Helgåa, which comes from the mountain village of Vera. Together they form to create one of the best Atlantic Salmon rivers in Norway. At 21 kilometres long, just over 90 kilometres if you include the tributaries Helgåa and Strådøla, the Verdalselva offers over 50 kilometres of prime Atlantic Salmon holding habitat.
The river is famous and the fishing so good, thanks to its vast catchment area, which spans over 1500 square kilometres. It responds very quickly to snowmelt and precipitation, and it’s these increases in water levels that can often be responsible for the fish feeding and providing travelling freshwater fly fishing anglers with the chance of a large, healthy fresh Atlantic Salmon.
With five different zones, the Lodge provides visiting rods with a varied week of fishing, from large rock-strewn stretches to deep pools, rapids, and gently flowing area’s. That’s without even mentioning the Østnesfossen – a basin under a small waterfall that spans for over 250m and provides the Salmon with a perfect resting place before they tackle this major obstacle. With only six to eight anglers tackling this vast array of water over a typical week, it’s no surprise why the fishing is so good and the destination so popular.
The first two zones at Austens offer some of the best fishing and have great all-year-round form. Zone 1, isn’t exclusive and small numbers of local anglers can purchase day tickets to fish on the stretch, but it is possible to book this exclusively for the duration of your stay if you wish. Zone 2 is completely exclusive to guests of Austnes and offers double bank fishing.
No fishing spot on the Verdal River receives as much fame as the Austnes or Østnesfossen Waterfall does. When fishing is allowed from the start of June, there is often a considerable amount of Salmon on their way to jump this significant obstacle, and it wasn’t many seasons ago when 26 Salmon, between 7kg and 15kg, were landed here on the first day of the season.
As well as being favourable early in the season, zone 1 is also popular throughout the whole season; in the latter part when the water levels begin to increase, after periods of low and in times of moderate water. It’s a tremendous all-year-round beat.
After negotiating the Østnesfossen Waterfall, the Ivar Bend is the perfect natural resting place for the Salmon on the river. Its pebbled shore on the eastern side of the bend is ideally suited for beginners, while the farm side, with its dense vegetation close to the river, is ideal for more experienced anglers capable of spey casting.
This zone gets its name from Ivar, the grandfather at Austnes, who has landed innumerable Salmon in this zone and also the largest Salmon he’s ever hooked. A story that he still recites to this day.
To find out more about the Atlantic Salmon fishing at Austnes Lodge in Norway, visit our YouTube channel.
Zones 3, 4 and 5 are completely exclusive to the group of anglers staying at Austnes. All the zones, with just the exception of 3, as its far bank is controlled by a local hunting club, offer some fantastic double bank fishing and throws up some incredible Atlantic Salmon every season.
As a rule, this zone gets best fished at medium and high water flows. The upper part of the beat is calm, but further, along the stretch, the water gains speed, and the terrain becomes rocky; this is a particularly productive area and one where good numbers of Salmon can often get found resting. This section of river isn’t the easiest to wade, but luckily most fish lie on the nearside bank, or farm side, meaning you don’t need to cast very far.
The mention of Blåmel Pool leaves many an angler misty-eyed, and a good number of the largest Salmon in the whole river system have been caught from here, with fish topping 20kg. If you want to see some huge Salmon, then visit the pool at sunrise or sunset, and you’ll see plenty of them rising on the surface of the water. This stretch offers good fishing during all water levels as the Salmon find natural resting spots during both high and low water conditions.
Marka Pool is broad and quiet-flowing, with vegetation on both sides. There is a deep channel near the southern shore, and the Salmon love to reside here on this stretch. At dusk, they move downstream towards the lower end of the pool. Marka Stream has two runs during medium and high water levels, and an island gets formed in the middle of the river. The most significant run stream is lively and features many big rocks and boulders, often a prime fish-holding area. While the smaller run, towards the forest on the southern shore, is calmer and a location the fish tend to prefer when the water levels are high.
One of the primary reasons why the Atlantic Salmon fishing at Austnes’s is so popular amongst travelling rods is the vast array of exclusive water at the anglers disposal. Fly anglers who stay at the Lodge, limited between 6 to 8 rods per week, have exclusive access to over 2000m of double bank fishing. The upper part of the beat, above the Østnesfossen Waterfall, allows double bank fishing in zones 2, 4 and 5, with the only exception being zone 3, as a local hunting club controls the far bank.
Below the waterfall in zone 1, the fishing is not exclusive, and the beat is open to a number of day tickets each week. However, on request and with a supplement, anglers can book this exclusively if they wish, with the only exception being the 50m downstream from the waterfall, which is not open to fishing exclusively or not.
