Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Eira/Aura

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Eira/Aura

    Here I will give some information on this river, that once was one of the most consistent producers of very big salmon. Some of You have probably heard of Aarøy and Vosso/Bolstad, and many more know Alta. But Eira/Aura once was in "the really big fish league", and here I will give You some glimpses of what once was, the situation today and the possible future. (I stayed at the wonderful Glenbogle Lodge while fishing Middle Blackhall last week, and the walls were decorated by many paintings of big salmon. Most of them were caught in Eira, some in Vefsna and a few in the Dee itself. This motivated me to make this post, and do some more "research"-)


    The Eira/Aura river

    Aura/Aura once was a huge river, with a catchment area of appr 1.100 km2 and and annual mean flow of 41+ m3/s. It has several huge lakes in the upper catchment, and some of the worlds highest waterfalls are found in the area.

    3 succesive hydro-schemes after WWII (all based on divertion to other basins) reduced the mean flow to 42% of the natural flow, and the upper river Aura (above Eikesdal Lake) sometimes even runs bone dry. This has had devastating effects on the salmon run , although the last years have seen a huge improvement in the runs. The licence for the hydro-power will we re-evaluated this year, and this has resulted in a flow of reports on how the fishing once was, what can be done to strengthen the stock and so on. I've read hundreds of pages with great interest, and here I'll try to give You a little glimpse of what once was and what might be done.

    Size of fish

    This has dropped considerably, and is strongly correlated to the avg waterflow. And the size data from the time before hydro-regulation is amazing : In 1940 - 1953 the avg size of ALL fish caught incl grilse was 11,9 kg (26,2 lbs) the avg weight for msw salmon was 12,6 kgs (27,7 lbs) and the avg weight of the 10 biggest fish every year was 18,3 kgs (40,3 lbs). And in one year in the early 50s the avg weight was above 14 kgs. (30,8 lbs on avg, that is something!)

    Years; avg flow; avg weight incl grilse; avg weight msw fish

    1940 - 53 ; 41 m3/s; 11,9 kgs ; 12,6 kgs (before development of Hydro-schemes)
    1954 - 61; 27 m3/s; 9,0 kgs; 10,2 kgs (After the "Aura" development)
    1962 - 74; 20 m3/s; 5,1 kgs; 8,4 kgs (After the "Takrenna" development - appr 1.800 GWh incl Aura)
    1975 - 06; 16 m3/s; 4,6 kgs; 7,8 kgs (after the Grytten/Mardøla development - 533 GWh in total)

    Other factors have influenced the develpopment in size as well, like in most other rivers. But the reduction in size is striking.

    Effects from the hydro-regulation on salmon

    Since all 3 schemes are based on divertion, the main obvious effect is reduced avg waterflow in both Aura and Eira, and that Aura often runs very low or even dry. This both hinders upstream migration, and kills most fry/parr if spawning has taken place in Aura . This again has lead to a general reduction in smolt production, some silting of lower river (Eira) and a "downsizing" of the avg weight.

    Another effect, is that the last regulation (Mardøla) caused a huge public unrest, and is regarded as an watershed in Norway when it comes to acceptance of the environmental value of un-regulated watercourses. (The world waterfall database rates Mardal falls - more than 2000 ft high - as among the 10 most beautiful in the world http://www.world-waterfalls.com/waterfall.php?num=15) So there has been some positive, unexpected side-effects conserning the environmental view on rivers after this)

    Compensation through use of hatchery

    The owners of the hydro-plants have to implant 50.000 smolts each year, using stock with local genes as a compensation. This again has lead to a wealth of research on smolt migration, wild smolts vs hatcery reared and so on. Among other things, one has documented that the survival and return rate of wild smolt is much higher. The positive correlation between water-flow at smolt-migration and the strength of later returning yearclasses of salmon is also well documented. And the last years a new and more effective hatchery-method has been developed, some more of it here : http://www.salmonfishingforum.com/fo...ead.php?t=6162

