What to bring for each part of the season.
This is big river time and therefore big fish time! Only the largest, most powerful fish are able to run the river during the early part of June. This means that there are fewer fish in the river, but what is lacking in quantity is made up in quality and size- as most of the large (30-40+lb. fish) are taken in early June. This is the time of year to fish with long 14-16 ft. rods (9-11 weight). Double handers armed with full sinking lines (up to sink 6/8 or sink 3/5/7). The river is often at a high water level and quite powerful during this period. This can be due to either heavy spring rains or snowmelt from the surrounding mountains, which raises the river level each evening, as the snowmelt reaches its peak for the day. During this period of high water, when fish are first entering into the river, there is no need for long, tapered leaders. Short, strong leaders up to 30+ lbs. will do the trick to connect with the large, heavily weighted flies that are the standard fare. Large, weighted tubes such as the Green Highlander variants, the Flom Fly, Phatakhorva or Templedog flies, Black & Silver tube flies, etc., fished with large doubles or trebles up to size 4. And make sure you have enough backing!
This is the time when the river begins to settle into a median summer flow. The overall clarity of the river increases as the level drops, and fish of all sizes are seen throughout the river. At this point the tackle can be scaled back a bit, as heavy sinking lines and 14-16 ft rods can be replaced by intermediate or float-sink lines, and lighter rods between 12-14 ft. can handle most of the casting work. Leaders should also increase in length and taper as the fish will start to hold in each pool and can become leader shy. Flies can be scaled down a bit, and smaller tubes, double hook flies and even dry flies and hitched flies can be tried if the river drops enough. Flies such as the Green Highlander (all variants), Sunray Shadow, Silver & Grey, Cascades or even small doubles like a Green Butt or Stoats Tail work well. With longer, bright days- lighter, brighter flies seem to attract more attention. As nightfall approaches- larger, darker flies seem to work well.
This month can be a varied time of the season to fish. The water flows can fluctuate quite drastically during this month; but typically August is characterized by low levels and resident fish holding in their respective pools until the next rain brings fresh fish into the system. This means that the fish will tend to hold close to the neck (top) of the pool where the oxygenated water flows in. During the evening the resident fish may drop towards the tail of the pool. Make sure to fish each pool all the way through to the end both at night and in the early morning is important and can lead to an otherwise overlooked opportunity for a take! During this period both small double hand rods (12-14ft.), switch rods (10-12ft.), and even sturdy single-hand rods (9-10ft., 8+weight) can do the trick. Floating lines (with/without a sink tip) and float/sink tip lines work best. During this time of the year, if no new rain has created activity in the fish, it is important to experiment with various techniques to try to provoke a take out of one of the resident fish. Start out with smaller, delicate flies and presentations and with each pass work deeper into the water column with larger flies. It is well worth it to begin with either a dry fly or a hitched fly- although often overlooked on Norwegian rivers- these techniques can prove deadly and quite exciting when a 20lb. resident fish rises to swat at your bomber! And if it elicits a strike, rest that fish for a minute or two and try again with either a slightly smaller or larger fly, or change the color of the fly to try to provoke a strike response.
In August some fish are coloured but often big, like Olivier's cock fish from Beat A1.