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Leirvogsá River, Iceland

This beautiful little salmon river is one of our favorites because of its beauty and its proximity to Reykjavik. The average annual catch for 2 rods fishing the river is between 200 and 500 salmon  for the 90 day season. In 2008 the Leirvogsá yielded a record of 1,173 salmon caught in addition to another 200 sea trout of good size. 

Indeed the Leirvogsá is an ideal choice for fishermen looking for a quality salmon river near Reykjavik. The Leirvogsá River is just 25 minutes away from the center of the city by road. Despite being so close to Reykjavik, the river is set in a scenic rural valley overlooked by Mount Esja. At is source it is just a small brook gurgling out of Lake Leirvogsvatn. From their it picks up water from a number of tributaries before reaching the Trollafoss Falls. These falls are unsurmountable to retuning salmon and thus constitute the upper limit of the river’s salmon waters.

Downstream from Trollafoss the Leirvogsá narrows as it passes through a canyon before the valley opens up again in the area near Hrafnhólar Farm. The fisherman’s refuge is located here. In this area the river meanders along the valley floor providing numerous fine pools cut out by it’s curves before it again enters a short canyon below the fisherman’s shack. At the end of this canyon the river is once again transformed, this time into fast running rocky stream tumbling down to its mouth in the estuary. This last section is the only part of the wiber where bait fishing (exclusively worming) is allowed. That said it does often provide fantastic fishing for wormers as its pools fill up with salmon newly arrived from the sea. In total the Leirvogsá River offers 8 kilometers of fishable salmon water from the falls down to its mouth for just two rods at a time. 

Six to eight weight one hand fly rods, with floating lines.

Effective flies include Red and Black Franceses,Collie Dogs Hairy Marys, Blue Charms, Munroe Killers, Undertakers,  Green y Red Butts in sizes 10 to 14.

Fishermen visiting the Leirvogsá River generally stay in Reykjavik or Mossfellsbaer. The river does not have a lodge for fishermen. However, there is a fisherman’s shack to rest and have lunch during the day. .

Take Highway 1 north from Reykjavik. Just after passing the intersection with Highway 36 at Mossfellsbaer you will cross two rivers. The Leirvogsá will be the second of the two. Turn right just after crossing the bridge over the river. 

Location: 20 km to the northwest of Reykjavík following Highway 1.

Season: Last week of June to the end of September

Best Dates: Mid-July to mid-August

Nº of Rods Allowed: 2

Fishing Techniques Allowed: Fly and worm (worm only in the lowest section of the river between Highway 1 and the sea.

Species available: Atlantic salmon, resident and sea-run brown trout

Note: Fishermen should be aware the Icelandic authorities require that any fishing equipment brought into the country be sterilized appropriately with a proper veterinary’s certification. Sterilization of equipment may also be done at the airport.

In order to travel to Iceland, you should have a valid passport valid with an expiration date at least 6 months after the planned return date. A visa is not required for EU or US citizens.

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