Norwegian Nugget – Aurland 292

// By Leonard Schoenberger
// Photos by Leonard Schoenberger & Aurland 292
Leonard Schoenberger
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If you ask any Atlantic salmon angler about their favourite place to pursue this majestic fish, Norway is certainly going to be high up on their list.

The Northern European country is also well known for their sea trout rivers which span across the entire coastline. The Aurland river, which drains into the famous Sogne fjord (about a 4 hour drive from Norway’s capital Oslo) used to be one of the most prolific sea trout rivers of the entire continent.

Seatrout at Aurland
Celebrating a solid catch

Fish in vast numbers where migrating up the river and caught by the fly fishermen in the beautiful Aurland valley. British fly anglers discovered the gem towards the end of the 19th century and many of them become regulars in the decades to follow.

Fly anglers at Aurland discussing their tackle back in the days
Fly anglers at Aurland discussing their tackle back in the days

Other famous rivers such as the Naeroydalen and the Laerdal flow into the Sogne fjord. The Laerdal, often termed the “Queen of salmon rivers” has attracted many prominent fly fishermen like the kings of Norway and Sweden and the famous hotelier Charles Ritz who used to fish for Atlantic salmon there.

Charles Ritz fishing the Laerdal
Charles Ritz (left) fishing the Laerdal back in the days – Photo: Laurent Sainsot

A few years back Tone Rønning Vike and her husband Bjorn started bringing the storied fishing lodge back to life. At the heart of the small boutique hotel is the fisherman’s cabin that is comprised of five rooms that all bear names of English fly fishermen that stayed at Aurland in the past such as the Buxton family from Norfolk. The living area allows you to travel back to the glory days of sea trout fishing at Aurland as the walls are filled with old black and white photos depicting British fly anglers and their catches. The attention to detail and beautifully restored furniture and tapestry make you feel comfortable and at home right away.

Space to relax and recharge in the Fisherman's cabin
Space to relax and recharge in the Fisherman’s cabin

In recent years a lot of effort and resources have been invested to restore the sea trout populations that once were vast in the fertile Aurland valley. In cooperation with the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the hotel donates a week of fishing every year to strengthen the wild populations of salmon and sea trout. Aurland 292’s guests can fish a one kilometre stretch of the river right on the doorstop of the property.

Clouds over Aurland River
The beautiful and wild Aurland river outside Aurland 292

The fishing season at Aurland runs from July 10 to September 10. One trout per day is the bag limit with the Atlantic salmon being protected by a strict release only policy.

Upper stretch of the hotel's beat
Fishing the Aurland River

Ideally you rent out the entire Fisherman’s cabin (sleeps 10) with a few fishing friends to take full advantage of Aurland 292. Since the hotel is proud of their sustainable tourism concept, the minimum stay required is two nights. The valley has a lot to offer beyond fly fishing, hence we definitely recommend staying for a few days more. All the food is farm to table and you can even have your very own barbecue right next to the river.

Aurland Fjord
Fishing rods at Aurland 292
Aurland 292

Aurland 292 is a beautiful, small, family run place that boasts of authenticity and hospitality. Tone and her family want to bring people together and make them discover the beauty of their home nestled between the mighty Norwegian peaks. Dinner is consequently served as a communal event in the property’s historic smokehouse.

Dinner table at Aurland 292
Communal dinner at Aurland 292

If you’re looking for a few days of sea trout fishing steeped in history and a setting where tradition and a modern approach blend tastefully, Aurland 292 is for you. Whether you rent out the entire Fisherman’s cabin or decide to bring your family along to spend a few days in one of Norway’s most beautiful regions, there is something to discover for everyone, be it with a fly rod in hand or while exploring the neighbourhood with a mountain bike, kayak or in your hiking boots.

More info on Aurland 292