The season at Austnes runs from June to August, with the best and most productive time being from the end of June to the end of July. However, as with all fishing, sport is often dictated heavily by the weather and river conditions.
Austnes Salmon Lodge is an ideal destination for those rods who like to explore and fish off their own back as only a light guiding is included in the package. However, for a supplement, a comprehensive guiding package can be booked.
The Cabins at Austnes Salmon Lodge are cosy, comfortable and situated just a few metres from the river and the Østnesfossen Waterfall, which offers some of the best Salmon fishing on the stretch. In fact, the cabins are situated within walking distance of all zones on the river and even the local shop and fast-food restaurant.
The Salmon Cabins, as they’re named, are the most extensive accommodation that Austnes offers, and they feature a living room, open plan kitchen, two separate bedrooms and a bathroom with a toilet and shower. They also have heating and electricity.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included, and so are tea, coffee and soft drinks. Unfortunately, the Lodge doesn’t have a licence to see alcoholic beverages, but guests are more than welcome to bring their own. These can be purchased from the duty-free at the airport or at the local supermarket, which is within walking distance of the accommodation.
A new Lodge is also in the process of being created onsite, which will be used as a communal meeting area, where if they wish, anglers can meet for some drinks in the evenings and exchange fishing stories.
As with all Salmon Lodges in Norway, Austnes operates a strict disinfection policy. Before starting fishing on the Verdalselva river and before stepping foot in it, fishing tackle, clothing and waders must be adequately disinfected to avoid transmitting the deadly parasite Gyrodactylus salaris. The parasite dies in saltwater but can survive on wet fishing equipment (jackets, flies, canoes, lures, plastic bags, waders, etc.) for many days. With the growing number of diseases in the aquaculture industry, disinfection is more crucial than ever.
You are responsible for the equipment and infection you bring with you, so you need to keep this in mind:
– Do not move fish between watercourses and rivers
– Do not wash or gut fish anywhere other than where you caught them
– Do not discharge water into watercourses
– Disinfect all fishing equipment before use
Along the Verdalselva river, there are several disinfection stations. Here you can disinfect your fishing equipment (remember lure and fly boxes and anything that has been in contact with water in other watercourses). The disinfection occurs with a preparation called Virkon-S in a 1% solution, which does not damage clothes or fishing equipment. The fishing license is not valid without a disinfection certificate, and violation of the regulations can lead to a penalty.
Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Once you arrive in Trondheim a representative from Austnes will collect you and drive you to the Lodge. The transfer time is around 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Overnight accommodation: Austnes Salmon Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
On the first fishing day, you’ll be free to explore all zones on the Verdalselva. This is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the light-guiding on offer, and the guide at the Lodge will show you some of the best areas on the 2000m stretch of river. Zone’s 2, 3, 4 and 5 on the river are exclusive to anglers staying in the Lodges and all apart from zone 3 offer double bank fishing. Zone 1 is open to day tickets sold through the Lodge; however, this can be booked exclusively if you wish.
Overnight accommodation: Austnes Salmon Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
Anglers can fish and explore all 5 zones and have over 2000m of the river at their disposal. The Lodge provides visiting rods with a varied week of fishing, from large rock-strewn stretches to deep pools, rapids, and gently flowing area’s. That’s without even mentioning the Østnesfossen – a basin under a small waterfall that spans for over 250m and provides the Salmon with a perfect resting place before they tackle this major obstacle.
Overnight accommodation: Austnes Salmon Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
On the morning of your last day, you will be driven back to Trondheim Airport ready to take your flight home.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 87%
"Austnes Salmon Lodge wasn't the most luxurious fishing accommodation I've ever stayed in, but it was cosy and acted as a perfect base from which to fish the river, the hosts Sabreein and Ola were most welcoming and really, genuinely lovely people. I went to the Verdalselva with one aim and that was to catch a Salmon, which I did! On the second morning fishing the waterfall I landed a lovely fresh chrome fish of 16lb. Mission accomplished!"
"My week on the Verdalselva River was brilliant from start to finish and I'd certainly like to return next year. The river conditions weren't fantastic but I still managed to land a couple of nice Salmon, not the true giants that some parts of the river are famous for, but fish around the 10 to 12lb mark. The hosts Sabreein and Ola were very welcoming and it was a pleasure to spend time in their company."
"I've been lucky enough to fish in Norway a handful of times but until this trip, I'd never fished the Verdalselva. I wasn't disappointed with my choice and despite only light guiding, I managed 3 Salmon, including 1 completely off my own back which I was incredibly proud of. On the river, there's plenty of water to fish and the cabins, only a stones' throw away, were perfect for what I needed. Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable week."
The season runs from June To August.
Season: June To August
Weight: 8lb to 45lb
Average Weight: 14lb
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.
Prices are based on two anglers 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 surcharges.
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