Reisa River, Norway
The Reisa is a big fish salmon river. Few rivers in the world can boast such high probabilities of hooking fish in the 30lb+ range. In contrast to the evolution of many salmon rivers worldwide, the returns of large salmon are actually improving from year to year. Similar to its sister river a bit farther north, the Alta, the Reisa can claim that at least 40% of returning salmon have weights of over 15 lbs and more than half of these weigh over 20 lbs.
The Reisa River rises out of the Tundra in Finnmark region of Norway and flows 120 kilometers to where it dumps into the North Atlantic near the town of Storslett. The returning Atlantic salmon are able to swim up the first 85 kilometers of river until they reach the unsurpassable obstacle of the Imofossen Falls.
The 85 kiometers of salmon water are divided into 19 zones, ten in the lower part of the river accessible by road and another nine in the upper part of the river accessible only by boat. The beats are fished in pairs, with each pair of fishermen rotating between two sections per day. Every day the fishing begins at 12 o’clock noon and finishes at 12 o’clock midnight, thus allowing all of the pools to rest a minimum of 12 hours.
Because of the size of the river, visiting fishermen should be comfortable casting long lines with 14 to 16 foot spey rods in order to cover many pools adequately. Nevertheless, the majority of the pools are easily waded when water levels are normal.
14 to 16 foot 9 to 11 weight two hand rods with quality reels with reliable drag systems loaded with 200 yards of 50 lb test backing. Skagit lines with a variety of sink tips or multi density lines can be very effective early in the season. Intermediate sinking and floating lines become more advisable as the summer advances. Strong leaders of 25 to 30 lb test are highly recommended.
Flies: During the first part of the season larger heavily dressed tube flies are more effective. Good patterns include Sunray Shadows, Temple Dogs, Green Highlanders, Willie Gunns, Snaeldas, Cascades, Black and Red Frances. As the summer advances you will want to use smaller, more lightly dressed flies tied on double or triple hooks dropping down to sizes as small as a number 12 hook.
Guests are accommodated in self-service summer houses with a capacity for up to 5 fishermen in single rooms.
The Reisa River is located just 20 minutes away by road from the Sorkjosen Airport. There are two daily flights from Tromso to Sorkjosen.
Location: The Reisa River is located in northern Norway in the region of troms between Tromso and Alta. The river empties in to the sea near the town of Storslett.
Season: 23 June to 31 August
Best dates: From mid July to mid August
Nº of rods alloweds: NA
Fishing techniques permitted: Fly
Species available: Atlantic salmon, sea-run brown trout and char
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