Fresh Water Fishing in Iceland
Salmon fishing is different in Iceland. The rivers run clearer and cleaner and are perhaps more interesting than any other salmon fishing destination in the world. The Atlantic salmon that return to its rivers may not be as large as those of Norway or Russia, but they make it up with their feisty temperament. One of the biggest advantages of fresh water fishing in Iceland is that the rivers are never overcrowded. Just about all of the salmon fishing in Iceland is privately managed. The number of rods allowed on each river is limited by law to numbers that can be as low as 2 rods to an entire river and not more than 20 rods in the case of the largest and most productive rivers. Fishing on most rivers is limited by law to two 6 hour sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The result is that the rivers never get too much pressure and fishermen have a lot of water to fish. Depending on the river, lodging is also provided in the form of fully furnisehd and equipped self-service cabins or full service lodges. Below is a selection of some of PescaTravel’s favorite rivers in Iceland.
Our Destinations in Iceland
Careful management has helped to make this beautiful river the destination of choce on the east coast of Iceland for many fly fsihermen. The Breiddalsá River als has one of the best fishing lodges in the country.
Located just north of Egilsstaðir on the east coast of iceland, the Jokla River originates on the eastern side of the Vatnajokull Glaciar and runs 100 kilometers before dumping into the Atlantic Ocean. Good sized msw salmon make up a high percentage of the salmon caught here. An intensive smolt release program has helped this river to increase catch numbers tremendously.
This wonderful little river on the west coast of Iceland has a fantastic average of around 1000 salmon caught on just 6 rods during an 80 day season. The majority if the fish caught are salmon weighing between 5 and 12 lbs, but every year fish in the 20+ lb category are caught.
A fantastic grilse river with a wide variety of beautiful fly water ideal for fishing with one hand or switch rods. Every year it ends up as one of the top ten rivers in Iceland in salmon caught.
They say that the fisherman who learns to fish this river properly, can fish any river in Iceland successfully. Its waters can be extremely technical and demanding, offering great opportunities to test ones skill fishing with floating lines and flies as small as a size 18. Every year it ranks among the top 10 rivers in Iceland in terms of annual catch with an average of around 1,200 salmon caught per year.
For a fly fisherman looking for big trout there are few destianations that compare. Also known as Laxá í Laxardal, this wide shallow beat consistently produces fish in the two to five pound range, often on dry flies.
Laxá í Myvatnssveit is undoubtedly one of the finest destinations for wild brown trout in Iceland and probably all of the world. Sizes usually vary from 35 cm to over 75 cm. Fish in the 20+ ib category are hooked here every year. Dry fly fishing can be excellent at times during the summmer. A must fish destination for the serious trout fly fisherman!
This small slow flowing meandering river is a genuine spring creek originating in a couple of springs. The brown trout here which grow to enormous sizes are said to come from a strain which has been isolated since the Ice Age. It is a very technical dr fly stream where large trout can be taken on very small dry flies and nymphs throughout much of the season and monsters of 20+ pounds are always lurking in its deeper pools.
Located near Husafell, 125 km north-east of Reykjavik, the Nordlingafljot is a fantastic river for fly fishing or worming which is also allowed. The salmon beats include 75 named pools spread out over 13 km of river which are fished by 6 rods. The average annual rod catch is about 500 salmon.
Considered by Icelanders to be the most beautiful river in the country, the Nordura usually ends up among the top five salmon rivers in the country in total annual catch. Its waters are varied and interesting and best fished with a light 2 handed rod or a switch rod early in the season. Fishermen stay at a good full service lodge overlooking the river.
The Sog or Sogid River is the largest clear water river in Iceland. This river is known to give very big salmon. It is best fished with a two hand rod by fly fisherman and also allows bait and spin fishing.
Local fishermen consider the Tungufljot Iceland’s answer to the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. It is undoubtedly one of the best rivers in the country to fly fish for large sea-run brown trout. The average size of the seatrout here is about 7 or 8 pounds, but fish in the 10 to 20 lb range are not uncommon.