    Fishing Eira today

    The lower river (Eira) still offers quite good fishing, In fact last years catch was the best for many years, with over 3,5 tons from less than 10 km of river, but some years ago the catches were meagre. Getting a licence is hard, and might take years of planning. Eira is also well known for 2 "salmon lord" establishments from the times when the british aristocracy (the future king George V even visted once) and later norwegian shipping and finance tycoons rented the fishing And it's best for parties of +/- 8 fishermen wanting an all inclusive stay as far as I know. Here are links to the two establishments (Sadly only in norwegian) But the pics will give You a small impression :

    http://www.engelskhuset.no/Modules/P...463&level=4463

    http://www.eira-siramoen.no/index.php

    I've talked to both the operators this week, and I'm invited to visit them this summer for taking photos and viewing the lodges and beats. (Following my visit on Middle Blackhall) I will then post a selection of pics on this site, the valley is known as one of the most beautiful on earth. The owner of Siramoen also told me that he had registered and documented 8 fish above 50 lbs on his stretch of the river, so Fred Bullers book on giant salmon will need an update ;-)

    The future

    Many reports have been written the last years on re-introducing a minimum flow in Aura to secure the habitat for eggs, fry, parr and smolt, with a spring flow (15 m3/s?) to aid smolt -migration and a summer and autumn flow (15-20 m3/s) to aid upward migration and spawning. The goal is both to let salmon and ST once again use Aura on a natural basis, and even to make it fishable again. This will probably also improve the stock in Eira, and on a general basis be good practise for all wildlife dependent on the river.

    It will obviously be a lot of huffing and puffing before things are decided , but by use of a small scale power-station utilizing the minimum flow and some of the natural overflow the economic loss might be greatly reduced. So, in a years time we might know ?

    And to spice up this "dry" text : Paintings of fish from Eira in the 1930s - photos from Glenbogle Lodge (not finished processsing, but give You a glimpse) :

    A stuffed fish, 42,5 lbs :



    3 paintings on a wall :



    Details of a fishpainting :





    P.S: Some might ask where all this electrical power is used. All the power is in principle used in the huge aluminium smelter in Sunndalsøra, at the mouth of Driva river. This smelter consumes app 5,5 GWh pr year (4% of all power generated in Norway), and appr half of the consumption is produced in the Aura/Takrenna and Grytten powerplants.
    Last edited by Ursus Nautilus; 03-04-2009 at 06:08 AM. Reason: finishing the thread - hopefully ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    South of Germany
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Interesting facts about this beautiful river. Many years ago I tried to get some fishing but it was virtually impossible. At least I got a day ticket on the beat below the lake and had a fine night with sea trout.
    Icelander05

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crathes
    Posts
    402

    Default

    Great bit of research UN - especially nice to be able to put some context around those paintings!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Response on comments :

    As far as i know, the 2 lodges already have sold out the fishing for this year, they have a lot of regulars. This fishing is in the category 8 rods for 3 days and 250 GBP/rod/day all inclusive. And forking out appr 6.000,- GBP for a party is not what one would call easily accessible. On the other hand, there's a market for it, it is a part of our cultural inheritance and it creates jobs. But, there are other possibilities for fishing in Eira. I'll check , and post the results here.

    And yes, very interesting to do some "research" on this river. Probably one of the most documented watercourses in Norway, together with Orkla. Also shows that what some call "green" energy also has some consequences, there's more to environmental impact from energy producers than CO2 emissons. But, let's cross the fingers for a minimum flow in Aura in the future.

    Ursus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Eira - big fish

    Got a new book in the smailmail today: "Record Atlantic Salmon" by Ronald S Swanson. From 2008, only 1.200 books printed. Lists 561 fish over 50 lbs taken on the fly, with 390 fish from Norway. He has also a "league" of big fish rivers, based on rod-catches in general. In "premier league" is only Alta (100 fish) and Vosso/Bolstad with 97 fish.

    On the second level are the rivers Namsen (40), Tay (21) , Grand Cascapedia (21), Lærdal (21) , Aarøy (18) , Mørrum ( 17) Eira (17), Nid(16), Awe (14), Tweed (13), Tana/Teno (13) and Wye (13).

    Of these norwegian rivers Alta, Namsen and Nid are "alive and kicking".

    Vosso is down & out due to sealice, Laerdal due to GS.

