Season 2003
Overall conditions at the start of the new 2003 season were not extraordinary in any way. The water had a temperature of 5°C and the water level on the Gaula was between 1 m and 1,50 at the gauge at Froseth. The Stjordal had a water temperature of 6.1°C and a level of approx 70cm above summer level. The first fish on NFC water was caught by Manfred Raguse on the 1st of June at 5:20 a.m. on the Stjordal, the weight being 9,8 kg (21,6lb). The first salmon on the Gaula was caught by Chris Vanseer on the 2nd of June on our Home Pool (7,9kg, 17,4lb). It was´nt long before other rods were writing their names into our catch statistics.
Everybody knows that fishing can be tough when the water is cold and high and sinking lines are the order of the day. In June we normally have an average weight of around 8kg (18 lb) with very big fish in amongst them and every cast could mean the salmon of a lifetime. The number of big salmon running the Gaula this year in early June was especially impressive and some fishermen have caught up to three big fish within a couple of hours. In the first week we managed to catch 25 salmon on our Gaula beat with an average weight of 9,6 kg (21,2 lb).
During the 2nd week catches were even better and we landed 31 fish with an as high average weight on our Gaula water. Several real monsters were lost after hard battles. Exceptional catches were made by some of our experienced rods. For ex. by Frithjof Dietrich who landed six big fish during two days, his largest this time scaled 13,5 kg/ 29.8 lb, 13,1 kg (28.9 lb) and 11,5 (25.4 lb). His friend David Campbell caught his personal record of almost 22 pounds on the 3rd June, but improved the next day with a splendid cock fish of 14,5 kg (32 pounds). Ken Sawada who started with his wife Mary Anne in the second week of the season had a splendid start with a fish of 12.9 kg (28 ½ lb) and one of 11,2 kg (24.7 lb) whilst Mary Anne had one of 10,1 kg (22.3 lb). Both had 7 big fish for their first week. Terry Oldfield caught 6 nice fish. Many of our regular rods caught superb salmon in splendid condition, the fish seem to be actually in even better shape than during the last years. This is as well true for the Stjordal fish, of which last week 4 were caught by Bernd Neumann (between 9 and 12 kg (19.9 – 26 ½ pounds) and 2 by Manfred Raguse (up to 23.6 lb).
The last week started fine with a fish of 12,5 kg caught by Andreas Witt on the 15th June on Upper Langöy Pool and from the same pool there were three the day after caught by the Jamie McGregor party, all between 8 and 8.7 kg. This week has produced less fish than the week before. The best largest fish that week, weighed in at 13,8 kg (30 ½ pound) and was caught by Bernd Ziesche who had as well one of 10,5 kg (23 lb) and a medium sized fish of 11 1/2 lb. Other nice fish were taken by Steve Beddows 12,0 kg (26 ½ lb) and Murray Stuart who caught one of 11.4 kg (25, 1 lb) and one of 10.4 kg (23 lb). Conditions on both rivers are very good with good water levels and more rain in the mountains.
July saw many salmon running our rivers but there was just one thing missing -- rain! It was a terribly dry summer all over Europe and many rivers in England are still suffering low water conditions. The Gaula is a large river with a catchment area of more than 3000 km2 and can easily cope with longer periods of drought. The middle and upper Gaula fishing was still productive in July but it was obvious that conditions were getting harder day after day, although even under bright sunny conditions some salmon were being caught. Most of our guests concentrated their efforts at night which proved more successful and some fishermen tried for seatrout with good results. The total catch of seatrout has risen again to now about 2,5 tons on the Gaula after a few less productive years.

The second half of July, which is normally prime time on our beats, provided difficult conditions for all fishermen on the Gaula. Because of the drought many smaller Norwegian rivers were closed for fishing but we continued in the hope that conditions might improve. We know that this can happen very fast in Norway especially here in Trøndelag and the weather forecast was not too bad. Several of our Gaula rods took the opportunity to fish vacant rods on our beat on the Stjørdal with great success. The guaranteed minimum water level on the Stjørdal which is provided by the power station ensured very good catches on our water below the junction of the Forra and main river. All fish that want to run the Forra wait here in the perfect holding pools of our beat until there are sufficient water levels to run further. Numerous catches were made during these periods and the fishing was much better for several weeks on the Stjørdal than on the Gaula. Our Stjørdal beat proved once again that it fishes well under all conditions throughout the season. It is one of the most reliable beats in the whole of Norway as it always holds fish.

