The feel coming from Iceland this week is of extreme optimism and excitement. Nearly all the rivers are now experiencing what we would consider to be normal runs of fish, if perhaps a little later than we would expect. Fat grilse are now showing up in most rivers systems putting aside fears we had from last season. The weather on the west coast has been very mild and the last 24 hours have produced the first rain in some time dropping the air temperature to 10 degrees centigrade. This freshet has been welcome revitalising many salmon holding to start running again.
Salmon are pouring into Laxá á Ásum, and at the moment there is more salmon in the river than at the same time in 2013 and 2014. Every single pool up the 16 km river is currently packed with fish. Six salmon were caught last night and during this morning’s session 14 salmon were landed to the two rods bring the total to 20 salmon in the last 24 hours for two rods. These are the kind of catch statistics we expect from Laxa I Asum.
Reports from the Laxa I Kjos are on a similar vain. The river has caught 60 fish in the last four days with 20 landed yesterday. Apart from the fat grilse which are now flooding in through the lower river there are still smatterings of multi sea winter fish nosing their way up alongside them. Several fish between 12 – 15 lbs have been landed along with a fish nearest 16lbs lost yesterday. The runs are approximately 10 days later than normal, perhaps as a by-product of the cold conditions at the beginning of the season, but with the last few weeks being very mild the numbers are building. Laxa I Kjos also had the first rain yesterday in a month which has brought the river up 4 inches to the perfect height. The Bugda tributary has also been on fire with fishermen landing salmon on 3# rods on tiny hitched micro tubes. Although late the first sea trout have just began to appear in the meadows so we wait with anticipation to see what happens next week. The Brynjudalsá round the corner from Kjos has also started well with 30 salmon landed in the last five days to two rods.
The Midfjardara continues to go from strength to strength with the last week landing 226 fish and bringing their total to over 500 salmon. Water levels continue to hold although the west river still needs a top up. There has been some rain over the last 24 hours but air temperatures have been quite cold, averaging 8 – 10 degrees and dropping as low as four degrees. The grilse have shown up in numbers and are flooding the lower beats. Again reports of incredibly fit and healthy grilse are the norm, some being so large it is difficult to distinguish between them and small salmon. Beat 1 landed 12 grilse in a session yesterday which is very encouraging.
Grimsa is also experiencing building runs and landed 20 fish yesterday to 8 rods. The falls pool below the lodge has between 30 – 40 fish awaiting their turn to ascend and move up through the system. Although it has been a little late there as well the weather is stable and the first fish are beginning to appear in the top beats.
The Nes beats on the Laxa I Adaldal are currently standing at 50 fish which is a bit better than this time last year. The news from the lower beats are very positive with many fish running and most excitingly they have started seeing grilse already. At Nes they had five fish yesterday morning, one of which was over 20 lbs. The river has a little colour right now but we remain optimistic for the season.
The Langá has well and truly come back to form this year landing 120 fish in the last four days taking the total number up to 324 which is truly special. The river counter has also recorded 350 salmon running through the counter also in the last 4 days and averaging 100 – 150 fish per day. The water is dropping at the moment and most of the pools are becoming very active. Temperatures are pretty warm at the moment and has been stable for the past two weeks. However the water temperature has been pretty low due to the snow melt which is keeping the salmon from running up to the mountain in any great numbers, so they are more concentrated on the lower beats.
Alex’s group has been doing well on the trout beats at Laxardal despite some very cold conditions. They have landed some very large trout so far though with another 24 hours to go. Air temperatures have dipped as low as 3 degrees centigrade and despite this fish have still been caught on the surface. The specimen above was 64 cm 37 girth and 8.6 lbs.
For more information on the latest availability in Iceland this season, including a handful of prime spaces contact Peter McLeod and Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.