    Tana/Teno is mis-managed and has rapidly dwindling stocks, while the size and numbers of fish in Aarøy and Eira is reduced, mainly because of hydro-electric schemes and partly because of sealice.

    But another proof of how fantastic Eira once was.

    Ursus

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Depending on the month of the year
    Posts
    541

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus Nautilus View Post
    Got a new book in the smailmail today: "Record Atlantic Salmon" by Ronald S Swanson. From 2008, only 1.200 books printed. Lists 561 fish over 50 lbs taken on the fly, with 390 fish from Norway. He has also a "league" of big fish rivers, based on rod-catches in general. In "premier league" is only Alta (100 fish) and Vosso/Bolstad with 97 fish.

    On the second level are the rivers Namsen (40), Tay (21) , Grand Cascapedia (21), Lærdal (21) , Aarøy (18) , Mørrum ( 17) Eira (17), Nid(16), Awe (14), Tweed (13), Tana/Teno (13) and Wye (13).

    Of these norwegian rivers Alta, Namsen and Nid are "alive and kicking".

    Vosso is down & out due to sealice, Laerdal due to GS.

    Tana/Teno is mis-managed and has rapidly dwindling stocks, while the size and numbers of fish in Aarøy and Eira is reduced, mainly because of hydro-electric schemes and partly because of sealice.

    But another proof of how fantastic Eira once was.

    Ursus
    Hi Ursus!
    Could not agree more, I fished the Eira donkeys years ago, before the hydro scheme and we caught some great fish on this river. It seems to recover a little bit, I tried to get in this year, but could not get a rod, so there must be demand for it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default answer to comments

    I'll do some more research, and post it later this year. Also take a look at possibilities outside Siramoen and Engelskhuset.

    Also have to comment that the fishable stretch of the rivers mentioned differs a lot. Aarøy is very short, Nid appr 8 km and Eira a bit longer than that. And in both Alta, Vosso and Laerdal the salmon runs shorter than 60 kms I believe.

    Ursus

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Giant Eira fish > 50 lbs

    After searching my new book "record atlantic salmon" by Ronald S Swanson I've compiled this list :

    * 79,38 lbs (36 kgs) , Speared in 1937
    * 61,73 lbs, Sigurd Solhjell, 1950s
    * 61,00 lbs, Konrad Lervold, May 21, 1946, fly
    * 59,52 lbs (27 kgs) , Sigurd Solhjell, 1950s
    * 58,25 lbs, Percy Tarbutt, Siramoen, Aug 1931
    * 58,00 lbs, Anette Platou, Syltebø, June 16 1954
    * 57,00 lbs, Lt Colonel Chevenix Trench, August 14 1927
    * 57,00 lbs, capt Richard Legh, Kjes pool, Siramoen, June 27th 1933
    * 55,00 lbs, Peter Galsworthy, Lower Gridhuus Pool, Siramoen, July 18 1937
    * 54,50 lbs, Otto Jervell, Kjes Pool, Siramoen, July 21 1952
    * 54,50 lbs, Solhjell, Kjes Pool, Siramoen, July 27 1958
    * 54,00 lbs, Lt Col Chevenix Trench, august 14, 1927 (yes, two 50+ lbs the same day!)
    * 53,00 lbs, Lady Leslie, New Pool, Siramoen, July 28 1921
    * 52,00 lbs, T L M Nordgaard, Church pool, July 20 1946
    * 50,00 lbsDagbjørn Thoresen, Syltebø, June 17 1939
    * 50,00 lbs, Thor Thoresen, Syltebø, June 1940 (and a 46 and a 40 lb fish the same day ...)
    * 50,00 lbs, Trygve Jervell, June 17, 1940

    Well, that was something. One wonders how the list would have looked without the intensive hydropower-works ...

    Ursus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Eresfjord, Romsdal, Norway
    Posts
    1

    Default Fishing is now more generally available to Eira enthusiasts !

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus Nautilus View Post
    As far as i know, the 2 lodges already have sold out the fishing for this year, they have a lot of regulars. This fishing is in the category 8 rods for 3 days and 250 GBP/rod/day all inclusive. And forking out appr 6.000,- GBP for a party is not what one would call easily accessible. On the other hand, there's a market for it, it is a part of our cultural inheritance and it creates jobs. But, there are other possibilities for fishing in Eira. I'll check , and post the results here.