Meanwhile, great numbers of salmon were waiting patiently in the fjord for rain that would allow them passage up the Gaula. Finally in August the long awaited deluge came: The rise sent the Gaula´s flow from 8m3 to nearly 800m3 per second! - the first real flood of the season. Within a few hours our beats were fishable again and immediately salmon and sea-trout were caught. The main run is still on its way from the fjord.
The last few days have produced 58 fish; amongst them two large cock fish of 15.5kg (34.2lb) and 14.1kg (31lb) from the New Pool yesterday. All participants on our salmon course caught their first ever salmon. Fishing was excellent and some rods had amazing catches. Good water conditions continued until the end of the season. The total catch on the Gaula was more than 39 tons including 2,5 tons of seatrout. This is an extremly good result as we have to consider the very difficult conditions which we encountered over some of the prime- time weeks. On the Stjørdal the result was 8,3 tons of salmon and 734 kg seatrout.
P.S. One afternoon last week on Bridge pool Christian Bourrec from France hooked a big salmon and after a long fight when the fish was ready to come in, the line broke between the flyline and backing. With typical French bravado he threw down his rod and leapt into the water to grab the disappearing line. Up to his neck in the fast flowing stream he attempted to play the fish by hand but unfortunately the hook came out and he returned to the bank soaked and bedraggled. Undaunted he smoked a quiet cigarette and continued to fish on soaked to the skin for five hours. He was later rewarded for his efforts with a 9.3 kg salmon which was entered into the book with the comment. “Without swimming”. to see the

The largest fish caught on the Gaula this season:
16.6.2003 Salmon, on Spoon, Lower Gaula at Hovin by John Svendsrud 20,6kg (45,4 lb)
13.6.2003 Salmon, on Spoon, Lower Gaula at Lundamo by Sturla Langørgen 17,5kg (38.6 lb)
20.8.2003, Salmon on Fly, GFF Kroken, Malum/ Winsnes, Jonas Hammerstedt, 17,5kg
21.8.2003 Salmon on worm, Storen, by Kjell Sanna, 17.5kg (38.6lb)
07.6.2003 Salmon on Fly, Bogen Søndre, Upper Gaula at Kotsøy by Anders Nicklasson 17,4 kg (38 1/2 lb) the Norwegian Flyfishers Club has the longterm lease on this fantastic fly water from season 2004 onwards. Enquiries from parties up to 6 rods are welcome. Vacancies from 25. July onwards.
18.7.2003, salmon on spoon, SJFF, Vold, Storen, Morten Nordland, 17,0kg
On the NFC water the largest fish caught this season weighed in at 14,5 kg (32 pounds),
with several around the 30 pound mark, but some real monsters were lost. Several encounters with big fish ended sometimes after a struggle of 1 km or more which anglers had to follow, the fish was lost with a broken leader, or the fish simply came off. But there have been 5 instances of fish on our Gaula water lost with a complete flyline! That happened on our Stjordal water last saturday as well, but the line was recovered the next day. The fish had worn through the leader and came free. We think this is unacceptable and we immediately install a routine that ensures that the tackle is more carefully checked by our guides and we ask all anglers to pay special attention to this this year.

Extracts from Terry Oldfields diary:

5th June 2003
It´s Thursday afternoon , 5 days into the new season on the Gaula,and the fishing is nothing short of tremendous.After the first day,when most of the fish were being caught in the lower river,they showed up here in good numbers.The really exciting thing is that the average weight is 9.5 kilos (about 21 lb),and there are some really big fish amongst them.I hooked one in Lower Langoy which came off,after a hard tussle,in Renna(the pool half a mile below) and not once did I catch a glimpse of the fish or even feel in control of the situation.Another big one lost in Bridge pool last night ans many fish passing through into the upper river. So far there are 16 in the book and although I have´nt landed one yet I am enjoying the fishing immensely. Looking good for a great season! Update to follow next week.

6th June 2003:
I have taken two fish earlier today: 19 pounds and 20 pounds. There are 20 fish caught on the NFC water until now. Average weight about 23 pounds. The largest: David Campbell 32 pounds and Fridjof Dietrich 29 pounds.

Fishing has continued extremely well. The first week of the season ended with 25 large salmon on the NFC water on the Gaula. The average is over 22 pounds. I caught meanwhile a 23 pounder in the Bridge Pool and a 23 1/2 pounder in the New Pool. The new week hast started nicely with 7 fish in the book since sunday evening 20 hrs:

Chris Vanseer: 8.8 kg = 19 1/2 lb
Terry Oldfield: 10.7 kg= 23 1/2 lb
Michael R. Archibald: 9.0 kg= 19.8 lb
Ken Sawada: 12.9 kg= 28 1/2 lb
Mary Anne Sawada: 10.1 kg = 22.3 lb
Ken Sawada: 11.2 kg =24.7 lb
Fridjoff Dietrich 9.5 kg= 21 lb

On the NFC water on the Stjordal the last three fish were caught yesterday:

Manfred Raguse 10.7 kg= 23 1/2 lb
Bernd Neumann 9.1 kg = 20 lb
Manfred Raguse 5.0 kg = 11 lb (smallest fish of the season so far!

