Laxa I Kjos, Iceland
Fantastic small water salmon and sea trout fishing
The international elite have always fished Kjos. It very quickly built a fantastic reputation as one of the world’s best small salmon rivers and is considered one of the more technical salmon rivers in Iceland. If you have a passion for fishing small flies and hitching, then the Laxá I Kjos will become your playground. It is primarily a grilse river but despite its size every year a number of large salmon are landed. Good runs of big sea trout can also be targeted from early July.
Surface fishing for salmon
The Laxá I Kjos originates in Lake Stíflisdalsvatn, and with landscaping and fish ladders the salmon habitat has been lengthened to Thórufoss and Kjosarksard about 17 km from the sea. Laxá I Kjos and its main tributary, the Bugda, has a total drainage area of over 200 square kilometres.
Six to ten rods are permitted on the Laxá I Kjos through the season on its 100+ marked pools. These are varied and beautiful, as the river is blessed with gorgeous falls, currents, rapids and chasms. Many feel the midsection is the most unusual and exciting as often it is possible to see incredible numbers of fish layered in pools, which in the right circumstances makes for amazing fishing. Kvíslarfoss and Skáfoss are exciting fishing spots on the lower river, but they are better in low water conditions. Holan and Fossbreiden are also great spots, above which is the famous Laxfoss, now no longer fished. Other pools like Klingenberg hold fish all season and are very popular.
Sea trout have been on the upswing on Laxá I Kjos, appearing in early July they can reach 18 lbs. They are aggressive takers when the water level is on the rise towards the end of the season. Káranesfljót is one of the best sea trout spots on the river, along with Álabakkar, Mosabreida and Nordurmýrarfljót being similarly productive though a bit calm. The pools are best fished with a riffle on the water. Anglers can feel like they are in their own little world when in the impressive canyon.
Bugda joins the Laxá I Kjos about 2 km before it drops into the fjord. The Bugda is a tiny, delicate stream, but when salmon are not taking on the main river it can be a paradise for fishing light with dries and nymphs for the brownies and the occasional salmon.
Read Alex Jardine’s trip report from August 2016 here.
Pristine Icelandic Accommodations
The lodge, overlooking Klingenberg pool is simply one of the finest in Iceland and is more akin to a boutique hotel than a fishing lodge. The large wooden dormer opens out on to a veranda that allows a view straight down the river. Fishermen are accommodated in their own rooms with en-suite bathrooms, and in true Icelandic style there is a second bed for those wishing to rod share. There is a large drying room also on hand for making the early start warm and comfortable. Top quality chefs from Reykjavik prepare fantastic food and the service is exceptional.
Amazing fishing not far from Reykjavik
Laxá I Kjos is located within Hvalfjordur near to Reykjavik.
Road transfers are usually included from either Keflavik airport (1 hour 10 minutes) or Reykjavik (30 minutes).
Location: Laxa I Kjos, Iceland
Water Type: Freshwater
Capacity: 6 - 10
Season: Mid June - September
Price: Seasonal variation
Species: Atlantic Salmon, Brown Trout, Sea Trout
Activities & Amenities
Iceland is 1 hour behind GMT and flying time from London is approximately 2 ½ hours plus transfer time.
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Grimsa, salmon fishing in Iceland
The Grimsa is one of Iceland’s most beautiful fly fishing rivers and is one of a few Icelandic rivers that has tradition stamped all over it. It was frequented by British lords and generals as early as the late nineteenth century and whilst, as with most of Iceland’s rivers today, it is primarily a grilse river, during those early days the Grimsa was famous for its monsters. Every now and then, the odd monster is still spotted giving vivid memory of the golden days of yester year.
The Langa is one of Iceland’s most notable salmon rivers, flowing over 36 km from its source in Lake Langavatn it offers some wonderful fly fishing water. The crystal clear water has 93 named salmon pools and is best fished with a floating line throughout the season. During the prime summer salmon runs the fishing on Langa is often best with micro flies and small hitch tubes across the surface.The river has a dependable water flow, relatively easy wading and remains one of the most naturally productive rivers in Iceland.
Haukadalsá is an exclusive five rod salmon river located approximately 150 km north west of Reykjavík and less than two hours drive. The river is famous for its easy accessibility and high average catch statistics. It is also one of Iceland´s most attractive salmon rivers. Haukadalsá rarely gets hit with extremely low water like her neighbouring rivers due Lake Haukadalsvatn at the headwaters which ensures that water levels remain steady even in periods of drought.