July 17, 2010
There’s not much to say about beat 2b today. My permit lasted until 11 am so I was up at 3:30 am to make the best of my precious time. When I arrived at the salmon shed there was some encouraging news. Lars from Denmark, one of the regulars who fishes here all summer long, caught a 4 kilo salmon at midnight. But other than that no one saw or hooked a fish. To make a long repetitive story short, I fished solid from 3:30 am until my permit expired at 11 am. Vladi Trezbunia delivered me coffee to keep me awake and snickers bars for snacks. I caught nothing. During the time the wind howled and the sun got hot. At about 10:55 I got a touch at the end of my swing. It was as if the salmon were challenging me to buy just one more permit for the Stǿren Campground Beat. It wasn’t going to happen.
At 11 sharp I retreated to the camper. I was starved and tired and Vladi made me an incredible breakfast. After that we went for a drive so I could see some countryside and he could visit some friends. We went towards the coast and into Trondheim to start. Tronheim is Norway’s second largest city and is located on one of the world’s largest fiords. It was a beautiful place and nice to see the ocean. From there we went up to Stjǿrdal and then drove up the Stjǿrdalen River. Vladi worked and guided this particular river for several years. About an hours drive up the river we came to a falls and a fantastic little salmon lodge. Back in the 80’s Vladi guided many of the clients that stayed here and we stopped in for a visit in hopes he knew someone.
Sure enough as we pulled in an old friend of Vladi’s was mowing the lawn. This person, who’s name was Willie, stared us down as we pulled in but when Vladi stepped out of the car he recognized him and ran to greet him. Willie is a huge man of about thirty-five. He has lived on the property for his entire life and inherited the duties of maintaining the lodge from his parents whom inherited it from their parents and many generations of family before. Vladi was good friends with Willies father who it turns out died two years ago.
It was a great visit not only for Vladi but me too. I enjoyed an afternoon coffee that I needed bad and listening to the two catch up. From there we headed back south to the city of Orkanger and then up our new salmon spot, the Orkla River. The Orkla is another of Norway’s famous Atlantic salmon rivers. It’s not known so much for having lots of salmon but rather some of the biggest. We settled into a campsite on the river overlooking an incredible pool. Then we investigated the purchase of a permit for the piece of water by visiting the nearest house. Like all homes along Norway’s Rivers, this was sort of a mini lodge that rents cabins and sells permits for the beat.
In Norway you must disinfect your waders every time you switch rivers. Because of this rule, I wasn’t able to start fishing tonight. Unfortunately I have to go to a disinfection station and get my waders and boots cleaned and get a certificate saying I did so. Two bad things here: #1 – disinfection cost about $20 to and #2 – the disinfection station doesn’t open until 9 am tomorrow. With no fishing tonight, today is officially my first day of not catching a fish.
To kill a few hours Vladi and I scouted the beat. We only saw one free jumper but the water looks excellent. Tonight we’ll retire early after a nice pasta dinner and catch up on some needed rest. The good news is that we can sleep in tomorrow which after getting up in the wee hours of the morning five days in a row will be very nice.