It covers 16,000 square miles of central Norway, but Trøndelag is a region many tourists miss. This despite hosting an award-winning World Heritage town, one of Norway's best-known ski resorts, and the country's capital during the Viking age. That's Røros, Oppdal and Trondheim, if you were wondering!
But the area has a growing reputation for niche tourism, not least in the field of salmon fishing. It's not hard to see why. When I travelled by train from Trondheim to Røros last year, I spotted countless fishermen up to waist-deep in the rivers that literally cover the region:
Imagine a beautiful summer's day, a gentle breeze and a peaceful river in Trøndelag. Suddenly you catch sight of something shimmering, and you let the fly touch the surface of the water a couple of times before lowering it down perfectly a little way in front of the salmon. You feel a tug, “Yes!”, your face lights up, and the struggle begins (Trondelag.com)
I've never gone fishing. The closest I came was a dismal attempt at crabbing when I was young! Nevertheless, fishing is a popular activity back in my home country of England, and this partly explains its popularity in Norway today.
Back in the 19th Century, English lords travelled to the rivers of Trøndelag, bringing with them the fly-fishing techniques of their homeland. It caught on, and soon wealthy people from across the world were drawn to Norway by tales of massive hauls of salmon.
This history is captured today in the Namsen Salmon Aquarium, near Grong in Nord-Trøndelag. It's a popular stop for many heading north on the E6. The museum is only open from June to August, but as I was in the area I managed to get a sneak peak 😉
The centre hosts a small aquarium and museum, along with a restaurant, serving salmon of course! The museum documents the development of fishing in the region with an impressive collection of memorabilia. There's also information about the hydropower stations which dot the region's rivers, providing much of Nord-Trøndelag's energy requirements.
Even if you have little interest in fishing it's worth a stop here for the spectacular scenery. It's situated above the Fiskumfoss waterfall, where one million litres of water falls every second! You can also see one of Europe's longest salmon ladders.
If you're driving north this summer (perhaps to Tromsø or Nordkapp for the midnight sun), consider the Namsen Salmon Aquarium for a great short stop.