Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Southern Norways biggest Salmon

Adam from Visit Sørlandet went to Lyngdal to meet Southern Norway's famous salmon fisherman. He has the record for the biggest salmon caught in Southern Norway since World War 2 in the Lygna river.

Jan Ole Ødegård is a very friendly man who loves his fishing. I used to work with him at Kristiansand Airport with SAS in the ground services department. He was always up for a chat and had a friendly smile.

On my first trip to Lyngdal from Visit Sørlandet, I met the tourism chief Anne Grete Løland who showed me a large fish attached to the wall in the tourist office. There was a picture next to it of Jan Ole. What a small world. I told her that I knew him and suggested that we have a little interview with him and join him on a fishing trip.

Shortly after, we did just that. We met him at the tourist office one week later where I took a picture of him proudly standing next to the great salmon. We then got chatting on the way to a fishing spot in Lygna river where he told me the tale of the big catch.

Jan Ole said...

"It was August the 22nd in 2008. My wife and daughter suggested I go fishing while they went shopping. It was a beautiful day and I had planned doing other things, but I can never say no to a fishing opportunity. So, off I went.

I headed to Lyngdal where I normally go salmon fishing. I know that river like the back of my hand. Every nook and cranny.

I went to one area where I almost got an 8-9 kilo salmon, but he got away. I was very disappointed so I tried a different place a little further up the river. I climbed down the ravine and on my second cast with the fly fishing line it just stopped and stood still. I thought that I must have caught a log or something, so I tried to wiggle it around for a while and then all of a sudden I saw the massive salmon trying to get away. I held on for about one and a half hours until the salmon was tired and could no longer fight me. I pulled it up and could not believe how big it was so I called a couple of friends.

After I got off the phone to one of them, the local paper called and asked for an interivew. Shortly after that I got interviewed by a couple more newspapers.

I then found out that it was the biggest salmon caught in Southern Norway since World War 2, so I was very proud. Later the local tourist office and kommune made a replica fish like the one I caught and put it up on a wall in the tourist office with my name underneath it. I did not expect that to happen, but I am very proud of that fish!"

Adam: What is it about fishing that you love so much?
Jan Ole: It is not just fishing that I enjoy, it is experiencing nature. We are so lucky here in Norway that we take it for granted. Last summer I lost about 6kg just from going up and down steep ravines and long walks to find the salmon. 

I also love the fresh river water smell. Some people do not understand me when I say that. "Does fresh water in a river have a smell" they ask me. "Of course" I answer them. Those who understand the rivers and nature here, know what I mean." (End of quote)

After Jan Ole and I chatted, we stopped by a small place, climbed down a steep rock and watched him do some fly fishing. Unfortunately he did not have any luck, but it was worth a try and fun to watch.

It was a great day out with Jan Ole. He knows more about fishing in the waters of Lyngdal than most. 

You can get a brochure from the Lyngdal tourist office with pictures and information on activities, accommodation and things to do along the Lygna river on Phone:+47 38 33 48 33. Dra på ferie til Lyngdal


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