Extreme weather, but also moments of extreme joy
Two thirds of the season is now over, and we can conclude that the extreme weather is making its mark also this year. July started off unusually cold, with air temperatures down towards 2 centigrades, and the start of July actually turned out to be the coldest and wettest on record in the region. Then conditions changed dramatically, and the weather turned extremely warm and dry, with several days with temperatures in the 30’s. The average temperature for July was measured to 14.2 centigrades at the official weather station closest to Aunan Lodge, which is 2 degrees warmer than normal.
Markus Lehmberg with his 6,9 kilos debut salmon from the Gorsetøya pool.
The heat and the drought had consequences for the fishing in several rivers in the region. The river board on the Gaula chose to close the fishing at noon on Friday 26th July, on the grounds of high water temperatures. Today, a week later, the fishing on the Gaula has still not opened. Also the Verdalselva closed the fishing on Friday 26th. The hydro power production on the Orkla makes for totally different water temperatures than our neighbouring rivers, and not at any stage has the fishing been considered to be closed. On the hottest day in Jule we measured the peak water temperature at 16.8 centigrades in the Home pool here at Aunan.
Neither water height nor water temperature has been a direct problem for the fishing at Aunan this year, but still the catches have been lower than normal. A total catch of 37 salmon in July is markedly behind the 5 year average of 59. The reason for this is with high probability a lack of fish returning from the ocean. We had good catches of big salmon in June, and this was fish that had spent 3 winters or more at sea before returning. In July, however, the majority of the catches will consist of 2 sea winter salmon and grilse (1 sea winter salmon). The research fishery with bag net by the mouth of the Trondheim fjord is indicating a weak return of 2 and 1 sea winter salmon this summer. There are several uncertainties associated with this surveillance fishing method, but combined with the catch reports in the rivers, it builds up under a clear impression of this year being a weak one for 2SW and 1SW salmon.
Jan-Martin Vist and Tom Brown realising there’s a huge salmon in the net!
The good run of big salmon early doors has made the fishing in July interesting and exciting even still, and the same will apply for August. Personal bests are recorded regularly, and we also see that you don’t have to be an experienced fisherman to be successful, even when conditions are testing. Yesterday Markus Lehmberg from Germany landed his first salmon ever, and there is hardly a more nail biting place to hook a salmon than the small pockets around Bruholt-/Gorsetøya. We also had a very joyful moment on Wednesday night, when our popular chef Jan Martin finally caught his first salmon. And what a debut fish it turned out to be! Close to midnight, right at the top of Home pool, Jan Martin got into a fish, and not before it was safely netted by the good helper Tom Brown, did he realise it was a huge catch. The weight was estimated at 14,3 kilos before the beautiful hen fish was returned safely to the river.
(PS: Aunan Lodge is a 12 rod lodge, and there are of course none of the staff fishing our pools when we have a full team of guests. In periods when we have open rods, one of the guides or the chef might be having a go, but the rod will never be fished hard, and the guests will always have first pick about when and where to fish.)