    And yes, very interesting to do some "research" on this river. Probably one of the most documented watercourses in Norway, together with Orkla. Also shows that what some call "green" energy also has some consequences, there's more to environmental impact from energy producers than CO2 emissons. But, let's cross the fingers for a minimum flow in Aura in the future.

    Ursus
    Please first look up on today's local newspaper about the recent surge in
    wild salmon migration - perhaps back into historic levels?

    http://www.rbnett.no/lokal/nesset/article356327.ece

    Google translate will give an universal access to Anglo-Saxon wording.

    So is fishing now accessible for the dedicated flyfishers and others that previously has claimed that Eira river is not easily accessible.

    Well, it is fully booked where the journalists visit - and that is quite so every year.

    But this year there is surely new open sections, just South of the School Bridge: Tømmerhølen, Melhølen, Bjørneshølen and Sletthølen is partly open by owner of Bjørnes, farm no.1 These are the pools next to the Church Pool depicted in the newslink.

    For more details please refer to the website:

    http://www.bjoernes.com

    The mountain framed Eira river is easily accessible using Norwegian to fly in from Gatwick to Molde. We will pick up and provide lodging too - absolutely to everybody's desire.

    Hake (merluccius merluccius) fishing in the Langfjord is another well kept secret we now share with you. You don't need to go to Patagonia to experience this white fish no.1. You will catch big hake from just 1 mile from Eira river mouth.

    Check out another link to see for yourselves:

    http://www.villa-langfjord.no/video/...ln_2010_02.swf

    The combination of 1 or more days days in each heaven is available now

    Best regards

    Julian & Olav Beyer
    Last edited by Bjoernes; 08-07-2011 at 11:42 AM.
    [Olav at Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,202

    Default My first Eira trip

    I was invited to fish the opening this year. I had a very tight schedule and could only fish thu-fri. Sadly ne fish were landed the first days this year, probably a result of the very cold spring. But fish were caught a few days after I left, and the fishing was in general very good this season. The extremely big fish are history now, but on avg this river will still deliver a lot of fish up to around 30 lbs. Anyway, a few glimpses :

    On my way into the Eresfjord, Eiras estuary is in the middle. The mountains tower up to more than 1700 m above the valley in the distance. One of the most beautiful places on the planet still :



    The Engelskhuset ("English house") Lodge, built to accommodate brits in the 1840s :



    Started in Upper Grytospool (the spelling by foreigners varies a lot, but "Grytos" is the correct one, I've seen "Gruidhuus" and many other spellings in literature) , a stunning pool, and the first not to be affected by the tide. Fished with my LeCie 14,8 with a H/I/S3 3D line (same setup both days) and with a 4 cm Sillen. (Tubes with blue and black and a silver body are the recommended choice). The river was a bit low according to the locals, and a bit too cold (5,5 C). Upper Grytos :



    Also walked up to fish Nyhølen ("new Pool") :



    And here's the pool/stream above Nyhølen. Fishy, but "thin" when the fish are not running hard. She was not much wider with the original flow, but maybe 2 ft higher and with a (much) stronger current/flow. According to the ghillies, much of the flyfishing had to be done from boats in places , since wading in the strong current was very hard :



    And Nedre Fagerslett ("lower fairfield"). Stunning pools in fantastic settings, and especially Nedre fagerslett looked fishy, but probably even better from the other (left hand) side. The top of Nedre Fagerslett, looking up to Øvre Fagerslett (Upper fairfield") :



    The middle/lower part of Nedre Fagerslett :



    From 13:00 to 18:00 there is no fishing, so I used the time for a relaxing lunch in my own company and to go through old journals and to study the memorabilia at the lodge.

    A part of the model Anette Platous unbelieveable big fish on the wall. 135 cm long and a girth of 72 cm :



    In the evening, i started in Upper Grytos again, before I walked up to Nedre Fagerslett. I'd now changed the tube, after input from one of the ghillies. "The Sillen is great" he said , "but go for a 6 cm version." And so I did.

