Stjørdalselva is the name of the river that runs out in the Trondheim Fjord just opposite the runway of the Trondheim Airport Værnes. For years back, this river is famous for being one of the best for catching wild salmon in Norway. Last year (2014) I was, together with my daughter (then 8 years old), invited by the owner and keeper, Aksel Hembre, and to Hembre Gård to get a close up of what this is all about.
My impression from before was that this was “something for men in the mid-fifties”, but I would find out that I was wrong about that. Well, almost… There are many men in the mid-fifties, but there are families going fishing here too.
The fishing season is from June 1. and last until August 31. Hembre Gård are selling fishing passes for a week at a time (Saturday to Saturday) and you spend the week on self-house-hold apartments with others who are there too. There is a “gentlemen’s agreement” for scheduling fishing time at the most popular spots and you can fish around the clock when you are there.
When getting in on Saturday you all gather in the old storehouse for information about house rules, the river, environment and preservation of the species and keeping a growing existence of salmon in the river. Therefore, they asked for doing responsible catch and release. If you want to keep a salmon, you should only keep the male ones. When guided around the area after the introduction they repeated the rules when we were on location. Responsible fishing.
I am not hooked on fishing, but I love the experience around it. It was AWESOME for me, being outside right in the wild river, with my camera in my hands, watching a big salmon jumping right in front of my legs. This was probably my best time of the summer last year, and something for me to remember for eternity.
I spent hours inside the river in the suit so I was not cold. It was heavy for my arms holding my camera for a long time at a time to try to get a clean shot of a jumping salmon. Every time I needed to rest my arms and lowered the camera, the salmon was high up in the air again… Well, I did not get that on camera, but I still picture it before my eyes when I think about it.
It was also a great experience spending time with the fishermen and woman (yes, there was only one eager woman while I was there).
Even that you are in the river alone most of the time, the social life at the farm is great too. You meet new people from many different countries. The hospitality was great with Aksel and his wife Beate and I really can recommend spending a week here. It is very popular and many weeks are sold-out even a year in advance. Book your stay early in advance.
I wish all fishers good luck upon this season that starts just after midnight to Monday, June 1.