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February 13, 2010

River Årgård - 47 salmons, Sunrayshadows and no sleep !!! :O)

The Årgård River Lodge

Last summer FiN - the very good and highly recommended nordic fly fishing magazine (Fly fishing in Northern countries) brought an exciting article about a small river north of Trondheim in Norway, called River Årgård, not far from the famous river Namsen.
This article described a place where fly fishing and nature came together in a sublime way, with an accommodation beyond you imagination.!!! - It had to be explored closely!!!.
So, as usually the internet is a brilliant tool - search, send mail and wait for reply
- "all the usual suspects"!!!
After a couple of days I made contact with a guide in Mörrum - Mattias Holmquist - who had been there. We spoke in the phone, and the story he told was beyond my imagination, it simply sounded too good to be true!!
Mattias provide me with a phone number to Jörgen and Angela Stenberg, who runs this fantastic place - and a few hours later I spoke with Jörgen and I of course asked about the fishing - "don't worry, he replyed - we are catching lot's of fish right now!!" (it was very hot and very dry conditions!!! - could that really be true??).
We agreed that I could come right away - I packed my stuff, got into my car, 16 hours later I arrived to a small city called Namdalseid, one of these very small towns where you se a road sign saying "Welcome to Namdalseid" - and then 400 meters later you se another sign saying "Welcome back" - this was without no doubt a very quiet place - perfect!!!

My GPS found The River Årgård Lodge - four very exclusive wooden huts, placed beautifully, overlooking the whole valley, with the river floating quietly through.
Here I met the Stenbeg's, welcoming me to their little remote fly fishing paradise.
Mattias was absolutely right, the accommodation was beyond every imagination. Four brand new Norwegian wooden huts with the most fantastic view, and as if that wasn't enough, these huts were exclusively arranged with every modern facility you could imagine.
The Northern Gods were smiling my way!!!
Sauna, jacuzzi, flatscreen, dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, heat in the floor - and I could go on and on - BUT on top of it all - I instantly fell in love with the view over the quiet wally. A view witch is hard to describe in words, it was simply breathtaking with pure beauty and fulfilled quietness. After a week I didn't know where the remote control for the TV were located, I didn't even think about watching TV for a single moment - this view gave me much more than a TV ever could match.

Fly Fishing conditions

The Årgård River lodge is fantastic in every way. The fishing grounds are all within walking distance, so you don't need to stress around in your car, finding parking places etc.
And the Stenberg family run this place perfectly. Only a few fishermen are aloud to fish, so you won't experience crowded conditions and the river i literally full of salmons. You constantly see fish jumping, out of the water - very motivating.
The first day Jörgen took my down to the river, and just walking along the riverside we saw several nice fish jumping, I couldn't wait to get my fly out there. I was shaking like a little boy before Christmas.
We walked up stream to a perfect pool called Svarthölen, and the fishing began.
1st. cast - contact, 2 nd. cast - I caught a 3 kg salmon, 3 rd. contact again, 4 th. cast another salmon 1-2 kg......
That day I had so many contacts with these strong fish, it was unbelievable - I had found a place, with some of the most amazing fly fishing conditions - life was a gift for a while :O)

You are allowed to take a couple of fish every day, a catch you will make in only an hour or two - that's how many fish this fantastic little river holds.
The week I spend at The Årgård River Lodge, fulfilled my wildest dreams, and I caught 47 salmons - and lost just as manny. The biggest fish caught up there is close to 10 kg. - and on a one-handed rod #7 it is great fun I can promise you. Dry fly fishing for salmons is also a possibility at River Årgård, and I highly recommend this approach, it is an extremely entertaining way of catching salmons - especially the method called "Rifling hitch".
The Stenberg family are very nice people, and the whole place is kept in a superb way - a permanent thermometer has been established by the river side, there are small pontoon boats you can use for free, jacuzzi and sauna - if you feel like relaxing after manny hours of fishing. By the way the sauna was build with a whole wall of windows, so you could overlook the river and wally, while siting inside sweating.
They thought of every little detail in this amazing place - it is simply build to spoil you, because nothing will ever be the same after a week at The Årgård River Lodge.
Angela, Jörgens fantastic wife, has a unique sense for keeping this place very exclusive and the whole atmosphere were so delightful and calm.
By the way, both Jörgen and Angela were great fly fishers - and seeing them together walking down to the river every day, were just a great sight.

Mr. Stenberg in action :O)

I had so manny fantastic experiences from this trip, but one that I really recall well was from  my last day in this little paradise. I had taken one og the boats, an rowed through a small channel through a wilderness, to get out to the main river. My goal was the pool called Sea pool, a deep pool that were full of fresh fish. On my way out through this small channel that were connected to the main river, I saw a huge moose - just standing there watching me very quit, while I slowly and very quit drifted past it - Wow!! - well back to my main the story!!

I arrived to Sea pool, here I placed the boat by the river side, walked carefully out to a small passage. While I were pulling line from my reel, so the first cast could be made. But a salmon took my fly before I even made a cast, just a few meters from me - BANG!! - I wasn't ready at all, then it ran way over to the other side, and here it unfortunately got stuck in some trees lying in the water - Good advises are welcome in such a situation!! - back into the boat, started rowing slowly towards the opposite riverbank, while holding my rod between my knees (not something I can recommend at all). As I got closer I could se the salmon, a silver blank fish around 4 kg, standing underneath some branches. I took one of the oars and with a little luck I got the line free, but then the salmon suddenly got spooked and disappeared like a rocket again. I nearly lost my rod and reel into the deep. I was very lucky, just grabbing it with two fingers in 30 cm of water.Then the the fight continued, and this extremely strong and fresh fish pulled me around the pool for at least 10-12 min, before I could land it - amazing a fight, amazing a fish, amazing a place!!!!

Since it never really gets dark during these summer nights in this place, you tend to "forget" to sleep, you just want to fish, fish and fish some more!! - Hey!! - with conditions like these, what else is there to do.

Sea Pool and my very difficult catch

The only thing that I had a against me on this trip - were the tiny Knott, the very small mosquitos. Everywhere I go, they seem to LOVE my blood - those small vampire devils!!
But with the amount of fish, this place holds, you forget about it, and after not sleeping much for days, you are just tuned in to the environment - you just hook in and hold on!! - and smile a lot :O)
But I am sure that the Northern Gods are behind this "tiny arrangement", it isn't supposed to be too easy for us fly fishing freaks, that's why they created the Knott - those bastards!!

The Årgård River Lodge is a place I have to go back to - and I can't wait for it to happen, it is simply a paradise for every fly fisher on this planet.

Tight lines out there.
 .¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ )><((((º>

Take a tour at The River Årgård Lodges website here: (In English)

And explore FiN Magazine's website :
(PS. it's written in the Northern languages but it's a really great fly fishing magazine)

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