HOW TO GET HERE
The Soldatnes salmon beat is 15 minutes away by car from Lakselv Airport, Banak (LKL). Car rental is available at the airport Lakselv Bilutleie , Avis , Hertz , Sixt. If you have issues getting a good flight connection to Lakselv, flying to the Alta airport (ALF) is an alternative. In that case you will have a 2½ hour drive to get to Soldatnes salmon beat.
If you are traveling from another country to Norway to get to Lakselv or Alta, your travel itinerary will include at least 1 domestic flight. This means that you will need to clear customs at your first entry point to Norway (most frequently Oslo), even if your bags have been checked in all the way through to Lakselv or Alta. Especially odd-size luggage, such as fishing rods may delay the transfer process.
Make sure that you have at least 1½ hours for the transfer/flight change in Oslo. There are many cases of anglers (including myself) arriving at Lakselv without their fishing equipment, because the transfer time in Oslo was too short!
Even though the season opens on the 1st of June, the main run of salmon will not begin until early July. Some salmon will have entered the river by the start of the season, but you cannot rely on good fishing conditions that early. For this reason, I would not recommend going to Soldatnes salmon beat earlier than the last week of June; at that time you will have a fair chance of hooking one of the huge early runners. Take a look at the river catch reports, when you plan your trip and align your expectations with the facts of the statistics (catch statistics). The salmon season is from June 1st to August 31st. The seatrout season is from June 1st to September 15th. There is midnight sun from mid-May to the end of July. You can therefore fish around the clock almost all season.
Bring layers! The Norwegian summer varies with temperatures ranging from 0°C up to 32°C! Large temperature fluctuations are quite common within the same day or week, so layered clothing is a must. Even this far north you can get sunburnt, so it is wise to bring sunscreen lotion.
Spey rods, 7-10 weight will do the job at Soldatnes. Single hand rods for dry fly fishing and switch rods are also used, but keep in mind that a huge salmon on light tackle can be a risky game. Your fly reel should definitely contain at least 200 meters of strong backing. When hooked, ocean-fresh salmon will often try to go back to the sea! I recommend at least a 0.40 mm leader, preferably 0.45 mm; Soldatnes holds huge fish. And don’t forget to use strong hooks. When the fish of your lifetime finally inhales the fly, you don’t want to lose it due to weak tackle!
Being able to adjust your gear according to water conditions is very important. Fast sinking lines can be extremely effective in high water; and a floating line can be your prime choice for low water. And sometimes a sinktip line can also be very efficient in low water; especially on the upper part of Stueneskulpen, where the river is deep and the current is relatively strong. Be flexible and adaptable, and do not stick to the same method, if you are unsuccessful. At times the water is unclear on the lower parts of Lakselva due to bank erosion and lots of clay being washed into the river. You will not see this at Soldatnes in the upper part of zone 2, where you can expect clear water. In many Norwegian rivers, the water level can rise by more than a meter after a heavy rainfall -that keeps you from fishing for some days. It does not happen at Soldatnes, so you do not risk losing any fishing days due to rain or erosion of the river.
There are a great number of flies that work well on the Lakselva. It is simply impossible to list every fly here, but if I was to bring just 3 flies to Lakselva, I would bring the Blue Wonder, the Banana Fly and the Big Black Bear pictured underneath in numeric order: