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).


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