4,000 fishing lakes lie dotted throughout a landscape of woods and mountain plateau. In many places, one lake runs almost into another, with only a stream between them. The countryside is virtually deserted, so you are alone with the rich birdlife and the reindeer grazing in their summer pastures.
Trout, Arctic char and other enticements
There are three salmon rivers in Porsanger, as well as many other rivers where sea char and sea trout run. Most of the lakes in this part of the country, however, contain freshwater trout or Arctic char. In some lakes in the southern-most part of Porsanger you’ll also find species more common in eastern regions of Norway, such as common whitefish, grayling and pike.
In 2005, a local sports angler from Porsanger caught an enormous sea trout. After a marathon two-and-a-half hours’ struggle, Ken-Gøran Grøtte Pedersen finally managed to land the gigantic fish. Many hours passed before it could be weighed, when it tipped the scales at 19.85 kg (44 lbs), having probably weighed over 21 kg (46 lbs) when caught. You can study casts of the fish in Porsanger town hall. Follow the drama on YouTube.
Inland fishing in Porsanger is relatively undiscovered, so you’ll encounter few other people when heading inland for the lakes. It’s more than likely that you’ll find a lake all to yourself. In summer it stays light 24 hours a day, so you can fish right round the clock if the fish are biting.
Towards the tail-end of winter when all the lakes are covered in ice, the sun has returned and the snow lies deep, it is time for ice-fishing. Head out onto the ice by snowmobile or on skis, drill a hole, and you’re in business. In April the days are long, the weather mild, and it’s more enjoyable staying outdoors for longer.
Most of the fishing lakes in Porsanger are owned by the organisation Finnmarkseiendommen (FeFo), which again is owned by the inhabitants of Finnmark. If you live outside Finnmark, you will need to purchase a local fishing licence from Fefo. It’s best to do this online, which makes it a bit cheaper, but fishing licences can also be purchased from a number of sales outlets in Porsanger. To fish anadromous fish (species which spend all or some of their lives in salt water but return to freshwater rivers and lakes to spawn), you will also need to pay a national fishing licence fee. There are slightly different rules for people living in Finnmark.
Porsanger – more than a fishing story
The Porsangerfjord is a broad fjord with a myriad of islands. The many lakes and marshes scattered throughout the rolling mountain plateau landscape around the fjord are home to rare feathered summer guests, including the best known, and most directly threatened species, the dwarf goose. The remarkable rock formations along the fjord side are due to a belt of Dolomite that runs through the area. Porsanger is also known for its amazing abundance of golden cloudberries which ripen in late summer.
Find a secret lake
The tourist information centre in Porsanger, Porsangerfjord Travel, is a good place to go for advice if you fancy a fishing lake all to yourself. The people there are highly knowledgeable about local fishing shelters, walking trails, transport facilities and fishing licences. They can also create a sports angling package for you with local fishing guides. Fly-fishing courses for novices are also available.
In the midst of Finnmark
Porsanger is a fine evening’s drive from Nordkapp (the North Cape). The Sami capital Karasjok, the world’s northernmost city Hammerfest, the National Tourist Route to Havøysund and the rock carvings in Alta are also within comfortable distance of Porsanger.
Accommodation, food, travel
There are campsites offering simple and cheap as well as more comfortable accommodation options, and in Lakselv you will find hotels, bars and restaurants. From Banak airport there are regular flights to Alta, Tromsø and Oslo. Find out about the facilities on the homepage of the Tourist Information, http://www.visitporsanger.no