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Minnivallalaekur River, Iceland

The Minnivallalaekur River also known simply as the Minni, is a slow flowing meandering stream originating in several upwellings of subterranean waters, which makes it a genuine spring creek.  The Minni is not a river known for great numbers of trout, but it is known for large Ice Age brown trout in more than acceptable numbers. Over the years the Minni has gain the reputation of being one of Iceland’s best big trout rivers. Certainly the population density of large fish here is far greater than many of the New Zealand’s finest trophy trout rivers. The average annual total catch is usually around 400 fish. The native brown trout here are said to be of a genetically pure strain isolated in Iceland since the last Ice Age. Decent numbers of trout averaging around 3 to 4 lbs can be found sipping midges at any time in different pools throughout the Minnivallalaekur River and fish in the 10 lb range are relatively common. But there are also monsters of 20+ pounds lurking in its deeper pools. 

From its headwaters just a bit upstream from the lodge to where it flows into the grey waters of the Thjorsa River, the Minnivallalaekur River runs a total of 7 km through grasslands easily traversed on foot. Because of its crystalline waters and glassy pools and its wary large brown trout, it is a river that requires a good deal of stealth for fishermen to be successful. One should try to keep a low profile and approach the pools quietly. Delicate casts and drag free presentations are a must. Long leaders can be very helpful for this. When the trout are not rising much it might be a good idea to fish the water with small nymphs and just cast the nymph to any rising fish as they will often take it if the nymph is well placed. You may also come across large trout nymphing some of the more streamy and riffled waters.

Hatches you may see include honey brown colored caddis in a size 14, olive and beige colored midges in around a size 18 and on warm mid summer days with a bit if wind you may have good numbers of bibio hoppers in sizes 12 to 14. Fishing streamers during your last hour of fishing is good strategy for fishermen seeking a trophy Ice Age brown trout. 

The Minnivallalaekur is one of PescaTravel’s finest big trout destinations in Iceland. The river fishes a total of 4 rods which are sold together.  


We recommend 4 or 5 weight one had rods with floating lines and 12 to 15 foot leaders with 4x to 6x tippets for dry fly fishing.  For streamers you a 5 or 6 weight rod with shorter heavy leaders are good. 

Recommended flies include: Bibio Hoppers, Black Hoppers, Black Gnats, Hawthorns in hook sizes 12 to 16. Honey brown León Cock Caddis flies and other caddis imitations in sizes 14 and 16. Size 18 beige, light olive and olive midge emergers and dry flies in size 18 hooks. Klinkhammers in olive or black on size 14 to 16 hooks. Nymphs: epoxy bodied bead head flies in black, olive, brown in hook sizes 14 to 20. Pheasant tails and small black nymphs such as black beauties in hook sizes 18 to 22. Gold bead prince, flash prince, hare’s ears inhook sizes 14 to 18. small streamers such as Muddler Minnows, Black or Grey Ghosts, Zonkers in grey or black, girdle bugs and wooly buggers in hook sizes 4 to 8. 

Fishing permits come with access to an excellent self-service lodge located on the banks of the Minnivallalaekur. The lodge accommodates up to 8 persons in 4 double rooms. The lodge has two bathrooms with showers, dining room, a fully equipped kitchen (with a stove, oven, micro-wave, refrigerator and freezer, pots and pans, utensils, china, silverware and glasses), comfortable sitting room with a television. On the porch guests can relax in the hot tub. There is also a barbeque grill for the guest’s use. Guests are provided clean bedding and towels for their stay. Guests can stay connected with free wifi and good cellphone coverage at the lodge. 

Most guests fly into Keflavik International Airport which is just 45 minutes south of Reykjavik. To drive to the lodge, you take highway 1 south east from the city for about 80 km until you reach the turnoff to Highway 26 which you follow another 20 km to the Minnivallalaekur River. The turnoff to the lodge is just 4 km past the bridge over the river to the right. 

Location: 104 km to the east of Reykjavík.

Season: 1 April to 31 August

Best dates: Early July to mid August

Nº of rods allowed: 4

Fishing technique allowed: Fly 

Species available:  Brown trout and occassionally Atlantic salmon

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 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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