The Highlands – Arctic char in Iceland

Endless streams, rivers, lakes and Arctic char

The Icelandic highlands are home to mountain char and where endless streams, rivers and lakes provide a varied fishing experience. Load a backpack for the day and you can explore every lie and stretch of river in the hope of finding big Arctic char.  It’s a great option is for anglers wanting to enjoy the solitude of the wilderness with endless possibilities of untouched waters. The only limit is your own imagination. You can walk up river, down river, fish a lake that you find interesting – stopping whenever and wherever the mood takes you.  

Big and angry Arctic char on nymphs & dries

The three main rivers, the Vatnsdalsá, Alka and Brikakvisl, divide into many smaller streams as you venture higher and offer over 100km of fishable water.  The mix of water found in the highlands offers areas where char exist in good numbers and other locations where it is all about big char.

These char are old and angry.  If you have never hooked a big Arctic char then this is the place for you. The power and brute strength is amazing and it can often take longer to land these char than salmon of the same size.

Generally, the fish average two to three pounds but there are many ranging from five to ten pounds. The fishing is predominantly done upstream with nymphs but the char can also come on to the dries in good conditions.

There is a strict catch and release policy in the highlands.

Rustic highlands cabins

Accommodation options in the highlands are limited. For the most part we use rustic cabins which provide the basic facilities such as electricity, running water, BBQ, kitchen, toilet and a big common sleeping area. Whilst it is a single room there is plenty of space for each angler. 

It is also possible to offer accommodation in a local guesthouse. This would offer the possibility of single rooms and catered packages. However, the accommodation would move you further away from the fishing meaning transfers of about 45 minutes each way every day.

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