Touching down at Keflavik airport in Iceland is generally a somewhat surreal knowledge. The lunar landscape encompassing Reykjavik’s global airport feels extremely foreign to the pastoral fields I experienced left. I hardly found the 3 hour flight from Stansted as my intellect flitted excitedly about what lay ahead of me. The past time I experienced fished in Iceland had been on the Laxa I Adaldal in the North, and the Laxa í Kjos in the South West, and though I experienced beloved every single moment of the contradicting fishing strategies, I had occur absent feeling I had scarcely scratched the floor. I hoped this journey could possibly give me significantly extra of an insight into what designed 60,000 of the 297,000 population of this state obsessed with salmon fishing.
Haraldur Eiriksson (Halli), my colleague at the Reykjavik Angling Club, satisfied me at the airport and we before long had been heading north in the direction of the location of Borgarfjördur and the fabled Nordurá, continuously one particular of the major three most successful rivers in Iceland. The Reykjavik Angling Club has held the lease in this article for 60 many years, and the 55 km gives lots of fishing for its 15 rods. It is broken down into two sections, the higher part starting to fish later in the time.
The drive of 45 minutes wound via remarkable surroundings of wide glacial valleys and higher peaked cliffs, and Halli gave me the heritage and statistical operate down of every single river we passed. Somewhere around five hours after leaving Stansted I was casting a line throughout Laxafoss, salmon porpoising into the tail of the pool in front of me. Nordurá is a little various to most Icelandic rivers in that it is in fact really wide, though not notably deep. The rocks strewn bottom can be obviously viewed by the gin very clear h2o producing the rifling hitch especially exciting to fish. Often the fish are viewed following the fly in advance of they speed up and pounce. The valley and canyon etched out by some historical glacier supply a extraordinary vista to this very clear operating river, punctuated in spots by clouds of steam from incredibly hot springs gushing freely from the ground. A excellent way to warm up chilly toes!
The Rjúpnahaed Lodge on Nordurá has to be seen to be believed, and is a single of the very best I have stayed at on any salmon river. The lodge is extra like a private resort. The regular of food stuff and attentive service are wonderful, and it is outfitted with these luxuries as wireless broadband throughout the building. It is a ordinarily Scandinavian edifice, wood all through, cozy rooms with ensuite bathrooms and gallons of very hot drinking water. There are two drying rooms, one in the major setting up, and a person at the close of the annex opposite. Each have scorching air blowers to adhere waders on which indicates no far more a little damp socks! The sitting down space has the most outstanding see of the Laxfoss from its windows.
The pursuing early morning we bounced out of the lodge like coiled springs, all set to do fight with those clean fish that would have operate up from the sea overnight. Halli drove us down to the coveted Stokkhylsbrot pool in the canyon, typically one particular of the largest producers in the early season. As we descended down the wander way the river opened up beneath us, the early morning sun lights up the total pool with that wonderful greenish blue color. Polaroids had been donned and the frantic scanning commenced. I headed down to the river whilst my companion scrambled even further spherical to achieve a superior vantage position of the tail. I started to strip line off my reel and loosen the shoulders with a couple of Spey casts higher up the pool until I was alerted by a whistle from Halli, accompanied by frantic gesticulations that I took to suggest there was a pod of fish holding in the tail.
Soon after I experienced been given course from even more gestures on large the line sang out throughout the upper riffle, and the hitched Sunray commenced its drift earning that perfect greasy v-wake. More than the lie it travelled and I tensed up expectantly, eagerly ready for that bulge and splash…. An ooooooh, carefully followed by an aaahhhh and a little something muttered in Icelandic that I presumed to imply ” Damn!” prompt that the fish had moved to the fly, but not taken. My heart was thumping as I punched out a further Spey solid to the same duration of line, once more waiting around as the fly bumbled above the area and in direction of the lie. Absolutely nothing.. Time to alter strategies. I flicked the line up, grabbed the fly and switched to a compact Loop Bottle Temple Pet. Time to drift it correct earlier its nose…
Yet again I punched the line out throughout the pool, this time with additional of a sq. solid followed by a quick upstream mend to allow for it some depth. The fly came screaming round the recent and virtually on cue as it passed by way of the lie I was rewarded with a wrench and a excess weight on the rod. The reel made a enjoyable screech and the fish was on! Yells of encouragement came from Halli’s lofty perch, and he commenced to scramble down the bank to assist me land it. Just after a number of very good operates and some fairly un-nerving head shakes, the constant facet techniques force unbalanced him and I slid him in direction of the bank right before firmly grabbing the wrist and holding him underwater. A attractive bar of silver, continue to lined in very long tailed sea lice. I straight away place his head back again into the latest, and he revived promptly, breaking my grip with a flick of his tail. I watched him glide across the pool in the obvious h2o, no doubt to sulk in some sheltered lie.