    After Nedre fagerslett, i went for øvre Fagerslett (Upper Fairfield), supposed to be the best flyfishing pool on the river, and it was a no-brainer to understand why. Just beautiful, and the best taking-spot is (as usual in Norway...) just outside the shelter. The only pool with opposition at times :



    Last pool to be fished on this rotation was Kjeshølen ("Kjes pool" ), which I also fished through twice with no luck. Some very big fish have bee caught here in past times :



    Then it was time to hit the bed, before the clock rang at 04:15 the coming morning. Siramoen lodge and Syltebø/Engelskhuset share the lowest 3 km, and change pools at 04 in the night.

    First pool in the morning was nedre Grytos (lower Grytos), the most productive on the river, and influenced by the tide. Tried a variety of tubes, but not a pull. According to the ghillie, they had caught fish on the opening day the last 11 years, but not this year. The fish were jumping in the fjord, but the river was probably too cold &low to encourage them upstream (5,5 C watertemp). According to the ghillie, it had been above 0 C in the mountains the last night. He saw that on some burns high up, and in 1-2 days the river would rise and fish would migrate into the river and be caught (he truned out to be right ...)

    2 persons fishing Nedre Grytos the evening before, low tide :



    We then travelled up to the famous Kirkehølen (Kirk pool), which also looked very fishy. Nothing there for me either, but a place to visit if there is a next time in Eira, looking upstream from the tail of the pool :



    Then I drove to Leirhølen (Clay pool) which also had stunning flywater. Fished over twice with different tubes and tactics, but nothing. I could have sat there just admiring the view for hours. The lower part of Leirhølen :



    And the middle and upper part of Leirhølen :



    The down to Nedre Grytos again, where the tide now was pushing back the water. Fished through 4 times with different tubes, but nothing. The fish was just not in the mood.

    A short glimpse from "the wall of fame" before I left : The biggest fish there, 61 lbs, the smallest 49. Here's a part of the 61 lber (below hangs a 55 lbs fish, and below that a small one weighing only 49 lbs ...) :



    And one of many paintings of big seatrout :



    And then, before leaving yhe area I had a look at the painting of the 36 kg fish that was speared in the 1920s. The captor weighed the fish and drawed an outline of it. But it was only after his death that the son came up with the outline. His father had stored the drawing under the kitchen table. So the size is correct, but based on the kype the colour of the fish is wrong. Anyway, it is truly colossal, nearly 5 feet long. Probably 40 kg plus when it entered the river :



    The captor speared the fish (which was illegal), but the fish was so wild after being speared that the pole broke. To avoid trouble the next day, the poacher went walking along the river and finally found the dead fish. So it was 36 kg after the loss of a lot of blood.

    And then a trip to Siramoen lodge, with Otto jervell's 54,5 lbs fish on the wall in the garden. Eira/Aura was known for it's very "stocky" fish, probably a combination of hard, deep currents in the lower river (Eira) and very fast and steep rapids in the upper river (Aura) and a huge lake (Eikesdalsvatnet) inbetween. The painting of the 54,5 lbs fish, there are even bigger models inside ... :



    Well, Eira does not produce such big fish anymore, the avg size now is "only" around 10 lbs. But there is plenty of fish, and if I get the chance I will surely go back. When the fish are running, this must be a spectacular river to fish. And I can easily live with catching "just" 15-30 lbs fish ;-)

    And has any other river been better for big fish before the hydropower schemes stole around 60% of the water ? Aarøy was probably better, but this river certainly was premier league for outsized salmon. But ads that says "hydropower energy = green energy" , they make me even sicker now ... "Honey I shrunk the fish" or "The theft of one of the worlds best big salmon river" would be a fitting headline for an article covering the whole story. Makes You think - what are we doing to nature in the name of "progress" ?

    A last look at Øvre Grytos before leaving. I'd happily spend the whole day her. Just admiring the views inbetween casting over this astonishingly beautiful river. I You have the possibilty, then go fish this river, and bring a camera :



    "I'll be back" as Arnie said ...

    Ursus
    Last edited by Ursus Nautilus; 18-12-2011 at 05:37 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •