The title is a bit misleading as we had Andrew Croucher in our party, Andy has lived and worked in Norway for some years and is fluent in the language both verbal and written. Norway is by no means the cheapest country to go fly fishing and without Andrew and Graham Lumsdon’s efforts it could have ended up a fairly expensive affair. This would have earned me a swift kick in the gonads from my good lady wife! As it was it ended up considerably cheaper than a trip to Slovenia. This is how we did it, flights from terminal 5 for those in the South Alan Ward, Graham Lumsdon and I and flights from Edinburgh for Graeme Sharp and Del Spry. The timings were a bit uncoordinated and regardless of that it was much cheaper to hire two cars than a big mini bus style vehicle. This would also give us the option to fish different rivers.
Jayne rolled out of bed at an ungodly hour to take us to the airport and we arrived and flew without incident the flight time is around two hours fifteen minutes and you gain an hour upon landing in Oslo. Everything was going swimmingly until we reached our hire car it was a brand spanking new Toyota estate car, it looked fancy! Graham got in the cockpit and after five minutes and much collective scratching of heads we still could not work out how to start the hybrid car. Ten minutes later and we had managed to move from one parking spot to another! It was kind of them to give us a shuttle from the Starship Enterprise but we are all old codgers looking for the choke! When Graham took the key back to change the car there was a ripple of laughter when he announced in his Northumberland droll “Well a cannae drive that like”. Luckily the young Norwegian took pity on us and we managed a somewhat less bewildering Ford estate.
We packed the car up and it occurred to me that squeezing Andy into the car was going to be near on impossible. So off we set with Google maps, Co-Piolet and a paper map towards Hamer to pick Andy up. Graham has visited Andy before so this was going to be a doddle, The E6 takes you straight there! Unfortunately, they are digging the E6 up right on the junction that we were supposed to come off. Long story short we got to Andy’s house a wee bit later than expected. He greeted us with some tasty pizza for lunch and a very welcome hot drink. I am still even on reflection unsure how we managed to all get in the car with Andy’s fishing kit and all the food he had kindly pre-prepared for us while we were away. Food in Norway is really expensive so this was going to save us on expenditure big time. The trip up to our accommodation was fairly straight forwards and although it took four hours crammed in it was pleasant enough. It gave us time to catch up with Andy and have a good chin wag about all things fishing.
Alan was not enjoying the trip so much he had come to make a film about the trip but was currently in real pain with toothache. A trip to the dentist in Norway may well buy you a second-hand car! Luckily Andy’s wife was a dentist and we got some good advice over the phone, Graham told him to just harden the F**K UP! He was eating pain killers like smarties and a tot of whisky would help we had brought several litres between us. We arrived at the accommodation and Andy had outdone himself it was superb with three separate bedrooms a good kitchen and a large communal area. The details can be found here https://www.telstad.no I have also shot a short video so you can get a feel for the place. In short though this has been the best fishing accommodation I have stayed in on any of my trips. It was just perfect for a large group.
When we arrived, Andy was scurrying to get his waders on and tackle up his excitement infectious. I abandoned my efforts to make up my bed and followed suit, time was getting on but we were keen to get the trip of the mark. The river Glomma was just at the back of the accommodation, but wait what about tickets? This is the best system I have ever come across bar none! You book them on your phone it was so easy just go to https://www.scanatura.no and select the English translation and book your ticket then and there. Andy and I headed straight for the sweet spot and it was not long before we were pulling out good Grayling in decent numbers.
Double nymph was the quickest way to catch lots of fish but as the light was fading the odd Grayling could be tempted up on a dry fly. Andy pointed out a run that he said held better fish and sure enough after five minutes I was into a 45cm fish, outstanding! We had only been out for an hour or so and already I had gotten off to a flyer with 14 fish Andy had taken many more. It was with a big smile on my face that we returned to the lodge for a Spag Bol courtesy of Andy. The others had arrived but the light had gone and we had a laugh as I showed my cloakroom clicker to Del, he assured me he would catch up in the morning. We had a few drams and I was first to be off to bed dreaming of monster Grayling.
The morning came soon enough and we all tackled ready to assault the river! Some of the party had risen early and already made an impression on the mighty Glomma. Graham had discovered that his five year old cheap and nasty waders were letting in water, who would have guessed….lol. They were letting in water on our last trip, lucky for Graham that Andy had brought spares and they saved the day. Again, it was only a short walk from our lodge to where we would fish for the day. I got off to a fairly slow start only managing a couple of half decent fish. By the time I had caught up to the rest of the gang they were pulling out fish faster than a speeding bullet.
Some big ladies were being caught to boot, we all had fish over 40cm and a few were getting into even bigger fish. It’s a big river and its easy to see how it supports what can only be described as a huge population of Grayling. We were all having a ball and a good craik, Grayling fishing can be very sociable as fishing in close proximity to each other does not bother fish in the slightest. In fact, it is often an advantage to fish closely together, this can give rise to some savage banter and it did. Alan was getting some great footage from the first day of filming but all too soon it was time for a spot of lunch. A hike back to the lodge for a cuppa and a butty then it was into the cars for a short drive further up the river.
It was much of the same with loads of top-quality fish being caught between us. The double nymphing can get a bit repetitive though and a few of us tried different things such as dries and wets. These also proved fairly effective taking a rake of fish with Del and Graham doing particularly well. The evening rise failed to come through and I was not alone in my disappointment that said the odd fish could be tempted to come blind and that was very rewarding. Back to the digs and Andy rustled up a lovely chicken curry, followed by a few more drams. It was a great days fishing and I would defy any Grayling angler not to have had a hoot!
Part 2 to follow.
In part two feeding sheep on the roofs of houses and fighting bears!