11th June 2003 Fishing has continued extremely well here on the NFC water. We ended up with 25 big fish for the week with an astounding average of over 22 pounds. I managed to land a third on Sunday of 23lb,a lively fresh fish from Bridge pool which took me 300 metres down the gauntlet before I could land him - Very exciting! The new week has started nicely with 12 fish in the book since Sunday evening including my fourth of 23 1/2 lb from New Pool: Update to follow later.

Chris Vanseer: 8.8 kg = 19 1/2 lb
Terry Oldfield: 10.7 kg= 23 1/2 lb
Michael R. Archibald: 9.0 kg= 19.8 lb
Ken Sawada: 12.9 kg= 28 1/2 lb
Mary Anne Sawada: 10.1 kg = 22.3 lb
Ken Sawada: 11.2 kg =24.7 lb
Fridjoff Dietrich 9.5 kg= 21 lb
Jon Steringer 10,8 kg = 23.8 lb
Lars Terkildsen 10,0 kg = 22 lb
Ken Sawada 10,9 kg = 24 lb
Ken Sawada 8,9 kg = 19 ½ lb
Mary Anne Sawada 10,5 kg 23 lb

On the NFC water on the Stjordal the last three days produced:

Manfred Raguse 10.7 kg= 23 1/2 lb
Bernd Neumann 9.1 kg = 20 lb
Manfred Raguse 5.0 kg = 11 lb (smallest fish of the season so far!
Bernd Neumann 11,0 kg = 24.3 lb
Bernd Neumann 13,0 kg = 28.7 lb

Terry Oldfield

Frithjof Dietrich with a very nice cock fish of 13,5 kg (29.8 lb) from the New Pool

Today (25th June 2003) we had until 20:30hrs. four fish from the NFC water. Here is the latest one caught by John Little on Lower Langöy Pool, weighing in at 9.6 kg (21.1 lb)

Bernd Ziesche with a fish of 13,8 kg (30,4 lb) hooked in Renna Poolo and landed 1 km below in New Pool

Manfred Raguse with the first salmon of the season on the NFC water, a nice salmon of 9.8 kg / 21 ½ lb, covered in sealice, caught on the Stjordal River at 5:20 a.m. He lost a much bigger one and had four serious takes in addition.

Our first salmon for the new season was caught by Chris Vanseer, 7,9 kg (17,4lb)

David Campell and Frithjof Dietrich with salmon of 9,9 kg (21.8 lb) and 9,3 kg (20 ½ lb) caught in Lower Langöya Pool on the 3rd. June

Chris Vanseer with a strong salmon from Renna Pool, 11,1 kg (24,5lb)

David Campell with his superb slamon weighing 14,5 kg (32lb)

Within three hours Frithjof Dietrich caught these salmon of 8 kg (17,6lb), 9 kg (19,8lb) and 10,7 kg (23,6lb) on the 4th June

David Campell and Frithjof Dietrich with fresh June salmon of 9,3 kg (20,5lb), 9,9 kg (21,8lb) and 14,5 kg (32lb)

Another big salmon and his new personal best for Frithjof Dietrich: 13,1 kg (28,9lb) caught in Lower Langöya Pool on the 6th. June

This salmon of 9,5 kg (20,9lb) was caught by Grant Foreman on the 5th June in Langoy Pool

New Pool produced good catches. Here are Grant Foreman and David Lee with salmon of 11,1 kg (24,5lb) and 8,7 kg (19,2lb), caught on the 4th of June

Another good fish from Grant Foreman, 8,8kg (19,4lb)

Ken Sawada and his wife Mary Anne had a greta start into the new season. In our Renna Pool they caught salmon of 12,9 kg (28,4lb), 11,2 kg (24,7lb) and 10,1 kg (22,3 lb) during the afternoon of the 10th of June

Manfred Raguse caught these two salmon of 10,7 kg (23.6lb) and 5 kg (11lb) on the 9th of June in our Stjördal beat which fished very good

David Campell with his superb salmon weighing 14,5 kg (32lb) caught in Home Pool on the 4th. June 2003

Another big salmon from Stjördal was caught by Bernd Neumann on the 9th of June. This fish weighs 9 kg (19,8lb). The next two days he caught salmon of 11 kg (24,3lb) and 13 kg (28,7lb)

Another big salmon from Terry Oldfield, 10,7 kg (23,6lb) which he caught on the 10th of June

A good catch on the 6th of June for Terry Oldfield from Home Pool and Renna Pool, 8,6 kg (19lb) and 9 kg (19,8lb)

Terry Oldfield caught this salmon of 10,5 kg (23,2lb) on the 8th of June in our Bridge Pool

Another typical June salmon was caught by Valentin Maul, 9,5 kg (20,9lb)

Michael Werner, editor of the German magazine "Fliegenfischen" with a good salmon from our Stjördal Beat, of 10,0 kg (22 lb)