Highlands & Laxardal, Iceland July 2024 – Trout & Char Adventure
There are two stand out fisheries in Iceland when it comes to brown trout and Arctic char: The southern Highlands and Laxardal on the North coast. The first explores to fascinating rivers that flow through the Icelandic central plateau and are a haven for big aggressive brown trout along with a huge population of large char. The second is perhaps the country’s premiere dry fly and nymph fishery for large brown trout. Both are unique and in stark contrast to one another, the Highlands being desolately beautiful flowing through rocky gorges and waterfalls in an almost Luna like landscape, the second flows gently from lake Myvatn through green grass fields with trout sipping midges along the edges. After his incredibly successful trip last year, Pete Buckey is excited to again be leading a hosted group to these spectacular fisheries in these prime dates. This trip can be taken as either just the Highlands or Laxardal or both for a phenomenal combination.
Highlands 4 – 8 July
This package based from one lodge offers fishing on two rivers, the Kaldakvísl and the Tungnaá. Both rivers offer fantastic trout and Arctic char fishing. The river Kaldakvísl is truly a hidden gem. Fished only by a select few each season, this valley offers an exclusive experience. The beautiful valley offers a river full of character and an array of pools, riffles, pockets and runs. On the 12 km (16 mile) beat, one can find beautiful waterfalls, great canyons, fast water, slow water, rocks, sand and so much more. The lower half of the river is full of Arctic char, their size averaging at 3-4 lbs, although char weighing up to 7 lbs can be found there as can big brown trout. The upper part of the river flows through an inaccessible deep canyons, and it is in these canyons where the brown trout live and flourish in isolation. The river has a four-rod limit. It’s hard not to fall in love with Kaldakvísl once you’ve had the chance to get to know it.
Tungnaá is a formerly milky glacial river that became gin clear in 2013 as a consequence of a newly opened hydro-electric power plant. The new plant transformed this formerly rough, dark river into a fascinating crystal-clear stream, flowing into beautiful miniature canyons as well as more traditional pools filled with both Ice Age brown trout and big Arctic char. This Highland stream is probably one of the best kept trout fishing secrets in the world. The river offers a more technical challenge, where stealth, among other attributes, is essential. The native brown trout and arctic char average 3-5 lbs, with some monsters reaching up to 12 lbs.
The hosted trip will be based from the comfortable Thoristungur Highland Lodge. Completely renovated for the 2019 season the lodge offers a quiet and secluded stay in the highlands. It has six double/twin bedrooms and can accommodate up to 12 people. The bedrooms are not big but each has a sink and a large wardrobe. There is a shared bathroom with two toilets and three showers in the lodge. The cozy living room and a dining room are perfect to relax in after a long day of fishing and enjoying a good meal and a drink. You can see a short video on the river here.
Laxardal 8 – 11 July
Laxardal, situated on the renowned Laxa I Adaldal river in Iceland’s north, boasts one of Europe’s premier brown trout fisheries. Spanning 12 ½ km, this upper valley section presents unparalleled wild brown trout fishing. The allure lies in the exceptional average weight and vigorous fighting spirit of these brown trout, boasting uncontaminated genes and an unaltered lineage. These muscular, untamed creatures, self-sustaining and never manipulated by humans, thrill anglers by their berserk reactions upon contact. The river’s wide, shallow expanse resembles flats fishing, with black sand and laval rock formations creating ideal spots for these Ice age fish.
These trout, with an average size of 4lb, feed on insects, primarily Diptera, shunning the usual variety found elsewhere. The fish’s diet comprises many Diptera families, with terrestrial and aquatic flies from this order dominating their menu. While lacking in certain insect Orders common in other areas, late June and July witness the emergence of large terrestrials like the Hawthorn and Heather flies, eagerly awaited by the resident browns, providing anglers a prime opportunity to hook these formidable fish.
Accommodations at Laxardal centre around the Raudholar Lodge, recently revamped and expanded. This modern Scandinavian-style lodge overlooking the expansive river offers 12 en-suite bedrooms and comprehensive full-board lodging. With amenities including a drying room, sauna, hot tub, and Wi-Fi, the lodge ensures a comfortable stay for anglers keen on experiencing the thrilling fishing opportunities of Laxardal.
Why Pete wants to return to this destination:
Pete is a fanatical trout and grayling angler and guides for us on the chalkstreams. Currently a member of the England Rivers Team, he is passionate about finessing different methods and tactics in different river environs. It is the pull of a location where he can adapt and learn new methods for trout that has caught Pete’s attention, along with the fantastic fish he and his group caught last year.
Thursday 4th July: Arrive in Iceland and transfer directly to the Highlands Lodge and start fishing.
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July: Three full days fishing the Tungnaá and Kaldakvisl rivers.
Monday 8th July: Depart the lodge in the morning and transfer back to Reykjavik. You will then fly north to Akureyri before transferring to Laxardal. Fish the afternoon session.
Tuesday 9th to Wednesday 10th July: Two full days fishing at Laxardal.
Thursday 10th July: Fish the morning session at Laxardal before transferring to Akureyri and flying back to Reykjavik. Overnight Keflavik
Friday 11th July: Depart Iceland.
The cost is £7,020 for seven days fishing based on single rod, shared guide, shared room in the Highlands and single room at Laxardal. Price does not include international or internal flights, additional hotel nights or transfers. (It would also be possible to do just one or the other)
This is a great trip for all trout anglers looking for a little adventure without sacrificing too much in the way of comfort. For more details on fishing in Iceland please do not hesitate to contact Peter McLeod or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.