The relaxation of the morning was invested striving to raise fish on a hitched Sunray, and obtaining had a handful of amazing silver slashes at the fly which gave us a massive feeling of enjoyment, very little more really hooked up. Rods have been mounted to the automobile and this satisfied little band sped off in Halli’s at ease 4×4 to check out our luck at Hitará, a mere 30 minutes push away.
Hitará is a very distinct river to Nordurá, lesser and additional personal in character. On arrival we headed inside to have a search at the fish guide to see how they were being acquiring on. The sitting down home in this charming minimal lodge holds one of the premier collections of stuffed birds in Iceland. It also has a impressive window over on the lookout the pool ten yards under it. As we sat wanting at the catch data sipping coffee Halli noticed a few salmon amongst six and ten lbs . come gliding up via the tail of the pool, straight into the glassy section beneath us. We viewed in awe as they hung there, just about suspended in air in the clarity of the drinking water. A flick of their tails, and they continued on their way toward the falls.
Hitará is significantly more like a common Icelandic river, sophisticated currents, crystal clear pools, little flies and complex fishing in excess of its 29 kilometres. The river accommodates six rods on the most important salmon area and is best for intact get-togethers. A solitary handed rod or a genuinely light two hander are best here, and anglers are rewarded with very a amount of fish more than the 7 pound mark. I specially relished fishing the upper extend it is rather wild, not not like a Hebredian river bank, and aside from a fantastic amount of salmon caught up here toward the conclusion of July there is superb Arctic char and trout fishing. The char have been caught up 6 and seven kilos and incorporate a great diversity to the fishing if the salmon fishing is gradual.
Soon after a big amount of entertaining on Hitará and a rapid glance at the Skuggafoss falls on Langá its neighbour, after all over again we saddled up and headed east. Running into the identical river method as Nordurá is Glúfurá, a person of the most enchanting rivers I have ever seen. Glúfurá is a a few rod river, most of which is contracted by way of a spectacular canyon that results in some excellent pocket drinking water, great for hitching compact Francis and tubes. While it is 19 km prolonged, salmon can only navigate 13 km as significantly as the Klaufhamarsfoss Falls.
This river really made me psyched, and is completely perfect for fairly in good shape fishermen who get pleasure from stealthy complex fishing. Your first glimpse is of this turquoise very clear h2o flowing via the canyon as you travel in excess of the highway bridge close to Svignaskard, and right away has you straining you neck to see behind you. From the edge of the canyon it is feasible to peer more than the edge straight in the crystal very clear h2o about 50 ft below you. Fishing this river was an complete pleasure, and I could have expended an full 7 days getting rid of myself amongst its rocks, white drinking water pockets and salmon. Stealth is undoubtedly an asset as there is not considerably space to manoeuvre amongst the salmon and angler, but what a river for researching salmon behaviour!
The Glúfurá lodge is pretty new with all modern day conveniences together with a scorching tub. There are 4 roomy en-suite bedrooms, and even nevertheless it arrives self catering, the personnel at Nordurá can carry food stuff around from the lodge and convert this into a fully catered operation. It would be fantastic for a get together searching to loosen up and do some attention-grabbing fishing.
