Vangrøfta ­– ­Today ­you ­can ­buy ­a ­license

In some circles the town of Dalsbygda was well known long before Therese Johaug put it on the map.

In some circles the town of Dalsbygda was well known long before Therese Johaug put it on the map. Not only is the grouse hunting terrain in the area superb, but the river Vangrøfta which runs through the valley and the trout that call it home have become a part of Norwegian angling history.

When did this all start your ask? It all began with the film “Tørrfluelandet” released 17 years ago.

Vangrøfta has perfect currents, clear water, and incredible hatches. Just add some fat trout with a solid average size, and you have a recipe for the perfect trout stream.

– When filmed clips for the first film of the trilogy “Tørrfluelandet” (Dry fly land), we had no idea of the consequences it would have for the river, says director Lars Nilssen.

It was during the editing that the screenwriter and narrator Lars Lenth, christened it to “Skrukkedalsrenna, in the depths of Skrapdalen”. The attempt at keeping the location secret lasted for about a year…

The film struck a nerve within the fly fishing communities, along with the TV program “Fiske med Bård og Lars” from the same director.

– You know where that river Skrukka is? became a common question throughout the fly shops in Norway.

And we all know that most anglers aren’t very good at keeping secrets. Two years after the film was released everyone flocked to the river banks in Dalsbygda.

Dialing it back a notch

Vangrøfta isn’t a big river. It offers some of the best dry fly fishing to be found in Norway, especially if you take the experience into account and not only the size of fish.

This experience suddenly isn’t anything to write home about once all the fish have been caught, there is a line to the riverbanks, the vegetation is trampled, and the farmers can’t get past the poorly parked SUVs in their tractors.

You can get up close and personal in the fly zone on Vangrøfta. High banks allow for good sight fishing, but just remember that you are also easy to spot. Photo: Sigbjørn Nygaard
If you happen to be hear when Norway’s largest mayfly, Ephemera Danica begins to hatch, you will witness the biggest fish in the river feeding strictly on top.

In January 2010 Fishspot began to take form in Østerdalen. It is now become a part of Inatur. The goal was to help landowners and those with fishing rights create the best value of the fishing resources they sat on. Vangrøfta was one of the very first projects for the company.

In order to maintain the quality of the fishing, while the knowledge and interest in the river exploded, it was crucial to steer management in a new direction.

The result was limited license sales on a 15 km long fly fishing only zone. With only 10 licenses allowed per day this gave 1.5 km of river per angler at a minimum.

Vanngrøfta is a pearl of a river – for those with a fishing license.

If you need to wade you’ll need to be sneaky. The trout are shy. Even though the fishing pressure is limited, the biggest trout in Vangrøfta aren’t easy to fool. Photo: Sigbjørn Nygaard
The river is the perfect size for light tackle, and the fly fishing zone is long. In addition there is loads of good fishing throughout the entire area and outside of the fly fishing zone. Photo: Sigbjørn Nygaard
Trout which lie in moving water are often easier to catch than those in the stillwater. Photo: Sigbjørn Nygaard

Successful Management

How is the fishing in Vangrøfta now? We ask FIshspot founder Gudmund Nygaard, who has followed the developments in the river since before it became “famous”.

– It is always difficult to say exactly, but I would say it’s not worse than it was before “Tørrfluelandet”, says Nygaard.

You can also spot big trout swimming around in the crystal clear pools, some of them over 2 kilos. Limited license sales and bag limits, along with a minimum size limit of 30 cm and maximum size of 40 cm seems to have worked well for Vangrøfta.

Today it is the same management method with strict size limits and bag limits, controversial only 10 years ago, which are becoming the norm in Norwegian salmon rivers.

The insect life is quite possibly better than ever in Vangrøfta, with the large Ephemera Danica becoming more and more common over the last 20 years.

Do you want to experience fishing on Vangrøfta? We recommend you hurry up and buy a license before they dissapear!

License sales open today at 9:00 AM.

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