28 Mar 2020

Salmon Fishing on the Aaroy

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Filmed last June.

You have to love the Internet. We actually get to see the legendary Norwegian river, complete with Ernest Schiebert’s “Platforms of Despair.”

It looks like they are releasing all the fish caught. Current PC fashion or Norwegian law, I wonder? I suspect those are the rules these days. God knows how many thousands of dollars per week and you don’t get to keep one fish! Meanwhile, the Micmac Indian fishery on the Restigouche is probably still taking out on one tide more fish than the sport fishery catches on the entire river in a year, and throwing away the surplus at the Campbelltown dump.

We see a lot of expensive reels. These days, 19th Century Edward Vom Hofes go for a lot of money. One angler is actually using a cane rod and a feather-wing Thunder-and-Lightning. Good for him.

Strangely, the anglers seem to make a point of staying far up on the bank and away from the river’s edge. What’s that all about?

3 Feedbacks on "Salmon Fishing on the Aaroy"

Jim McFatridge

Maybe the regulations require them to stay away from the bank. My trout guide on the White River in AR told me you can stomp on the bank and crumble dirt and rocks in the stream, and the fish will be instinctively drawn to the grubs and worms that can be released into the water. Kind of like scraping barnacles off pilings down here in FLA for Sheepshead. I assume salmon would behave in a similar way.

A. Squaretail

Catch and release, in the fishing context, is not pc and has been common practice among many fishermen (women) for decades. Its isn’t based on an aversion to killing the fish. Its based on the desire to catch the fish multiple times and to ensure that the fish has the opportunity to breed more fish. For instance, I won’t kill a wild trout, but have no compunction killing a hatchery trout in a stocked stream. Or brook trout where they overproduce. In short, catch and release is a common sense conservation technique implemented by fishermen for fishermen.


Catch-and-release is a completely different thing in the context of fishing for Atlantic salmon. It has been encouraged, and in many jurisdictions legally mandated, without regard to the character of individual rivers or the low probability, in many cases, of any released salmon ever surviving. If you take a canoe trip on the lower Restigouche (which is about as warm as the Susquehanna in the summer time, you can see sea gulls everywhere eating the salmon released by sport fishermen during the last few days.

There is no reason at all to require grilse (adolescent male salmon) to be released, but releasing grilse is encouraged and sometimes required.

Fishing for trout is easy and does not usually involve major investments of time and money. When the angler pays $5,000-$10,000 for a few days of salmon fishing, and when aboriginal fisheries are allowed to take out in one tide more fish than the sport fishery kills in a season, it is pretty ridiculous to forbid the angler keeping one or two fish.


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