Continuing our route east we arrived at Grimsá. Grimsá has wonderful topography with several really hard bands of volcanic rock producing some really striking river features. There are over 70 marked swimming pools together its 42 km duration, several with remarkable figures all of their possess. It is a significantly coveted river, and has been fished by intercontinental clientele for a lot of a long time…when room has turn out to be offered! At the base of the river is but an additional Laxfoss, despite the fact that this one particular is fairly exceptional. The Lodge, which even tends to make Nordurá search shabby, sits atop a bluff over hunting the Laxafoss. Shoppers can really enjoy salmon leaping the falls by way of the substantial panoramic home windows when they have meal!
Where the primary recent arrives about the falls the river opens out into a type of bay, and it is attainable to wade out and fish throughout the latest as if you were being on a bonefish flat. It was right here between the currents of Thingnesstrengir that I identified myself just before evening meal, casting a substantial plastic tube fly across the present and stripping it back again as rapidly as I could. This is normally an very efficient technique with fresh managing fish, and this was no exception. On the 3rd cast a fish exploded onto the fly, and proceeded to scream up and down the pool ahead of tail going for walks a pair of moments. I managed to get back handle and bullied him in tricky. If I am to release a fish, which I constantly do unless it is weakened, I like to perform them as challenging as probable so that they could swim away with out being fully exhausted. I use a related philosophy when it arrives to saltwater fishing. Just after a excellent struggle on a single handed rod my information tagged and launched it to continue on its way up the falls.
By this phase the 24 hour daylight and land of the mid night time sun ended up starting to choose their toll a very little and I was beginning to experience less like a coiled spring and a lot more like a single that had exceeded its elastic restrict! We put in a magical time in the early hrs of the morning sitting down by the falls watching the salmon throw by themselves at the torrent of h2o. Frequently the fish hung to the side if the white drinking water with their backs and tails uncovered to the air as they attained their breath for the subsequent obstacle. The tail would quicken, and then with a flash of silver would hurl itself at the white h2o. It was a charming way to complete our keep.
Once again it was time to head south, this time back to Laxa i Kjos which I seemed forward to with terrific anticipation. The route down took us past an additional understated salmon river, the Andakílsá. This serene little river has only about 5km of fishing in between a pair of rods on the salmon part, but meanders its way as a result of the grassy meadows and has exceptionally effortless accessibility for people who are much less cellular. There are separate salmon and trout sections, with the trout part also manufacturing great numbers of sea operate arctic char.
As we drove throughout the road bridge of Laxa í Kjos, we instantly stopped the car and wandered back again to peer about the bridge into the pockets under. This is somewhat of a ritual. Possessing just experienced the greatest spring tide of the thirty day period we expected to see a number of grey styles hanging in the recent underneath, but the angle of the solar produced it tricky to place them. I turned to appear up the valley to see the river cascading down the delicious looking tiered holes, pockets and rifles. It was here between the rocks and white drinking water that I had learnt the artwork of hitched flies less than the watchful eye of my guidebook, and at very last acquired faith in fishing smaller flies for salmon. Owning slice my teeth as a information for a few seasons in Norway and subsequently fished in Russia, I experienced generally considered big was lovely. On some times we experienced taken fish on measurement 16 purple and black Francis’, skittered in excess of the rather glides between the white h2o. I experienced never believed it right until actually encountering it, and this substantially lighter strategy experienced been relatively of a revelation to me, absolutely modifying the way in which I now fished for salmon.
As I scanned the river my eye in a natural way arrived to relaxation on the new lodge nestled in the foreground over seeking one particular of the most productive stretches. I eagerly jumped again into the motor vehicle and in 3 minutes we were standing in the new hall, admiring the modern design and the vaulted ceilings. To the exact same typical as the Grimsá lodge, the new Kjos lodge is absolutely excellent. The rooms are roomy and comfortable, with all the fittings and facilities you would be expecting to locate in a high-quality resort in Reykjavik. The front terrace opens instantly onto the river giving the most fantastic look at. The progress of the fishermen on the decrease area can be simply be adopted from the consolation of the leather sofas.
