Söröya, Norway – The Trout Island!
Among hunters, Söröya Island in the county of Finnmark, Northern Norway, is known for its big hare population, but with its 1200 ponds and lakes it’s no less interesting for sport fishers. We will guide you to some of the best trout spots
With his boat, Örnulf Jacobsen takes us over to Sörbotnen and tells us which ponds and lakes we ought to try. After an easy two-hour walk, we come to the small and narrow Lake Langvatnet. Retrieving the copper lure closely to the surface does not pay off, despite the fact that several rising fish can be seen. However, when it’s fished further down towards the bottom it’s a different story.
Two casts later the first Söröya trout is landed. And this fish sets the standard for what will follow: fat trout, with a deep orange/red colour of its meat.
In addition, these trout are really strong and most of them make big leaps out of the water in order to get loose. We are eager to try many lakes so we hurry on north towards Lake Gjerterudvatnet (143 metres above sea level). This lake is among the biggest ones on this “green” island. Jacobsen, our local guide, proposes for us to try the inlet at the northern end of the lake for two reasons: there’s a very good campsite there and occasionally the fishing can be very good. “Bull’s Eye”! Towards the evening the pan is full. And best of all: ”These lakes are not visited very often by sport fishers”, Jacobsen reveals to us.
Premium Trout in Vegvatnet
The weather is cooler when the drizzle wakes us up the next morning. We aim for Lake Vegvatnet (189 metres above sea level), a short distance up the gentle valley. This lake is known to host a few but big fish … and we start fishing at the shallow southern end and fish our way towards the deeper waters of the northern end. After an hour’s pounding with our lures, we have not seen or felt any signs of life. Geir Sivertzen tries a promontory. A heavy splash, a cry, the deep bend of the rod and the sound from the reel bear witness of something big at the other end. We estimate the fish to be around 3kg the first time it shows itself at the surface. We can just forget about the landing net we have, which is way too small. Geir is running the fish until it tires and rolls over on its side, and then he picks it up with a firm grip. A 2.6 kg Finnmark trout of superior quality, and just to have mentioned it: it was the only one of this size in Lake Vegvatnet at the time, as far as we could judge.
Our Lakes & Ponds:
Day three we are on our way up the Mahtosnjunni mountain (409 metres above sea level), in the direction of Botngamma. The open little shed is a good base for exploring new trout ponds on Söröya. For the most part the terrain is easy to walk, but with occasional steep stretches. The distance between Gjertrudvatnet and Botngamma is not more than 2 km in a straight line, but it takes more than two hours to walk, which says something about the topography. Along the route we follow we pass several interesting trout ponds, among them Jutulvatnet, but we go for Gustavvatnet, which is situated about a kilometre from Botngamma. This lake also has some fish of premium quality: fat, silvery as sea trout – and with deep orange/red meat. Again it’s allowing the lure to sink towards the bottom that makes the trout go for it. We are satisfied when we have landed five trout, which should be sufficient for everybody coming here to fish.
Small ponds, big fish
Not far away, the considerably larger Lake Mattisvatnet is our next spot. The inlet offers a few nice fish after a few minutes, and so do some small, nameless ponds close by. The first pond we explore seems so small that we doubt that there are any fish at all. But the ripples from rising fish glittering in the sun bear evidence of trout. After a nerve-racking fight we land one of nicest trout of the trip. Once again it’s a trout of more than a kilo. The sun, which is just about to set behind the mountain ridge, makes the golden fish shells glitter. For those who want to try trout fishing off the beaten track we can warmly recommend the Island of Söröya.
|Ørnulf Jacobsen, our local guide. He showed us some of the really good trout spots on this big island off the coast of Finnmark County. Here with a 22kg wolf fish.|
|Viking Herring lures in Copper and red appeared to be winners on this trip. In most cases the lure doesn’t move many metres before the trout strikes.
|Another Söröya trout is ready for the landing net. Many of the small ponds are without names, but you do well by trying some casts in these as well…|
|Finnmark County’s largest island (816 km2) and Norway’s fourth largest island, situated west of the city of Hammerfest. The coastline is broken by a number of fjords that cut into the landscape, especially on the northern side. The highest mountain of the island is “Vatnafjellet”, 653 m. above sea level. In the west you can find the small towns of Hasvik, Breivikbotn and Sörvaer. On the eastern part habitation is more scattered.|
|Car ferry Hasvik – Öksfjord (Rv. 882); and fast boat to Öksfjord, Hammerfest and Alta. Airport in Hasvik with a direct route between Tromsö and Hammerfest. From Hasvik you can order transport in to ”Sluskfjellet”, which is a good starting point to reach many of the lakes and ponds. For transport by boat, contact Örnulf Jacobsen, phone +47 97 74 55 06, or e-mail: email@example.com.|
|There are about 1200 lakes and ponds on the island, of which 900 have trout. Lakes below 100 m. above sea level may have char and stickleback. Most of the lakes and ponds we visited were between 100 – 300 metres above seal level.|
|In lakes and ponds of low altitude close to the sea, the fishing season starts at the end of June. July- August is a good period for starting to fish in the lakes and ponds higher up (200 – 400 m. above sea level). August is perhaps the best season to fish in these lakes and ponds.|
|Can be bought in grocery stores. The «Söringkortet» costs NOK 135,-. See also www.inatur.no|
|Söröya – Hammerfest and the municipality of Hasvik.
Order no. 2635. Scale: 1:50.000.
|Tourist Information, Hasvik Kommune by Marius Husby, phone +47 90 61 10 58 and firstname.lastname@example.org.