Svalbardsa, Iceland

Prime Icelandic fishing awaits

Experience the thrills of fly fishing on the Svalbardsa River in Iceland for Atlantic salmon using small single handed rods and hitched tube flies.


Fish the secret gems of Iceland

Svalbardsa is a three rod, catch and release only river averaging in the region of 400 fish per year. The river begins to fish well in mid July with the first good runs of extremely aggressive fresh salmon averaging approximately 10 lbs.

The runs reach their peak in the first weeks of August when pools fill with holding fish. At this time the average size falls to just under 10 lbs, whilst at the same time catch averages rise to their peak. Fishing continues to be good into early September with numbers of fresh fish still entering the river.

The river exhibits classic pools starting with fast runs and ballooning into smooth tails. It is one of the secret gems of Iceland, fished year in and year out by the same fishermen and seldom offers much new availability. Svalbardsa is best fished with a 9-10ft 7 or 8wt.

Fishermen should bring a sink tip as well as a floating line in case of higher water (even in flood the river runs very clear but for the first hour or so). Some guests bring a 12ft 8wt light double-handed rod if they prefer fishing with a two hander. Tippet used should be 10-15lb breaking strain and classic Icelandic fly patterns such as micro 1″ hitching tubes, small silver and black trebles in sizes 8-16, black and red Frances tied on small trebles and also on ¼ and ½-inch tubes along with the Sunray Shadow and Collie Dog tubes to 4″ (total fly length).

Unwind in a Traditional Icelandic Lodge

The lodge on Svalbardsa is a traditional but modern Icelandic lodge overlooking the river. It has four bedrooms each with its own ensuite bathroom and shower plus a spacious living and dining room. It happily accommodates a small party and is the ideal base to take wives and family to share the three rods.

“Iceland salmon fishing at its best, most fish we encountered were multi sea winter and this river was ideal for our small party.. can’t wait to go back!”  T.P. – Scotland

A beautiful part of north east Iceland

Svalbardsa is in the very north-east corner of Iceland in some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Iceland. Accessed via daily domestic flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri or Vopnafjordur, Svalbardsa is easier to reach them it seems.

The prime fishing section is approximately 17km and requires a little walking so is not a river for those who are not able to walk between adjacent pools and is unadvised for the elderly fly fisher.


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