The Laxa í Kjos has about 17km that the salmon can pass prior to remaining terminated at the very extraordinary falls higher than the canyon. With about 100 marked swimming pools it is the shear variety of fishing right here that will make it so fascinating. The upper stretch has phenomenal rock pools top down as a result of the canyon, and Pokafoss falls in this article will enchant you. The River then moves out of the tough band of rock and meanders its way through attractive gravel swimming pools in the midsection. Stealth is an asset here, and a breeze to riffle the floor aids massively to stop detection. The meadows beneath are exceptionally very good for sea trout, in advance of it piles as a result of further larval formations as pointed out ahead of in the reduce aspect.
Two kilometres below Thórufoss the Bugda, a tiny but really effective tributary operates into the Kjos. Bugda resembles in destinations an English chalkstream, and is the previous put a single would count on to catch salmon, but it is perfect to fish with a compact 6# and dry fly. I was flabbergasted when I fished it last in getting a 7lbs cock salmon on a size 12 Humpy dry fly. It in fact arrived up and took it like a trout, indeed I believed it was a trout right up until it jumped and spun off down the pool.
From Kjos we drove cross nation, all over again heading South East and skirting to the North of Reykjavik in the Thingvellir Countrywide Park. The only way to explain the landscapes is big. Huge sky, major mountains, huge lake. The aged lava flows coated in cracks and crevasses (that you can walk via if you desire) finish abruptly at the waters edge of lake Thingvallavatn, the biggest spring fed lake in Iceland at 84 km². Aside from keeping massive trout and 4 species of char, Thingvallavatn is also the source of the Sog. Whilst the Sog is not what it utilized to be thanks to the Hydro electrical plant at its head, but it even now has a superior inhabitants of larger sized than regular salmon.
The key beats are Alvidra, Bíldsfell, Ásgardur and Sydri-Brú. The river is substantial, extensive and deep with some larval fissures clearly outlined in the crystal clear blue h2o. It does have great access about its 20km, a quantity of relaxed minimal self catering lodges, and is greater suited to people who like to fish with a two handed rod. For those that never would like to self cater, there is a superior restaurant correct on the river lender. Though we fished Sog difficult, we failed to shift a fish, even though I was captivated by the clarity of the drinking water in the lower beats. Any next I was anticipating anything to rise from the deep fissure and engulf the fly, but alas it was not to be. This river is surely far better fished with a sink suggestion and heavier flies, as not only is it deep, but it is deceptively fast flowing. The Sog opens on the 14th June and operates via right until the 28th of September with the key remaining in August. Even even though we had been there a tiny far too early for ideal fishing, it was a stunning river to fish.
As properly as the Sog there is a different river that operates into the Hvítá which should quicken the hearts of any certainly adventurous salmon fishermen, and that is the Stóra-Laxá. A small even more North East from the Sog this outstanding river spends 10km of its size jogging via a canyon called Laxárgljúfur that is some destinations is more than 150 metres deep. At this stage it is almost solely fished by Icelandics, and presents some of the most demanding fishing for massive fish that I believe that exists. 10 rods fish above four fishing places with beats just one and two becoming grouped alongside one another. These circulation by the alluvial plains underneath the canyon, and are truly where most of the fish are caught (largely as this is in which most folks fish). The typical capture is 300 fish a year, but quite frequently fish of more than 20lbs are a truth below. Two handed rods and massive flies are the way to beat it, and is reminiscent of Norwegian fashion fishing. Quite a few of the Icelandics have a like hate marriage with this river, but it has pretty much produced me much more energized than any other as it is a serious obstacle!
We turned our heads for dwelling and began the hrs generate again to Reykjavik. Even in this article the activity was not completed as we stopped at the fish counter on the Ellidaár. This compact river flows by way of the city, and is often the initially knowledge that numerous have of salmon fishing there. The Angling Club has father and son times in which the understanding and pleasure attained more than the several years can be handed down from a person to the other. The numbers ended up up, and as we watched fishermen from the street bridge we could see fish pushing up via the pool on the evening tide. The time had absent so rapidly, and even nevertheless I experienced the opportunity to learn a extensive total a lot more about this wonderful place, I nonetheless experience like I have barely scratched the floor! I do now know why 60,000 users of the populace are obsessive salmon fisherman……
We will be providing rods on all of these rivers for the coming year, and a lot of far more.